Models pose with Samsung Electronics Co.'s latest Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge smartphones as they are unveiled in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2014. Samsung said Wednesday its latest Galaxy Note 4 smartphone will go on sale in China and South Korea later this week as its flagging mobile business tries to defend sales from Apple's new iPhones. Samsung said all three Chinese mobile carriers and all three South Korean mobile operators will begin Galaxy Note 4 sales on Friday. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
South Korea's Samsung launched the latest version of the Galaxy Note version 4 smartphone earlier than expected today Wednesday alongside with its Galaxy Edge curved edge screen smartphone, 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 Friday before being sold in 140 nations by the end of next month.
It would be the first time a flagship Samsung product has gone on sale in China ahead of other markets, reflecting the firm's desire to battle growing competition from cheaper Chinese-made rivals.
The decision to bring forward the launch also came after rival Apple reported a record opening weekend for its latest range of iPhones, including the iPhone 6 Plus -- the US firm's first foray into the big-screen market.
Sales topped 10 million in just three days following Friday's launch in the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico and Singapore.
The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is not yet available in China.
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.
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