Late last year, in October to be precise, Samsung started selling a 5.3 inch smartphone called the Galaxy Note. I’ll be the first to admit, I laughed at that thing until my sides hurt, but recently I’ve had a change of heart. Someone I know got one and he was kind enough to lend me his Note for a few days. It was then that I realized that you really can’t appreciate the Note until you’ve lived with it for a while. Anyway, my personal feelings aside, what did the market think of the Note? In less than half a year Samsung managed to sell 5 million of them. LG, looking to get in on the action, announced the Optimus Vu in February at Mobile World Congress. Compared to the Note it’s rather hideous and unwieldily, but hey, maybe it’ll find some love out there. Now there’s a report from Reuters that says ZTE is going to enter the monster smartphone space with two devices by the close of 2012. “Phablets”, as technology journalists so lovingly call them, are here to stay.
The bigger question is will people want to buy a super sized smartphone from ZTE? Their brand isn’t really synonymous with quality. And let’s not kid ourselves, the ZTE phablet will likely have a piss poor spec sheet compared to the Note and whatever the refreshed Note will look like later this year. That’s another important question: Assuming Samsung sticks to their yearly update cycle, does that mean we’ll see a new Note in just six months? And if so, what sort of goodies will it bring to the table? The first Note was basically just a Galaxy S II that was blown up. Can we expect the Note II to be a Galaxy S III that’s blown up? If yes, that’s going to get a lot of people drooling.