Aug 17, 2012 09:55 AM EDT
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Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet: Available now, 16GB $499, 32GB $549: VIDEO

By Donovan Jackson
Samsung
(Photo : Twitter) The Galaxy Note 10.1 including the S Pen

Samsung has started to ship its much anticipated $499 Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. The company hopes to take control over the tablet market, knocking Apple off of their currently dominating throne. The company believes that with their most intriguing innovation, the S Pen, will draw away current Apple loyalist.

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The Korean electronics giant is using the older version of the Android OS from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Ice Cream Sandwich, in the Galaxy Note 10.1, but tweaked it with options to open as many as six special apps from the bottom of the screen. Widgets will summon functions including e-mail, browser, notepad and a function dubbed Polaris Office.

WiFi-enabled now, Samsung said upgrades available in the fourth quarter should come with software capable of communicating with 3G and 4G networks.

As the two companies continue to settle their electronic beef in court, Judge Lucy Koh, has said "it's time for peace," after more than two weeks of testimony.

Samsung has currently rested their case, however Apple still has six hours left which they intend to use to call more witnesses, according to IBtimes.com

Apple introduced the iPad in 2010 and started shipping the third version earlier this year. To date, it's shipped more than 170 million, including 17 million just in its third fiscal quarter, ended June 30, for a 68 percent market share, estimates market researcher IDC.

Samsung, which sold only 2.4 million older Galaxy tablets, held a 9.6 percent share, followed by Amazon, which sold 1.25 million Kindle Fire tablets and took a 5 percent share. The total market was about 25 million, a 66 percent jump over last year.

Microsoft will soon join the fight for the tablet throne. The world's biggest software company has said it plans to start shipping its Surface tablet soon. Microsoft's tablet will feature a keyboard when purchased to enable more office-like functions.

Other companies who are getting their electronic weapons ready include, Lenovo Group, Sony Corp, and Google.

The new Samsung tablet is available Now at major electronic stores such as Best Buy Co. (NYSE: BBY) as well as through Amazon.com. Besides the 16GB version priced at $499, Samsung said it will offer a 32GB version for $549.

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