Samsung launches Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet as rival to Apple's iPad mini
Latest incarnation of Galaxy Note has an eight-inch screen and can make phone calls
Samsung yesterday unveiled an eight-inch tablet with phone-call capability to rival Apple's recently launched iPad mini and cement its market dominance by offering different-sized devices. The Galaxy Note 8.0 is powered by Google's Android software and will be showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, beginning today, the South Korean firm said in a statement.
Like previous incarnations of the Galaxy Note, the device comes with a stylus pen allowing the user to write or draw on the screen, which can be split in two to run various programmes at the same time. Global sales will begin in the second quarter, it said.
Samsung is the world's top maker of smartphones, and mobile phones in general. The latest device - its first to feature an eight-inch screen - fills a gap in the firm's wide product line-up, which ranges from the flagship smartphone Galaxy S to the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 2 and the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab tablet.
Samsung recently shifted its focus to the Galaxy Note, which turned out to be far more popular than the larger Galaxy Tab, offering the Note in various sizes in a move that blurred the lines between smartphones and tablets.
It said the launch of the Galaxy Note 8.0 would "reignite the mid-size tablet category" - a segment increasingly crowded by rival products including the iPad mini that launched last November and Google's seven-inch Nexus 7.
Samsung and Apple accounted for more than half of all smartphone sales in the final quarter of last year.