Samsung Electronics said it plans to sell its Galaxy Tab tablet computer in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Italy this year, taking aim at frontrunner Apple in the new but already congested segment. Although it will also compete with a bevy of devices from the likes of Dell and HP, the Galaxy Tab, unveiled last month, has been described by some analysts as the most credible rival to Apple's iPad. It is smaller than the iPad and Samsung has forged partnerships with the top four U.S. mobile carriers and with media companies which are providing programming for its Media Hub service, they say.

The device, based on Google's Android platform, has a 7-inch screen, smaller than the iPad's 9.7-inch screen, but in at least one market — Finland — it will be priced much higher than the iPad. The Galaxy Tab will go on sale in Italy in October, in South Korea in October or November, and in the United States and Japan in November. Samsung aims to sell 1 million units this year.

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