My Samsung Note Counter Theory
So I'm an American [westerner] living in Hong Kong. The Samsung Galaxy Note has been available here since the end of last year and has been quite popular here. After listening to The Verge mobile podcast for this week and hearing Vlad throwing the possibility of reason for it's popularity here (read, Asia) is due to the language/character input "ease", I thought about this and my observations of locals gadget usage habits as well as having observed text input for Chinese. I don't believe this is the reason for it's (surprising) popularity.
Disclaimer: this is not a bash on Vlad nor an expert opinion of any sort. I do not claim to hold the truth to all mysteries. This is but a random-ish thought I had while on the 2 hour commute to work. Please do not hold me to my word on this. Just read the damn thing.
First, on to the idea of 5 key strokes for 1 character being inefficient and/or crazy (and I've been guilty of this thought so no judgments). This is actually an invalid thought of (seemingly logical) reasoning. Each character is (usually) 1 full word. I believe in some cases the words can be 2 characters long. Now think about that for just a moment. Around 5 to 6 key strokes per word. You can go back and count each character per word I've typed so far and that no longer seems so crazy. Interesting, no? The written language is actually fairly close to writing/typing something in English. There are actual studies on this, both spoken and written. Depending on how sloppy the person writes (my wife included) it could, in fact, be more efficient. Another fun fact/observation -same thing-, I don't think I've seen a single person using the stylus (errr... sorry, S Pen) except at the store prior to purchase. So I started thinking more (uh oh, that's dangerous). What could it be? Social status? New toy? Compensating? No. None of these seemed quite right, for various reasons. Then it clicked. I take public transit all over Hong Kong. Bus and train (owned, operated and funded by private companies, so is it really public?). A large number of people tend to be watching TV shows or movies on their cheap PMP's while checking Facebook and playing some mini games on their (usually) iPhone or Android device. For those of you not in the know, PMP's are these 4 to 6in. portable media player that typically just plays video and music, while not much else functionality. What had I observed from the people with the Galaxy Notes? They were watching movies and/or TV shows. Now they were just doing what they did before but on one device instead of two different ones. Efficiency. Instead of carrying the smaller 3.5in device along with the PMP, they're using the 5in as the end all solution.
Now, with that mini thesis out of the way, this is just my best guess. I haven't actually asked anyone why they chose the Note. Usually when a large white guy comes up to them and asks a question such as, "excuse me, why did you decide to buy that particular phone over another?" they just look at you funny and not respond (or run away screaming).
The real mystery in all the madness is via a gentleman I observed this morning while riding the bus to work. He was sitting there peaceful and happy, just reading news on his nice, new, thin Galaxy Tab 7.0 (while a large American peers over his shoulder in a quizzical manner, studying his gadget habits). Moments into this observation session, our subject reaches into his pocket and produces a nice, new, thin Galaxy Note...