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New tablet PC battle brewing

Apple’s iPad 2 to come to Korea next month, while Samsung, LG prepare to launch new line-up


A new round of tablet PC competition is heating up as major electronics makers announced plans to release their new products on Wednesday.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s No. 2 handset maker, released two different sizes of the upgraded Galaxy Tab ― 8.9 inch and 10.1 inch ― while LG Electronics presented its 8.9-inch Optimus Pad, which is also called G Slate in the U.S, at the global mobile trade show held in Orlando, Florida.

In a related move, KT Corp., which was the first to provide Apple’s iPhone in Korea, announced that it would introduce the U.S.-based firm’s iPad 2 here next month. The company, however, added that the specific launch date and its monthly payment plan will be made public later.

Its rival SK Telecom also said that it will roll out Apple’s most recent tablet PC and that it will additionally release Motorola’s Xoom, Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab and LG’s Optimus Pad all beginning next month.

This comes after Apple Inc. unveiled on its website on Tuesday that it will launch all models of the iPad 2 in countries including Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore in April.
Apple’s iPad 2
Apple’s iPad 2

According to market intelligence firm Infinite Research, 147.2 million units of tablet PCs are expected to be shipped in 2015, up from 16.1 million units last year.

To fight Apple’s hot-selling gadget, Samsung Electronics improved the hardware of Galaxy Tab 10.1 from the model it publicized earlier last month by featuring a lighter and sleeker device.

“We plan to lead the tablet PC market by launching a variety of line-up of devices which contains Samsung’s mobile DNA,” said Shin Jong-kyun, chief of the mobile business group at the firm.

When comparing it to the iPad 2, the new Galaxy Tab is about 2 millimeters thinner and 18 grams lighter. It is known to be the thinnest of all tablet PCs currently selling in the market, coming in at 8.6 millimeters.
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1

Running on Google’s Android Honeycomb mobile operating system, it is equipped with a dual-core 1 gigahertz application processor and enables multi-tasking.

LG’s new Optimus Pad, in the meantime, is deemed to be the most portable product on which movies could be watched while placing it on one’s palm in a recent consumer’s survey, its company officials said.
LG’s Optimus Pad
LG’s Optimus Pad

It is powered by Android’s Honeycomb, an OS designed for tablet PCs, and supports 3-D game functions.

LG’s tablet PC also enables video conference calls and Adobe’s Flash player 10.1 and is equipped with a 32 gigabyte internal memory.

It will first be launched in North America late next month with plans to be introduced here by the first half of this year.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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