Samsung Electronics Co unveiled a new tablet on Thursday in its latest attempt to chip away at the market dominance of Apple's iPad, hoping the enlarged version of its popular phone-cum-tablet Note will resonate with consumers.
The South Korean firm, which Apple has accused of copying the
design and some features of its iPad and iPhone, launched the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet in the United States, Britain and South Korea on Thursday, just weeks before it is expected to unveil a revamped version of the original 5.3-inch Note smartphone later this month.
Besides being slightly larger than the 9.7-inch iPad, the 10.1-inch Samsung model has other differentiating factors including a stylus-based note taking and sketching function and screen split feature that allows users simultaneously to use two different apps side-by-side.
Samsung hopes the enlarged version of the original Galaxy Note, which has sold over 10 million units since its October launch, can help it narrow the gap with Apple in tablet markets, where it remains a distant second to Apple.
Apple sold 28.8 million iPads in the first six months of this year to take 64.4% of the market, while Samsung sold only 4.4 million to take 9.9% of the market, according to research firm IHS iSuppli.
The Note 10.1 uses Google's Android software and a quad-core processor with 1.4 GHz clock speeds. It boasts a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 1.9 megapixel front facing camera, which also detects users' eye movements to prevent the device from going into standby mode.
The device with 16 gigabytes of memory and wifi-only function will be sold for $499, the same as the latest iPad, and a 32 GB model for $549, versus iPad's $599.
A US judge asked on Wednesday that the chief executives of Apple and Samsung speak to each other before a jury begins deliberating next week in the high-stakes patent trial between the two tech firms.
Apple and Samsung are going toe-to-toe in a patents dispute mirroring a struggle for industry supremacy between the rivals that control half of worldwide smartphone sales.
Shares in Samsung were trading flat at 1.345 million won ($1,200) on Thursday, versus a 0.2% drop in the wider market.
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