Massive for the Masses

Three years ago at CES 2010, Dell teased us with a 5" phone-tablet running Android, the first of its kind. After only a year of sales, it was quietly discontinued in North America due to poor sales. Ultimately, it was a flop for Dell's first attempt at a phone.

One year later, Samsung had released its own 5" phone, the Galaxy Note. Samsung had just come off of creating an amazing Galaxy line of phones with the success of the SII almost half a year prior. In many respects, the Note was comparable to the Streak except for one defining feature: the Note had come with the S Pen and a slew of apps to take advantage of this pen accessory. The Note turned out to be a huge success, selling ten million units only a year after hitting the shelves. This was no small feat for any phone manufacturer, but for Samsung, this could be seen as a failure seeing as how the very first Galaxy I phone reached the same milestone in just over seven months; the Galaxy S II accomplished this in only five months; and Samsung’s now three-month-old flagship, the Galaxy S III, had reached the milestone in just a little over two months. A year after the release of the original Galaxy Note, Samsung released the Galaxy Note II, which is projected to hit the ten million sales number in Q1 of 2013.

Fast forward three years from the Dell Streak teaser at CES 2013, the crowd has finally caught on. Phone manufacturers like Sony, Lenovo, ZTE, Alcatel, and Vizio are trying to catch up to the hype of the 5” phone, each releasing its own version. HTC released its version in October in the Japanese market and a month later in the US market through mobile network carrier Verizon. LG released a 5” phone that also came with a pen in mid July as a direct competitor to the Galaxy Note. Huawei is even being so bold as to release a 6.1” device, further blurring the line between phone and tablet. But with two years of experience and an established market presence, will Samsung feel any sales pressure on its Galaxy Note lineup devices?

Moral of the story: an innovative idea does not mean you will succeed.