Models pose with Samsung Electronics Co.'s latest Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge smartphones during its unveiling in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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South Korea's Samsung launched the latest version of its oversized Galaxy Note smartphone earlier than expected Wednesday after US rival Apple reported record sales of its latest iPhone 6 .Samsung said the Galaxy Note 4 -- initially scheduled for launch in October -- would hit stores in South Korea and China this week before being sold in 140 nations by the end of next month.Samsung initially pioneered the market for the "phablet" devices -- sized between a smartphone and a tablet computer -- when it introduced its Galaxy Note series in 2011 .Along with the Galaxy S smartphones, they helped the South Korean giant dethrone Apple as the world's top smartphone maker.Samsung has been poking Apple in ads portraying the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as inspired by the Note's size.Sales of Galaxy Note 3 topped 10 million in two months after its launch in 2013, and Lee predicted the Note 4 would outperform that.
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