Today, Samsung kicked off global sales of its latest Galaxy Note 3 smartphone in Seoul. The phablet, which boasts a 5.7-inch screen will be available in 140 nations by October.
The Galaxy Note 3 is a cross between a phone and a tablet – a so-called “phablet” – which has a larger screen than an average smartphone but is more portable than tablet rivals such as the iPad and Google Nexus.
It is the third version of the device, which originally launched back in 2011, and comes with a 5.7-inch screen, a 13-megapixel camera and will run on 4G.
The Note has since grown in stature every year since its first-generation 5.3-inch screen. The Note 3’s screen is nearly two-thirds bigger than Apple’s 3.5-inch iPhone, and manufacturers are increasingly adopting immense screens dangerously close to tablet territory.
Samsung says phablets are largely popular in markets such as China, South Korea, Europe and Southeast Asia.
Samsung’s much-anticipated Gear smartwatch was also released today. The device allows users to make calls, displays messages, records videos and snaps photos, all while the user’s phone stays in the pocket or handbag.
“Smartwatches will be the most important new product category in consumer electronics since the iPad defined the market for tablets,” said Chris Jones, a vice president at Canalys.
“Software platforms tied to smartwatches will also be a tremendous opportunity for developers to write apps in categories such as health and wellness or sports and fitness.”
The company’s decision not to make the smartwatch compatible with smartphones made by other companies has been criticised by some reviewers and is likely to limit sales.
The Galaxy Gear smartwatch’s recommended retail price is £299, while the Note 3 will cost around £599.
Samsung also today announced plans to launch handsets with curved displays. Sales of the plastic devices will be released in South Korea in October.
Samsung’s domestic rival LG Electronics Inc is planning to launch its 5.2-inch Vu 3 on Friday.