Samsung plans straight-up competition with Apple over iPad mini

Samsung has announced plans to market an eight inch tablet designed to compete directly with Apple’s iPad mini.

According to AppleInsider.com, Samsung’s Mobile Vice President JK Shin confirmed the existence of the Galaxy Note 8.0:

Shin gave no indication as to the pricing or specifications of the device, but he did confirm that it will be revealed at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.

An 8-inch Galaxy Note device has been rumored for some time, based on the notion that Samsung would not leave the mid-range tablet segment to its competitors. While Samsung was among the earliest of major manufacturers to enter the mid-range segment with its Galaxy Tab 7.0, the mid-range tablet market didn’t begin to take off until late 2011, when Amazon’s Kindle Fire debuted to brisk sales. The next year saw the addition of Google’s Nexus 7 tablet, a new line of Kindle Fires, and, finally, the long-expected iPad mini, which launched to considerable demand and is thought to have shipped eight million units in the last quarter.

Of course, a Note 8.0 would feature the Note line’s signature S Pen stylus, which is pressure sensitive and slips into a special holding slot on Note devices. Little else, though, is known about the unannounced device’s specifications. Samsung news blog SamMobile cites trusted sources in predicting that it will feature an 8-inch 1280×800 TFT display, 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and Android 4.2 as its operating system.

Those same sources say the Note 8.0 will be larger than Apple’s smaller iPad, though not by too much. The iPad mini measures 200×134.7×7.2mm and weighs 308g, while the Note 8.0 is said to measure 211.3×136.3×7.95mm and weigh 330g.

A mid-sized Note tablet would signify that the South Korean conglomerate intends to cede no ground to Apple moving forward. Samsung has already taken cues from Apple — both in product design and marketing — as it seeks to build a high-value brand for itself, one approaching that of its main rival.

The history of business is that successful companies and products evolve. It’s becoming more and more clear that Microsoft is no longer Apple’s main rival–at least for now. That title goes to Samsung…and, unlike the blundering dinosaur Microsoft turned into (see Pocket PC, Zune, Vista) that allowed Apple to catch up and pass them, technologically and monetarily, you can bet Samsung is probably not going to make the same mistakes.

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