Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? It’s the best of both worlds; at least that’s what the commercials for Samsung’s Galaxy Note have been drilling into our brains for the past two months now. But despite the fact that Samsung has taken a clear interest in strongly advertising this product, like every smartphone/tablet device before it the Galaxy Note has much of the tech world taking a wait-and-see approach, questioning whether such a hybrid could ever be a hit with consumers.
But as many of us sit here looking down our noses at a device that markets itself as the perfect blend of smartphone and tablet technology, Samsung has rolled out some surprising numbers in support of this claim, most notably that it has already moved 5 million units out the door. Based in part of these numbers, the Korean tech company also revealed that the Note has skyrocketed to the number 1 spot in the domestic Korean smartphone market as well as Chinese, French, and Spanish markets as well.
Truly it’s a victory for the much maligned hybrid device, or is it? While some of you may now be wagging that finger of derision at me for my lambasting for the Note when it was unveiled and when it was released, I still take these numbers with a grain of salt. The simple fact is that Samsung’s claims are based on units shipped, not units sold, bringing to mind a picture of boxes of unsold stock instead of one of millions of satisfied customers.
While on the face of it the numbers seem impressive, you don’t have to look far on Samsung’s website to find the disclaimer that these figures actually represent the units shipped and not the units sold, an infinitely more comprehensible scenario seeing that Samsung is clearly silly enough to produce and ship tonnes of these hybrid devices on the back of a strong carpet bomb-esque marketing campaign; a situation that allows me to maintain my original argument that the tech consuming public simply isn’t silly enough to buy them.
Truthfully this is not the first time Samsung has fudged the numbers by releasing figures related to volume shipped rather than devices sold in an effort to artificially generate consumer buzz. In fact, the Korean tech company made similiar statements regarding its Galaxy Tab Android tablet computers when the line was first released; followed by a confession last month that the tablet has seen disappointing sales.
So you’ll have to forgive me if the scenario that comes readily to mind is one of warehouses full of boxes of unsold Galaxy Note stock instead of one where 5 million satisfied customers are walking the streets absolutely in love with the fact that their face is partially obscured by their gigantic hybrid device (in fact, I have yet to see one person walking the streets with the Galaxy Note).
To be fair, there’s no question in my mind that the Note will find its niche market, especially among certain professional and artistic crowds who will find value in the ability to scribble notes, drawings, or thoughts onto the phone with the stylus, but I would guess that even so, such adoption won’t be enough to keep the Note around for very long.