Is Samsung’s Galaxy Note hybrid tablet/smartphone a hit?

March 28, 2012

The South Korean tech giant says it’s sold over 5 million Galaxy Notes since its release overseas last October. Samsung invested heavily in promoting the Galaxy Note at the January CES show in Las Vegas where billboards and other advertising touting the new device were quite prominent. Samsung also ran ads during last month’s Superbowl for the Galaxy Note, though it only recently became available in the U.S. 

To date, tablet competitors have struggled to carve a significant share of the market versus Apple’s best-selling iPad that boasts over 60% of the market. The closest competitor is Amazon’s Kindle Fire released shortly after the Galaxy Note last November. Amazon reportedly has sold over 6 million of the $199 Kindle Fire tablets. 

But Samsung doesn’t strictly pitch the Android-powered Galaxy Note as either a smartphone or tablet, but rather a combination of the two. The device’s sharp (1280 x 800 resolution) 5.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display is larger than that of virtually any smartphones, but smaller than most tablets, including the 7-inch Kindle Fire. This hybrid form factor has led some wags to label the Galaxy Note a “phablet” (PHone/tABLET).

Writing and sketching

The Note has another distinct feature besides its size, handwriting recognition. The Note comes with custom software designed to facilitate use of the “S Pen” or stylus included with the device for writing and sketching. The Note also includes an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera. 

If it weren’t for the iPad, Samsung’s bragging rights for a hot-seller would be far more impressive. Apple said it solve over 3 million new iPads less than a week after its release earlier this month and has sold over 60 million iPads in total since the debut of the first iPad two years ago.


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