Maybe four Galaxy Note III variants wouldn't be a bad thingEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
So, the Galaxy Note III is coming. Probably. While we've not heard anything official from Samsung quite yet, the word on the street is that Samsung will indeed be bringing a Galaxy Note II successor to market later this year. Probably around September, during IFA. At this rate, and based on yearly refresh tactics, it would be more surprising if Samsung didn't unveil a new Galaxy Note device.
But, considering that's not likely, and we will indeed more than likely see a new handset-caught-between-a-tablet, the focus is on how Samsung can spice up the mobile market with their new device. How they can compete with Apple's upcoming iPhone refresh. And, maybe even a little bit, how Samsung will continue to keep the spotlight on their Galaxy lineup, before it can wander off to HTC's rumored One Max.
The rumors that we've heard so far suggest that the Galaxy Note III will boast a 13-megapixel camera, and feature things like optical image stabilization. We all know that it will have a ton of other new features, too, but so far the rumor mill has stayed pretty quiet.
That could start changing soon, though, and it probably will. We're right around the two month mark for when IFA will kick off, so if Samsung does indeed have a new Galaxy Note to show off, we should start to see the fruits of their labors begin to leak out bit by bit over the next few weeks.
And it could have already started.
According to a report from Korean website ETNews, Samsung doesn't have one Galaxy Note III coming down the pipe, but actually has four different models planned. Yep. Four. And I bet when you read that, you weren't all that shocked, were you? Because this is Samsung we're talking about, and they love to provide all different kinds of choices for their customers, especially the ones that may not have purchased a Samsung-branded smartphone quite yet.
Now, as I said above, there's not much known about the next Galaxy Note device. This report from ETNews could be totally bogus, or it could be strikingly accurate. Right now, we just don't know. But, I wanted to touch on why it could be a bumpy road in September, if this report does pan out.
First, there aren't many details as to what each model will offer, or not offer, versus the other. According to the report, the first model will be made from "high quality materials," offer up a 13MP camera, feature an unbreakable AMOLED display, and be a "limited edition" device. The second and third models will reportedly feature the same 13-megapixel camera, a plastic body, and have a regular AMOLED and LCD display respectively.
The fourth model will apparently have only an 8MP camera, an LCD screen, and also be made from plastic. And that's it. Nothing more than that, like RAM or storage, or even processors. We've got the very basic information here, just barely above, "Hey, these things exist!".
I like that Samsung may have their "high quality" devices ready to go this year, considering we had heard that they wouldn't be unveiled until next year, or right around the launch of the Galaxy S 5. However, I can't help but feel a little concerned that the "limited edition" nature of the device may mean it isn't a model that's meant for widespread release. Meaning, that won't be the device that Samsung launches at IFA, but that it will be the second model, with the "regular AMOLED" display, that gets that job.
We've seen Samsung use an LCD panel as recently as the Galaxy S4 Active, so this third model makes sense -- or it isn't completely ridiculous, at the very least. The 8MP Galaxy Note III, though, seems a bit confusing, and maybe just a little pointless, unless it's going to see a significant price difference from the previous three models. That could, essentially, go right up against the rumored "cheap iPhone," if that's the route Samsung plans on going. But, in that regard, it would be a safe bet that the Galaxy Note III with the 8MP camera would also feature a lower-clocked processor, plus other sacrifices.
The other alternative is that these four different Galaxy Note III models could be headed to different markets around the globe. Would they offer up the same display size? How much memory will each model have? And, perhaps my most pressing question: will Samsung price this rumored "limited edition" device too extravagantly to limit it a serious potential purchase for most buyers?
On the bright side, if Samsung unveils all four Galaxy Note III variants at this year's IFA, goes into detail how they're different, what features some have and some don't, and unveils pricing and release dates all at the same time, at the same event, they could potentially have a hit on their hands. It will open up doors for potential buyers, as they'll know what they want, when they can get it, and what it will cost them. They'll be ready, instead of sideswiped (insert number of weeks) later by the unveiling of a new device.
We'll have to wait and see if this rumor pans out, and to see what, exactly, Samsung is planning for their next Galaxy Note flagship device. And I'll be the first to tell you that I'm still excited to see what Samsung has up their sleeve. It should be exciting!
What do you think of these rumors? Do you believe that there's any chance Samsung unveils four different Galaxy Note III variants? If they do, do you think that'll be a good idea for them? Or should they focus on just one, with high-end hardware and a laundry list of software features? Let me know what you think!