As other vendors struggle, Samsung (005930) continues to make selling Android smartphones look easy as it narrows the profit gap with chief rival Apple (AAPL). The company released preliminary unaudited earnings estimates for the fourth quarter on Tuesday, and it expects to post record sales and profit when it reports Q4 2012 later this month. Samsung estimates that it earned a staggering $8.3 billion on sales of up to $53.6 billion. The company said it sold close to 500 handsets per minute in the fourth quarter, suggeting that total combined smartphone and feature phone sales may have approached 65 million units in the quarter.