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Samsung Note Pro series tablets see Taiwan launch

TAIPEI -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest handset maker, launched three Pro series tablets in Taiwan Tuesday with sizes of up to 12.2 inches to take on challenges from Apple Inc.'s iPads and Google Inc.'s Nexus 7 series.

At the top of the list is the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, which sports a 12.2-inch Wide Quad Extended Graphics Array (WQXGA) display with a resolution of 2,560x1,600 pixels, a quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 32GB internal memory.

The Wi-Fi version of the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 will hit local stores in late February at NT$24,900 (US$824), while the 4G LTE version will cost NT$29,900, Samsung said in a press release.

The South Korean company also launched two smaller Galaxy Tab Pro tablets of 10.1 and 8.4 inches, with 16GB Wi-Fi versions costing NT$14,900 and NT$12,900, respectively. The devices are scheduled to go on sale in early March.

The 16GB 4G LTE version of the 8.4-inch Pro tablet will go on sale through Chunghwa Telecom Co. exclusively in mid-March at NT$16,900, according to Samsung.

In comparison, Apple's 9.7-inch iPad Air starts from NT$15,900 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model and the smaller 7.9-inch iPad mini 2 starts from NT$12,900. Google's second-generation Nexus 7 costs NT$9,900 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model.

Andy Tu, general manager of Samsung Taiwan's mobile communication team, said his company was ranked the top vendor in Taiwan's tablet market in 2013, and that he expects the sales momentum to continue in to this year.

“I believe people will be getting used to larger-sized tablets, “Tu told a press conference announcing the new Pro tablets. “We're not only making our tablets bigger but also maintaining their portability in order to satisfy demand.”

According to data from research firm IDC, worldwide tablet shipments totaled 217.1 million in 2013, up 50.6 percent from 144.2 million units in 2012.

Apple dominated the global tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2013, shipping 26 million units for a 33.8 percent market share, followed by Samsung with shipments of 14.5 million units and an 18.8 percent share of the market, IDC said.

Rounding out the top five were U.S.-based Amazon.com Inc. with a market share of 7.6 percent, Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. with 5.1 percent and China's Lenovo Group Ltd. with 4.4 percent, according to IDC data.

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