By Kim Young-gyo
HONG KONG, Aug. 3 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it will release the new Galaxy Note, the hybrid product between a smartphone and a tablet, next week in Hong Kong, hoping to grab the attention of tech-savvy consumers here.
The South Korean tech giant introduced in November its first Galaxy Note, which combines the strength of a smartphone with a tablet computer.
The world's leading handset maker will start selling the Galaxy Note 10.1 in the Chinese territory on Aug. 9, officials at Samsung Electronics said.
The second Galaxy Note has a wider screen with a diagonal size of 10.1 inches, compared to the original's 5.3 inches, they said.
The product is widely expected to compete against Apple Inc.'s popular 10-inch iPad.
The S Pen function, the major feature in the first Galaxy Note, will also be included in the Galaxy Note 10.1. Samsung officials claimed it provides users with the "best-in-class" handwriting recognition technology.
The function had convinced many Chinese-language speaking consumers to buy the Galaxy Note, allowing them to easily input text by drawing Chinese characters.
The S Pen also enables users to easily capture and save screen images online, or cut and paste images, just as they do on laptop computers.
Industry watchers are waiting to see how the market will react to the bigger Galaxy Note.
The original Galaxy Note was seen to have contributed significantly to Samsung Electronics' earnings in the first half this year.
The global sales of Galaxy Note devices surpassed 1 million units just two months after its release last year.
Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics and Apple, the world's two largest smartphone makers, have been locked in a series of legal suits, blaming each other for patent infringement on design and technology patents on their key mobile devices, including Galaxy tablet computers and the iPad.
The dispute has bulked up into a patent battle spanning 10 countries since April of last year. The latest round of their patent war kicked off Monday in California, where the iPhone maker is based.