Samsung upsizes iPad rival - Galaxy Tab

2011-02-14 20:41

Barcelona - Samsung has upsized its Galaxy Tab, unveiling a 25.7cm version aimed at muscling its way deeper into the territory of Apple's iPad.

Samsung Electronics, the South Korean giant, showed off a bigger version of its original 17.8cm display at the mobile industry's annual congress in Barcelona.

The new screen, unveiled on Sunday four months after the launch of the first Galaxy Tab, just eclipses iPad's 24.6cm display.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is powered by Honeycomb, the new version of Google's Android operating system designed specifically for tablet computers.

Google's free, open-source Honeycomb is expected to quickly be built into an array of touchscreen tablets in a booming market currently dominated by the iPad launched by Apple last year.

In a sign that Google is intent on wooing the developers behind the "apps" fueling the popularity of smartphones and tablets, executives here stressed that Honeycomb is built as a platform for software innovation.

Google also announced the launch of an Android Market webstore at market.android.com, where people can get work or play applications for devices running on the mobile operating software.

The new Samsung tablet weighs 599g and is just 10.9mm thick.

20 markets

Patrick Chomet, Vodafone group director of terminals, said his customers in more than 20 markets worldwide would get the first chance to buy the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the next few months.

The tablet has dual surround-sound speakers, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

It includes a 1GHz dual core application processor.

Apple reportedly already has a new version of the iPad in production, however.

According to a Wall Street Journal report last week, Apple is producing a thinner, more powerful version of the iPad tablet.

The second-generation iPad will have more memory and a front-facing camera for capabilities such as a Face Time video-conferencing feature on Apple iPhone 4 smartphones, according to the Journal.

Apple said in its latest earnings release that it sold nearly 15 million iPads in the eight months after they were introduced in April last year.

Samsung also unveiled what it touted as the world's slimmest smartphone - the 8.49mm thick Galaxy S II.

The new phone, based on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system, is equipped with voice recognition that allows users to dictate text messages instead of tapping on the screen.

It also includes NFC or Near Field Communication technology which allows users to make secure transactions by swiping their phone near a reader, such as in payments for riding on public transport.

"In 2011, we will take Samsung's leadership in speed, screen and content to a whole new level," Samsung's mobile communications business chief, JK Shin, said.

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