Galaxy Note 2: Mobile Handsets Continue be More Smart and Less Phone
Last September we predicted that the Galaxy Note could very well be a winner, and it has been: with sales passing 5 million sold by March and reaching 7 million in June, the Note could reach, or at least be nearing, double-digits by the time Samsung launch its anticipated successor. Many consumers have taken to the super-sized 5.3-inch Note and while you might be forgiven for thinking that smartphones can’t get any bigger: think again. It is rumoured that Samsung are planning a 5.5-inch Note 2 arriving in September, stretching the smartphone label to near breaking-point. While many users will love the extra display “real estate”, some might find that one-handed operation (texting or placing a call while walking, in particular) becomes even more cumbersome. While this may be the case, it clearly hasn’t dented sales. We think what this illustrates that consumers are using mobile handsets more for wider activities beyond communication, such as, searching on-line or making purchases. While the tablet provides that little bit more display, it is increasingly becoming a shared family device as the market exits the early-adopter phase. For this reason, many will continue to turn to their smartphone – and expect a similar experience (hence, the Galaxy Note’s 5.3-inch display). Furthermore, with 3G tablets not gaining significant traction due to a lack of significant operator subsidies, smartphones remain a crucial tool for local search when out and about. Anyone who has surfed the mobile web will know that websites (particularly banks, and who also fail to offer anything beyond an iOS app, despite Android’s larger user base) continue to frustrate us with desktop-optimised UIs that can lead to many ill-directed presses on mobile handsets. While developers haven’t responded, handset manufacturers have: smartphones are getting bigger and bigger. Perhaps though with the Galaxy Note 2, they may have finally reached their limit.