Samsung Note 4, Gear, Edge, Facebook Partnership Send Apple Reeling

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our most recent list of hottest selling smartphones to see how Samsung fared against the competition.**

Samsung, which already is the global leader in smartphone shipments, scared the pants off of Apple investors on Wednesday with the unveiling of two new smartphones and a Facebook technology partnership that could shake up the gaming industry.

The first phone is the fourth-generation Galaxy Note, which features its typical big screen that measures 5.7 inches. It has a 16MP rear-facing camera and really packs a punch with an eight-core, 1.9GHz processor; 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage. It also comes with a new S Pen that the Korean-based manufacturing giants says offers a much more authentic pen experience.

Samsung says the Note 4 allows users to choose how to view their apps: either full, split or pop-up screen. They can easily change the size and positioning of apps on the screen with one intuitive swipe. The device goes on sale next month.

Also new is the Galaxy Edge, to hit the market later this year. It gives users a unique curved Edge screen – hence the name – and provides quick access to frequently used apps, alerts and device functionality – even when the cover is closed – all with the swipe of a thumb, the company said. The Edge also comes with the S Pen, which has a more natural brush effect that emulates writing on paper with a fountain or calligraphy pen.

But what really made Apple followers shudder was Samsung’s newly announced partnership with Facebook’s Oculus.

The companies have teamed to unveil Samsung Gear, an accessory to the Note 4 that turns the phone into a virtual-reality 3D screen, MarketWatch noted. It’s based on the Oculus Rift, and could have a big impact on the gaming industry in particular.

Apple stock fell from a high of more than $103 per share on Tuesday to $98 at the opening bell on Thursday. It had rebounded about 1 percent as of 11 a.m. ET.

Let the showdown begin. Apple is widely expected to introduce the iPhone 6 at a media event on Tuesday. In fact, most insiders expect the company to unveil two versions of the iconic device: a 4.7-inch handset, as well as a 5.5-inch phablet that would presumably go head to head with the Note 4.

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