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Galaxy Note II hits 5 million mark in two months

Does the success of the plus-sized Samsung Galaxy Note II portend a rosy future for the 'phablet' market? 

By Matthew Shaer / November 26, 2012

The Samsung Galaxy Note II is selling well, Samsung said this week.

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Samsung has unloaded 5 million Samsung Galaxy Note II handsets in approximately two months, the South Korean company announced this week. 

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Not bad for a device that occupies the murky middle ground between small tablet and super-sized smartphone. As we noted recently, the display on the Galaxy Note II measures 5.5 inches, corner to diagonal corner, which is an inch and a half larger than the already-pretty-big 4-inch display on the new Apple iPhone 5. (For an extra point of comparison, the Kindle Fire has a 7-inch display.) It even comes with a stylus to help navigate all that screen space. 

In his review of Note II, Jared Newman of Time Magazine called the Galaxy Note II something of a "trade-off" – more apps, more room for a bigger battery, but a little less easy to flick around. 

"The biggest problem with the Galaxy Note II is the one that’s inherent to its size: You cannot comfortably use it with one hand," Newman wrote. "Sure, you can flip through the home screen and scroll through apps with your thumb, but good luck tapping something at the top of the screen, or reaching beyond the home button to either the back or menu buttons (depending on which hand you’re using)." 

Question: Does the success of the Galaxy Note II, a close cousin of the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S III, portend a rosy future for the "phablet" market? After all, plenty of other manufacturers have gotten into the game in recent months, including HTC, which recently released a very big smartphone called the Droid DNA (more on that here). 

The answer, in our opinion, is a qualified yes. There is obviously a market for plus-sized smart phones, although demand lags behind demand for more conventionally sized devices. 

"Despite hitting the 5 million figure," writes Zack Whittaker of CNET, "the Note 2's sales are way behind that of the Galaxy S III: Samsung sold 20 million of its flagship smartphone in the first 100 days after its launch." 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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