Samsung takes on Apple with iPad rival

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Samsung unveiled on Thursday what the South Korean electronics giant hopes will be the first major rival to Apple's highly successful iPad tablet PC.

The Galaxy Tab, presented at the IFA consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin, Germany, has a seven-inch (17.8-centimetre) touchscreen, slightly smaller than the iPad's, and uses Google's Android 2.2 operating system.

Apple sold more than three million iPads in the 80 days after going on sale in the United States in April, and the device has since been launched in more than a dozen other countries.

The success caught California-based Apple's competitors on the hop, and they have rushed to respond with their own tablet PCs, which give users video, music, games, Internet and electronic books.

"Samsung recognizes the tremendous growth potential in this newly created market and we believe that the Samsung Galaxy Tab brings a unique and open proposition to market," said mobile communications unit head JK Shin.

The Galaxy Tab, weighing 380 grammes (0.8 pounds) will be launched in Europe in mid-September, and in other markets including South Korea, the United States and Asia in the coming months, Samsung said.

It is rumoured that Japan's Toshiba will also unveil its own tablet PC in Berlin later on Thursday. US computer maker Dell has already unveiled its five-inch Stealth and other firms are poised to launch other rival products.

© 2010 AFP

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