Apple is set to make a device announcement in September, which is rumored to be either the iPhone 5 or the iPad Mini. Not to be outdone, Samsung has confirmed two new products in its Galaxy Note line, which will compete against Apple's flagship iOS offerings.
Samsung is at the top of its game, having overtaken Nokia as the world's top mobile phone manufacturer. However, the enterprise market still has a close affinity to Apple and the iPad, which had a 94.5% share in enterprise tablet activations in Q2 2012. Android is therefore playing catch-up as a platform in this market. It's no wonder Samsung is scheduling its product announcements mere weeks before Apple's product launches.
Samsung may want to have an equalizer with a device offering enterprise-friendly features. The Galaxy S III, launched this May, has proved to be a hit, selling 10 million units as of end July. However, Samsung's latest announcement will go beyond smartphones, as it involves smartphone-tablet hybrids, particularly the Galaxy Note.
Samsung has recently officially launched the 10.1 edition of the Galaxy Note, with Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi plus HSPA+ and Wi-Fi plus LTE variants. The Korean company is also set to launch version 2 of its oversized smartphone (or is it an under-sized tablet?), the five-incher Galaxy Note, whose main appeal is its pocketable form factor.
Focus on Productivity
One appealing feature of the Galaxy Note is its native stylus support. Capacitive touchscreen devices don't usually offer digitizer support, but Samsung went out of its way to give users an additional means to manipulate content. The Galaxy Note 10.1's most distinctive feature is its S Pen stylus and the special apps that take advantage of this interface, particularly the S Pen Experience suite.
The Galaxy Note also offers a resizable and movable keyboard for improved screen real estate while in landscape mode. The 10.1-inch Note also has multi-screen support. Users can split the screen into two and run two apps parallel with each other, taking advantage of the Android tablet's multitasking abilities.
Undercutting the New iPhone?
Samsung has already launched the 10.1 Galaxy Note officially. However, invitations have also been sent out to the press for an August 29 launch of version 2 of the 5-inch Galaxy Note, which is rumored to have an upgraded processor and a slightly larger screen.
What's interesting with this launch is that the event comes just two weeks shy of Apple's planned iDevice announcement on September 12. The announcement can either be the next iPhone or a much-anticipated iPad Mini, which should be a smaller version of the familiar iPad.
Apple and Samsung are still locking horns in their infamous patent infringement litigation. Apple has accused Samsung of copying its iOS device designs. Samsung, meanwhile, has accused Apple of unauthorized use of its 3G technologies. Perhaps this is why Samsung is eager to be first to market with its new products.