POSTED: 6:21 a.m. HST, Aug 15, 2012
SEOUL, South Korea >> Samsung Electronics Co. is taking another shot at the dominance of Apple's iPad with a tablet equipped with a digital pen and a faster processor at the same price tag.
The Wi-Fi only version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 will go on sale in the U.S. on Thursday. The price starts at $499 for the basic model with 16 gigabytes of storage and $549 for the 32-gigabyte model, expandable with an external memory card.
Apple's latest iPad starts at the same price but the Note 10.1 offers some features that the iPad doesn't have, while its screen resolution is lower than the iPad's. It is Samsung's first Android tablet equipped with a digital pen and can run two applications side-by-side on a screen divided in half.
The split screen, made possible by the quad-core processor and 2 gigabytes of RAM, can be useful when taking notes while watching a video or surfing the Internet.
Analysts said this capability of the Note tablet is intended to attract business and education customers, a strategy that could be more effective than going all out against the iPad, which already dominates nearly 70 percent of the worldwide tablet market.
Samsung released about a half dozen Android tablets in the last two years under the Galaxy Tab series but none of them has been as popular as the iPad. Analysts say Android tablets are less successful because of a dearth of applications and higher prices.
But with the Note 10.1, the South Korean company believes it has a product that will find favor with corporations and schools despite the iPad's rich pool of applications and sharper screen.
While Apple makes one new model for the iPhone and iPad every year to meet demand from all around the world, Samsung releases multiple mobile products with variations in prices, screen sizes, hardware and operating systems.
This strategy helped Samsung edge pass Apple in smartphone sales but hasn't paid off in the tablet area, probably because Samsung's previous tablets were not differentiated enough from the iPad. Samsung's second-quarter market share in the global tablet market fell to 9 percent, while nearly seven out of 10 tablets in the market were emblazoned with Apple logo, according to IHS iSuppli.