Samsung mails out invitations, hints at a Galaxy Note III

The Galaxy Note III, Samsung's newest phablet, would go up against devices such as the Apple iPad Mini and the Google Nexus 7. 

A woman using a mobile phone walks past a display at a shop in Samsung's main office building in central Seoul, on July 23, 2013.

Samsung has issued invitations for a Sept. 4 product launch in Berlin

And although the South Korean company hasn't explicitly identified the device in question, all signs point to the official unveiling of the Galaxy Note III phablet. (The invites feature the phrase "note the date.")

The Galaxy Note III is not a secret. Rumors about the super-sized smart phone (or pint-sized tablet, if you prefer) have been percolating since this spring. According to the latest leaks, the Note III will be equipped with a 5.7-inch display, a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and the Android 4.3 mobile operating system; there's also word of support for LTE Advanced networks. 

Why a phablet and not just another smart phone? Well, because despite their ungainly size, phablets remain beloved by consumers. 

Consider, for instance, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, which was released in 2012, and which sold extremely well around the globe – Engadget later called it a "massive success." Analytics firm Transparency Market Research has gone so far as to predict that the phablet market will swell to $116.4 billion by 2018. 

In related news, Samsung recently disclosed that in Q2 of 2013, its mobile division posted a lower profit than in Q1 of 2013. Part of the problem, Samsung reps said, is due to marketing costs, and part of it is the still sluggish economy. 

"Entering into a typically strong season for the IT industry, we expect earnings to continue to increase," Robert Yi, who heads up investor relations at Samsung, said in a statement. "However, we cannot overlook delayed economic recovery in Europe and risks from increased competition for smartphone and other set products."

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