Samsung South Africa launched its latest mobile handset in for the South African market – the Galaxy Note II – at an extravagant event in Cape Town. The device is the tablet-phone hybrid follow-up from the original Galaxy Note that was released last year.
“Tonight we are launching the Galaxy Note II. Cape Town has all the characteristics of the Note II – it’s creative, it’s vibrant and friendly – all of which is why we decided to launch it here. The original Note sold over 10-million units, but I am sure the Note II will surpass it,” said Michelle Potgieter, Samsung’s Head of Corporate Marketing and Communications.
George Ferreira, Vice-President and COO of Samsung South Africa echoed Potgieter’s sentiments, saying that the theme of the Note II is all about being creative.
During his opening remarks at the press conference, prior to the launch, he revealed that 450-million mobile handsets are active in Africa, which equates to one phone for every two people on the continent.
“Africa is the second biggest mobile market in the world. 50% of the internet connections are exclusive to mobile users, and smartphones are outselling PCs four to one,” Ferreira said.
He also revealed Samsung’s plans for Africa. “Our strategy is to make sure we are ready to activate our technology across Africa. Samsung has some of the best-selling devices in the world. With our investment in Africa we see an incredible growth on the continent. The momentum of smartphones is driving the wave across Africa, and tablets are on the rise,” he said.
In terms of the Note II’s performance, Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics SA, highlighted some of the phone’s features and specifications.
“It uses a 5.5” screen – it’s an increase from the previous phone, but it’s slightly thinner. We have also installed a better battery and tweaked the settings for better battery consumption. The phone will also be available on 3G and LTE networks,” Fleischer said.
The Galaxy Note II will have a variety of new features such as Multitasking, PopUp Note, PopUp Video, Quick Command, Idea Sketch and a redesigned S Plannner. The popular S Pen has also been given a slight overhaul to be handled with better ease.
Regarding all the features, Fleischer added that “people like to have options and like to create innovative solutions. People will use the phone in different ways and we like to cater for that. We also have a number of apps being developed for the S Pen specifically.”
The Samsung Galaxy Note II will retail for around $1000 (R8000) and will be available in South Africa through mobile service providers MTN and Vodacom. While only the 3G is now available, an LTE version will be on the market before the end of the year.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor