We’ve already had a heaping helping of Samsung smartphone news to kick off the new year (with plenty more to come), but all has been quiet on the tablet front in January. At least that was the case, until SamMobile published a report on Wednesday claiming that the South Korean company is currently hard at work on four new tablets in the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note lines. More →
It has been clear for a year that tablet market growth has been slowing down a lot faster than anyone expected. But nevertheless, the latest IDC numbers are a stiff shock. The firm’s previous forecast for 12% tablet sales growth this year was already really low considering how hot the growth was as recently as in 2013, when the segment expanded by more than 50%. But now IDC has cut its projection in half, as the brand-new estimate for 2014 global tablet sales growth is a pitiful 6.5%. What’s even more stunning is that no growth is expected to take place in North America and Europe during this year. More →
The Galaxy Note is big in more ways than one. SamMobile notes that Samsung this week has revealed that it has sold 10 million units of its Samsung Galaxy Note line of phablets in its home market of Korea alone. SamMobile says this isn’t as mind-blowing as it first sounds since Samsung’s sales figures reflect “the units shipped to carriers and other seller channels.” Even so this is still an impressive achievement, especially when you consider that South Korea has a population of 50 million people, meaning that for every five people in the country, Samsung has shipped one Galaxy Note. Any way you slice it, that’s pretty amazing.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note series of phablets seems to get better and better and a new patent filing indicates that the best may still be yet to come. SammyToday flags a recently filed Samsung design patent that shows what looks like a potential future design for a Samsung phablet. The design drawings show a device whose display has incredibly thin bezels and no buttons on the bottom, which is a major departure from the designs of all other Samsung flagship devices. The drawings also clearly show a slot in the bottom of the device for a stylus, which means it’s likely that the design is of a future Galaxy Note and not the Galaxy S5. Pictures of the design patent follow below. More →
Less than three weeks ago, Samsung announced that channel sales of its Galaxy Note lineup had topped 38 million units globally. According to a report from Focus Taiwan, Samsung has had a pretty huge three weeks. With the Galaxy Note 3 set to debut in the U.S. next week, Samsung has reportedly confirmed that Galaxy Note family sales have now reached 40 million units worldwide. Curiously, the site says that figure includes 10 million Galaxy Note handsets and 30 million Note II devices, which doesn’t leave any room for Galaxy Note tablet shipments. Earlier sales figures announced by Samsung included smartphones and tablets like the Galaxy Note 8.0 and Galaxy Note 10.1. Samsung’s next-generation Galaxy Note 3 launches on October 2nd alongside the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
People do love big smartphone displays. ETNews reports that Samsung mobile boss JK Shin claims his company has sold 38 million Galaxy Note devices so far, an impressive number for a series of devices that some critics felt were too big to catch on with a mass audience. Given the strong past sales of the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy Note II, Shin says that the recently announced Galaxy Note 3 will “outdo its predecessors” and sell 10 million units by the end of the year following its launch on September 25th. Samsung has shown that there is definitely a big market for big phones, which is why competitors such as Nokia, HTC and maybe even Apple have been working on phablets of their own.
Samsung is reportedly preparing to release its biggest tablet yet. According to ETNews, the company plans to launch a Galaxy Note tablet with a 12.2-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel display later this year. The slate will include an S-Pen stylus and could possibly be equipped with an Intel processor, similar to the smaller Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. No other details were provided. Despite the influx of smaller and more affordable tablets, Samsung believes there is a market for larger devices — the company is reportedly looking to sell 12 million units per quarter. Samsung is said to be interested in releasing the Galaxy Note 12.2 before Apple launches its next iPad and will reportedly announce the tablet sometime in the third quarter.
When Samsung (005930) announced the S-Pen stylus with the Galaxy Note, we, like the rest of the world, laughed it off. The stylus was a big accessory in the days of the Palm Pilot and other PDA devices, however times had changed. Since the rise of the modern smartphone, the stylus was effectively killed of, or so we thought. Samsung has since expanded its S-Pen offering to its Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet and it is one of the company’s largest selling points. To ensure that we will never be without the stylus ever again, Samsung has invested in Wacom, a company know for its digital drawing pads and stylus pens. Samsung has acquired a 5% stake in the manufacturer, who are actually the ones behind the company’s S-Pen, for a mere $58.2 million.
While there’s been some speculation that Samsung may announce the Galaxy S IV at Mobile World Congress next month, it would seem the company is planning to announce a new tablet instead. According to SamMobile, Samsung (005930) is planning to unveil a mid-range 8-inch Galaxy Note tablet at the annual trade show in Barcelona. The slate is rumored to come with a 1280 x 800 display, 2GB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear camera. The device may also include a microSD slot, 3G connectivity, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, Android 4.2 and storage options of either 16GB or 32GB. Like Samsung’s other Note devices, the 8-inch tablet will also support the company’s unique S-Pen stylus. More →
The Galaxy S III isn’t the only device getting new software features. Samsung (005930) confirmed on its website that the original Galaxy Note will be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which should mean it’ll run faster thanks to UI enhancements from “Project Butter.” Samsung-specific features including multi-window view for true multitasking, pop-up apps, photo frame mode, enhanced S Note and Google Now will also be available in the “Premium Suite” update. Essentially, the Galaxy Note will gain many of the features already available in the Galaxy Note II. The company didn’t provide any firm details on when the update will be released, but it should be any day now.
Samsung (005930) hasn’t had as much luck with tablets as it’s had with smartphones, but it looks like the company is taking another shot at the tablet market with a new seven-inch version of the Galaxy Note. SamMobile has found a new DLNA certification for a Samsung device called the Samsung GT-N5100 that “has been sized between” seven and nine inches. Although we don’t know for sure yet that this new tablet will be part of Samsung’s Note series, AndroidGuys says that all “previous Note products start with GT-N” in their certifications just as the new Samsung product does. So far Samsung has released Galaxy Note models in the 5- and 10-inch ranges, so releasing one in the 7-inch range seems like a logical next step.
We’ve been hearing about companies deploying iPads to their workforces for a long time now, but Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy Note phablet is about to get some love from Corporate America as well. American Airlines on Wednesday said that it would be giving Galaxy Notes to all 17,000 of its flight attendants to use as in-flight data management devices that will provide “greater access to more information about the customers onboard their flight.” More →
Even though Samsung (005930) wasn’t happy to get slapped with a $1 billion verdict in the recent Apple (AAPL) patent trial, the company could at least take some comfort that its top-selling products from this year weren’t part of the suit and weren’t likely to face potential sales bans. That may be about to change, however, as AppleInsider reports that Apple has added both the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note to a separate complaint that it filed this past February that asserted eight utility patents against 17 different Samsung products. More →