Samsung updates tablets on heels of iPad refresh

Apr 12, 2012 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

Samsung Electronics Co., Apple's biggest competitor in the market for iPad-sized tablet computers, is updating its line to include a feature that lets a tablet act as a universal remote control for an entertainment center.

The storage space on the new 2 will also be expandable with small memory cards.

The tablets will come in two sizes. The 7-inch version will cost $250 and goes on sale April 22. The 10-inch version will cost $400 and goes on sale May 13.

Apple Inc.'s competitors are experimenting with different tablet sizes and features as they try to come up with a way to challenge the iPad's commanding lead in sales. Toshiba Corp. this week revealed a tablet with a 13-inch screen, essentially putting a laptop-sized screen in a tablet. The has a screen that measures 9.7 inches diagonally.

IPads accounted for nearly 60 percent of the tablet computers sold last year, according to research firm IDC.

Apple's closest competitor in the overall market is Amazon.com Inc., but its Kindle Fire is half the size of the iPad and less than half the price, putting it in a somewhat different category. Of the manufacturers that make tablets in the same size range as the iPad, Samsung has the largest share.

The iPad doesn't have expandable memory or the infrared diode that will let the Samsung's models control a TV set or cable box. Instead, the chief new feature of Apple's new iPad, released last month, is an ultra-high-resolution screen.

The updated Samsung models won't have higher-resolution screens, even though analysts believe Samsung is one of the sources for the new iPad screen.

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