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Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 2

Samsung Electornics` new phablet
Samsung Electornics` new phablet "Galaxy Note 2" (Yonhap News)

Samsung Electronics Co., the world‘s top smartphone maker, on Thursday unveiled its latest Android platform-based Galaxy Note 2 at an European trade fair, grabbing the spotlight ahead of rival Apple Inc.’s new iPhone release.

Samsung debuted the Galaxy Note 2 at the IFA trade show inBerlin on Wednesday (local time), with plans to release its latest “phablet” model in October. The phablet, a cross between a smartphone and a tablet computer, features larger displays than smartphones but are more portable than tablets.

The 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 2, an upgraded version of the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note, is powered by a quad-core processor and runs on the Jelly Bean, the latest version of the Android operating system.

Like the previous Galaxy Note models, it comes with a stylus pen, which enables users to write on the display as if they were writing on paper.

“We launched the Galaxy Note at last year‘s IFA fair, which opened a new category of smart mobile devices. This year, again at IFA, I am proud to announce the Galaxy Note 2, which will encourage users to ’unleash their inner creativity‘,” said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications unit.

The Galaxy Note 2 unwrap comes ahead of Apple’s widely-anticipated iPhone 5 release on Sept. 12. The two smartphone makers, who are both rivals and partners in the mobile industry, have been locked in a high-stakes patent war in four continents.

The latest development, a verdict by a U.S. federal jury, awarded Apple US$1.05 billion after finding Samsung infringed six of the Silicon Valley firm‘s patents for mobile devices.

The two companies face a provisional court decision in Tokyo this week as well as a December hearing on Apple’s request for a permanent ban on sales of eight Samsung devices in the United States.

In addition to the upgraded Galaxy Note, Samsung introduced its new ATIV line, mobile devices that run on Microsoft Corp.‘s Windows and Windows Phone 8 operating systems.

The company unveiled four ATIV gadgets, including a smartphone and a tablet computer, reviving its Windows-powered line-up for the first time since ditching its previous Windows-based brand Omnia due to lackluster response.

With ATIV, Samsung’s devices are available in three operating systems -- Microsoft‘s Windows, Google’s Android and home-grown Bada -- giving the company a leeway in the patent war that has now developed into a fight between Android and Apple‘s iOS. (Yonhap News)

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