updated 06:25 am EDT, Thu April 12, 2012
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 getting revised
After debuting a larger 10.1-inch version of its popular Galaxy Note 5.3 at Mobile World Congress, Samsung is said to be revising the product ahead of its launch. The revisions and delayed release dovetails with an earlier rumor that Samsung could be aiming to leapfrog the new iPad by offering a fully quad-core tablet before Apple does. Currently, the new iPad runs an Apple-designed A5X SoC which matches a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 with quad-core graphics provided by PowerVR's SGX543MP4.
The Verge spoke with Samsung reps at yesterday's press event for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 text series launch who confirmed that the Galaxy Note 10.1 revealed in February is not likely to match the shipping product. The 'original' Galaxy Note 10.1 ran the same 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos SoC as the Galaxy Note 5.3 and had the same 3-megapixel rear camera. According to the Samsung reps, the aim of showing the Galaxy Note 10.1 with the specifications it had at the time was to 'make a splash.'
Samsung was famously caught out by the launch of the iPad 2. It quickly canned its first Galaxy Tab 10.1 and launched a redesigned model that looked very similar to the iPad 2, but was also slightly thinner and lighter. However, there could be other factors that are behind the delay of the Galaxy Note 10.1 besides one-upping Apple.
Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 5.3 in October last year, making it the first purpose designed tablet in Samsung's range that offered native pen-input and dedicated apps to take advantage of its S-Pen. Samsung recently admitted that its tablet sales were not as strong as it had hoped, but has managed to ship over 5 million Galaxy Notes since its October debut. The Wacom and Samsung co-designed S-Pen also helped to more authentically differentiate the Galaxy Note 5.3.
The somewhat surprising success of the Galaxy Note 5.3 is likely to have prompted Samsung to experiment with a larger version to gauge public interest. The Galaxy Note 10.1 on show at the Mobile World Congress also conspicuously did not offer a built-in S-Pen storage slot as is the case with the Galaxy Note 5.3. The lack of complete S-Pen integration suggests that Samsung may have rushed the Galaxy Note 10.1 on display at that time and that it was always going to under go further revisions before Samsung was prepared to ship it.