Apparently a 5.3-inch smartphone isn’t too big, and having stylus to go with it doesn’t mean it’s a failure: Samsung announced 5 million sales of its Galaxy Note Wednesday. Even with the included stylus, the oversized phone — or undersized tablet — is the right size for success.


Apparently a 5.3-inch smartphone isn’t too big, and having stylus to go with it doesn’t mean it’s a failure: Samsung announced 5 million sales of its Galaxy Note in a blog post on Wednesday. Previously, the company has reported device shipments, but Samsung specifically means actual end-user sales, making the oversized phone — or undersized tablet — just the right size for success.

I suspect that because of the size and stylus, the Note can’t be properly evaluated in a short hands-on session. I tried to do just that and came away with mixed feelings: Nice hardware, but an odd-feeling size in the hand; likely because there have been so few devices in this size range. But if the handset can replace both a phone and tablet while still being highly portable, that’s a plus. Clearly, 5 million people think so.

The Galaxy Note, an LTE device on AT&T’s network here in the U.S., has only been available here since Feb. 19 even though it launched overseas in October. And Samsung shipped 1 million Galaxy Notes before the end of December. That tells me that most of the sales have likely come from Asia and Europe. Asia actually makes the most sense as I recall the early days of Window Mobile nearly a decade ago: The stylus-based devices often did well in Asia because of the handwriting support for the character-based languages in that region of the world.

Even so, I wouldn’t count out the Galaxy Note in the U.S. even though many here have an “anti-stylus” mentality. Along with the upcoming upgrade to Android 4.0 for the Galaxy Note, Samsung is adding a Premium Suite of software that will give even stylus naysayers more value from the device’s included S-Pen.

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  1. “Shipped” 5 million failures… Not Sold.

    1. The “shipped” vs “sold argument” might make a bit of sense when you’re only talking about a few hundred thousand units at most, and about the first or second month after launch. That’s because they might’ve shipped a lot of them but nobody wanted them.

      But when you’re talking about 5 millions, and still going strong, that point makes a lot less sense, because it’s not like they only sold 1 million, and 4 million are still in stock. The more realistic scenario is that they’ve already sold 4.5 million, and have 500,000 more in stock, that will be sold over the next 2 weeks. So the shipped vs sold argument is almost irrelevant here.

      1. Great comment. Too many commenters, like John ape what they read on blogs.

    2. its a phone for elephant! its not the stylus that gets people interested..its just the big dumb screen that’s not comfortable to hold on one hand.

      1. I have considered the Note, but won’t make a purchase until an update arrives. I did one a Dell Streak, and yes it looked ridiculous plastered to my head. But given that I make a call or two a day, and typically where headphones with a microphone, it does not matter.

        Samsung is doing well with the profile, and only highlights the shortsightedness and shoddy execution of Dell. Hopefully them never make another device.

    3. Read the article.
      “Previously, the company has reported device shipments, but Samsung specifically means actual end-user sales.”

  2. Note user here. I love it. Also, I almost never use the stylus. Does that change anything for you?

  3. The combination of the stylus and Swype is actually pretty awesome.

  4. I want the Note, when is it coming to Sprint?????

  5. This is sold this time not shipment

  6. I bought the Note here in the US a few days after it’s release. I decided on it over the skyrocket ultimately because I love browsing the Web, playing games, and having decent realestate for showing my photos taken with my DSLR. I was afraid of the size and had no intention of using the stylus. Now I absolutely love everything about it. The size had never been an issue. I use the stylus for just about everything including taking down quick notes our drawing something out for friends. My friends call it the shrinking phone because the more you use it the smaller it seems to become until it just feels like a normal phone. It sounds like a ridiculous idea but now every one if my friends want one. You really can’t beat it unless your specifically looking for a smaller phone. In that care this phone wasn’t designed for you so no need to complain about it.

  7. It might look too big for comfort but dont judge too soon till u try it in your daily life…

    I used galaxy s2 and ever since i changed to note, i cannot use back s2 anymore. Know that for a fact that sometimes i still access my wife’s s2

    The stylus is well hidden and using it on s memo is useful when u want to bring across any points accross.

  8. at this point it makes maybe more sense to wait for the refresh around Q3 … which will prob have same form factor but without bezel … ~6″

  9. I love my Galaxy Note and it has nothing to do with the stylus – so maybe correlating sales to stylus support is somewhat short sighted – if the is a Galaxy Note II that uses that stylus space for a little more battery I’d be double happy

  10. I’m sick of people bringing up the Stylus as a negative. It’s there, if you want to use it you can, if you don’t just use the phone like a normal touch screen phone. If anything, the lack of stylus support (being a lack of additional functionality) should be a negative for all other phones.

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