Samsung has announced [translation] that the Galaxy Note II, its flagship phone-meets-tablet (‘phablet’), has passed 5 million in channel sales, chalking up a further 2 million shipments since November 2.
The Korean phone maker, which regularly issues statistics relating to the number of units that have been bought by sellers, rather than end users, revealed the Galaxy Note II had raced to 3 million channel sales just 24 days ago, having hit that mark just 37 days after launch.
The 5.5-inch device is expected to bring in 20 million sales, Samsung predicts, which would double that of its predecessor, The Galaxy Note, which passed the 10 million milestone within 9 months. While that may not be as fast as the Galaxy S III — which rocketed up 30 million channel sales just 150 days after the launch — the fact that the original Note was very much the first in its class, makes the feat impressive.
Samsung may frustrate us by providing figures that do not directly compare to Apple’s own end user sales figures, but others have crunched estimates on consumer purchase figures. Analyst firm Strategy Analytics believes that the Galaxy S III outsold the iPhone 5 in the third quarter of 2012, although the Apple phone only launch in September and demand massively outweighed supply, constricting potential sales figures.
We’ll have to wait on end user estimates for the Galaxy Note, described as a larger version of the Galaxy S III. Its nearest comparison at Apple is arguably the iPad mini, which lacks some phone-like features since it is a shrunken tablet.
The 7.9-inch Apple device sold out within three days of launch but, as those of us in Asia well know, the over-sized style of the Note is particularly popular in Eastern markets like Korea and Japan. It will be interesting to see how the second incarnation performs in markets like the US and Europe, and whether the launch of the iPad mini will help or hinder interest in unconventionally-sized devices.
Apple seems to think that the Note takes its cue from its own range of devices. Over the weekend, the Cupertino company added the Note II to its ongoing patent lawsuit against Samsung, citing the fact that it uses the Jelly Bean Android operating system.
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