Samsung to launch smartphone, tablet PC in Japan soon

South Korea's Samsung Electronics said Tuesday it would release a smartphone and tablet PC in Japan before December, its latest move in an ongoing battle with US giant Apple.

The planned launch of the Galaxy S smartphone and its first tablet PC, the Galaxy Tab, in Japan comes amid growing rivalry with Apple at home and abroad.

Samsung launched its Galaxy S domestically in June, seven months after Apple's iPhone hit South Korea. Samsung has since launched its smartphone in China and other countries.

The company said NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile operator, would release the Galaxy S at the end of this month and the Galaxy Tab in late November.

More than 70 percent of Japan's mobile market is dominated by local brands, but Apple's iPhone has become the most popular smartphone since its debut in 2008.

Samsung said in a statement the Galaxy S has been "a phenomenal success" in the global smart market, recording worldwide sales of more than five million.

Global computer and handset makers have scurried to respond to the roaring success of Apple's iPhone and iPad.

Tablet PCs feature bigger screens than smartphones and have no keyboards, instead employing touchscreens or stylus pens as input devices.

The global tablet PC market is expected to expand to 30 million units next year, from 13 million this year, according to industry data.

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