The Galaxy Note has been a moderate success for Samsung, offering a true smartphone/tablet crossover device. New rumors suggest a Galaxy Note 2 is in the works for October, will have one of those bendable screens, and will take on the iPhone 5 in the marketplace. Huh?
If you’re an Apple enthusiast, then it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the Android market, and what new designs are being offered that the new iPhone might compare with or contrast against. Of course, the Samsung Galaxy series is one of the most obvious Android smartphones to keep an eye on. The Galaxy Note has been another.
Following the Galaxy Note has been somewhat fun from an Apple perspective, since it straddles both the iPhone and rumored Mini iPad designs — a crossover device that, while not appealing to the masses, definitely satisfies a particular subset of the mobile market. To date, the Samsung Galaxy Note has sold 7 million units worldwide.
While I’m sure Samsung is pleased with the Note’s sales pace — to be sure, it was a device that could have completely flopped — it’s hard to understand the new story line in the iPhone 5 rumor mill that suggests the Galaxy Note 2 is: 1) On its way in October, 2) Will have one of those bendable screens, 3) Will take on the iPhone 5.
This is what T3 had to say:
Citing “undisclosed industry sources,” the latest reports which come courtesy of MK Business News have suggested that “Samsung is in the midst of developing a large-screen smartphone model with displays exceeding five inches.” The reports went on to name the device as the “Samsung Galaxy Note 2.” . . . Again a long way from being confirmed, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 rumour mill has suggested that the Korean manufacturer could use the S3 sibling to detract with the widely expected autumn Apple iPhone 5 release. As such, an early October Samsung Galaxy Note 2 release date is reportedly currently being pencilled into the diary.
If that wasn’t enough, IBT seconded this notion:
. . . if ongoing rumors are to be believed, Samsung is likely to release the successor to the Galaxy Note later this year to rival Apple iPhone 5, which is also expected to arrive during this fall. . . . Adding to the speculation, the report has also provided some details about the device’s features, one of which is the flexible display that Samsung showcased at CES 2011. The company reportedly said that the technology was targeted for 2012 and would initially be incorporated into handsets, with tablets to follow later on.
Both articles make reference to the rousing success of the Samsung Galaxy Note, failing to acknowledge that the sakes figures of the Galaxy Note and iPhone 4S — which were both released around the same time last year — are apples and oranges: Apple sold as many iPhone 4Ss in its first weekend of pre-release than Samsung did of the Galaxy Note in the first quarter of sales. There is nothing to indicate — aside from the fact that the Galaxy Note 2 could be once again released around the same time as the new iPhone, that these two devices will compete directly against one another. They are quite different designs — the Galaxy Note appeals to a niche, while the iPhone appeals to the masses.
This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with the Note. If you follow this blog, then you’ll recall that my early reviews were actually quite positive. But the notion that it will be a competing divide against the iPhone 5 seem implausible.
Another issue I have with the new rumor is the application of these new funky, bendable OLED screens that Samsung debuted at CES 2011:
If you watch this video, you’ll see a parade of impressive applications for the bendable AMOLED displays, none of which appear very practical, with maybe the exception of the ultra-thin one. It would appear that if the Note 2 debuts with this technology, that it will be used not to create some kinds of odd-shaped screen, but rather to drastically reduce the dirty of the Note.
This is the one feature that I could see Apple taking a long look at. We know their love of svelte designs. One can imagine them seeking to outfit their own mobile devices with thinner screens like this.
I don’t think Apple has a lot to worry about with the Galaxy Note 2, as I don’t think that it is a mobile device made for the masses. To me, the only thing comparable to the Note 2 and the iPhone 5 is that they could end up being released around the same time. We’ll just have to wait and see.