Samsung is making its tablet computers look more like its hit Galaxy phones in the hope that the success of the smartphones can boost tablet sales.
Samsung Electronics Co., the second-largest maker of tablets after Apple, is putting three new tablets in the Galaxy Tab 3 series on sale in the U.S. on July 7. The cheapest, $199 device will have a screen that measures 7 inches diagonally. An 8-inch model will go for $299 and a 10-inch one for $399.
"Our goal is to attract Galaxy smartphone users, and to make it the ultimate smartphone accessory," said Shoneel Kolhatkar, director of product planning at Samsung Mobile.
The "Tab" line is Samsung's value brand, undercutting the price of similar Apple models. Samsung's premium tablets are in the "Note" line, which include styluses.
The new tablets have the same three buttons on the front as the Galaxy smartphones. Last year's Tab 2 had no physical buttons on the front, as encouraged by Google, which supplies the Android software.
The 10-inch model is the first Android-powered Samsung tablet to use an Intel processor. That's a significant win for the Santa Clara, Calif., chipmaker, which has been trying to break into the market for cellphone and tablet chips now that PC sales are slumping. Other smartphones and tablets run chips made by a variety of companies, all based on designs from ARM Holdings PLC, a British company.
Samsung had 18 percent of the global tablet market in the first quarter this year, according to research firm IDC. Apple had 40 percent. In smartphones, the figures are nearly reversed, with Samsung dominating, largely because of its Galaxy line. Apple came in second with a 17 percent market share for the iPhone.
Even though the tablets have bigger screens than Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone, their screen resolution is lower. The 10-inch tablet has a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels, compared with 1920 by 1080 for the phone. The smartphone packs in three times more detail in a square inch than the tablet does. Competitors Google and Apple have similarly-sized tablets with higher-resolution screens.