In a statement at the Galaxy Note II launch reported by Reuters, Samsung’s mobile business head, J.K. Shin, based the sales expectation for the device’s first three months on the fact that a larger number of carriers plan to sell the phone: 260 operators in 128 markets. The Galaxy Note II is expected on all four major U.S. carriers as early as next month. If Shin is correct, look for 3 million Galaxy Note II sales over the next 90 days, as the first model sold 1 million in the same time period and 5 million in six months.
The original Galaxy Note, which I first saw at January’s Consumer Electronics show, seemed like an experiment to see how consumers might take to a “phablet”, which is what many call the phones over 5-inches in size. When I first held the device and tried to write on it, it didn’t feel comfortable, but after more time with the device, I quickly got used to the form factor. I think Samsung has made a smart move by increasing the Galaxy Note II screen size while also changing to a 16:9 aspect ratio which makes the phone easier to hold.
The launch of a successor to the Galaxy Note in a relatively short time also indicates that Samsung is trying to draw attention away from Apple in a bid to keep growing its own smartphone sales; as of earlier this year, Samsung took the top sales spot in global sales.
By launching the Galaxy Note II so quickly after the iPhone launch, Samsung is trying to maintain consumers’ attention by pointing out the larger display with a higher resolution, additional features such as NFC and digital inking support and other software functions like the company’s pop-out video that allows for productivity while watching digital media content. With a quick and widespread Galaxy Note II launch, Samsung doesn’t want to just be mentioned in smartphone conversations with Apple, but instead wants to be the conversation.