Samsung Rolls Out Galaxy Note II 'Phablet' During Week of Tablet Intros

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2012-10-24 Print this article Print

But how much of a market is there really? If you look at the range of available smartphones as they morph into the range of tablets it becomes harder to figure out where one ends and the other begins. Smartphones, such as Samsung’s Galaxy S III are nearly as big as the Note. The Note is almost as large as the Nexus 7 from Google, which in turn is only slightly smaller than the iPad Mini. You can see where this is going.

Right now it’s beginning to seem as if there’s going to be a tablet choice of some sort available in half-inch increments. But how finely can you divide the market for tablets and tablet-like devices? Surely there must be a point at which customers simply throw their hands in the air and buy whatever their friends are buying. And of course, this may be the idea behind the iPad Mini, which would be to enter a market so you can define it and then make it the default choice.

But the Galaxy Note II seems as if it’s kind of squashed into the nether regions of Smartphone Hell; it’s too big to really be a phone, but too small to really be a tablet. It’s not really of either world, but is something else entirely. But it turns out that that “something else” is actually surprisingly useful once you learn its place in the growing dimensionless space of smartphones. Or tablets. Or something.

What makes the Note different is that it’s handy. It fits into one hand easily, you can actually take notes on it as you would with a paper pocket notebook and the screen is big enough to see things. So perhaps if users move beyond trying to classify the Note II, they’ll figure out where it fits in their own world, which is what matters.

Considering how popular the original Note turned out to be, users may very well have figured where the Note II fits in the market. But unfortunately the world has changed. Now, if you choose to buy the Note from T-Mobile, it will cost you exactly the same thing as you’d pay for an Apple iPad Mini.

Which one will users choose? Unless they really need a phone, which most people don’t, my guess is they’ll choose the iPad Mini. Sorry Samsung, but the tablet market has changed. The Note II is very nice, but I think its market is drying up.


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