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Samsung sees iPad 2 thinness, price as challenge

SEOUL, March 4, 2011 – South Korean giant Samsung Electronics on Friday admitted it faced a tough challenge to compete with Apple\’s new slimmer and cheaper iPad, saying "inadequate" parts had to be improved.

The iPad 2 unveiled this week was described by Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs as "dramatically thinner" than the previous model.

The tablet is one-third the thickness of its predecessor at 8.8 millimetres (about one-third of an inch) and also thinner than Samsung\’s latest 10.9-millimetre Galaxy gadget announced last month.

"We will have to improve the parts that are inadequate," Lee Don-Joo, executive vice president of the Korean firm\’s mobile division, told Yonhap news agency. "Apple made it very thin."

Apple is also winning on price so far.

Samsung\’s original seven-inch screen Galaxy Tab was priced at nearly $900 if bought without a two-year contract from mobile operators, while the cheapest iPad 2 costs $499.

Samsung has not announced pricing for its new 10.1-inch tablet.

"The 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the seven-inch but we will have to think that over," Lee told Yonhap.

Samsung has sold two million Galaxy Tabs since October 2010 while Apple sold 15 million iPads in April-December.

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Rival manufacturers have been scrambling to bring their own tablet computers to market since Apple introduced the iPad last year.

Overall sales of tablets, which can be used to surf the Web, read electronic books, watch videos and more, are forecast to hit 55 million this year.

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