Samsung saw a successful launch with its flagship Galaxy S3 back in May, and now the Korea-based manufacturer is gearing up for its next big release this coming fall: the Galaxy Note 2. The company began selling the “phablet” sequel in its home country of South Korea on Wednesday, and now plans to launch the device on UK shelves on Oct. 1.
South Korean fans will be the very first customers to get their hands on the Galaxy Note 2, but the launch will extend to 128 additional global markets through 260 worldwide mobile operators.
Although the UK release date was officially announced on Wednesday, it will not be the next nation after South Korea to offer the device. Android Authority believes on Sept. 28, Samsung will release the Galaxy Note 2 in Italy and possibly India.
Samsung has not revealed any information concerning the device’s price, despite the multitude of launch announcements. But that hasn’t stopped retailers from taking preorders. UK retailer Clove Technology has listed the 16GB Galaxy Note 2 at £440 without tax, which roughly translates to $712. This is believed to be the cost for a Galaxy Note 2 that is SIM-free and unsubsidized, according to Slash Gear.
Soon enough, British and Italian users will be able to purchase the next major smartphone from Samsung, which comes equipped with a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display, a digital stylus, an 8-megapixel camera and a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera. The UK variant will get HSPA+ connectivity, but no LTE like the U.S. edition, according to Slash Gear.
The Galaxy Note 2 will also be the first Android-powered phone to come with the latest operating system update out of the box: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The newest treat-themed software has been slowly rolling out to various devices since it was unveiled by Google in June, but many gadgets are still waiting for the upgrade.
While other nations will be getting Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 in a matter of days, U.S. users will have to be a little more patient. The U.S. release date for the second Galaxy Note won’t come until November, Samsung announced last week. Unlike its predecessor it will be offered on all major U.S. carriers, meaning that Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular will join AT&T in selling the second “phablet” smartphone. This follows in the footsteps of Samsung’s Galaxy S3, which was available on all major cellular networks in the U.S. following its launch.
However, news that the Galaxy Note 2 would come to Verizon’s network wasn’t a surprise for some. A photo of the smartphone with Verizon branding on the back had leaked one day earlier via Android news source Droid Life. But of the five American carriers, U.S. Cellular is the only network provider that has made any announcements concerning the Galaxy Note 2—and a fairly significant one at that.
U.S. Cellular has already begun offering preorders for the device at a price of $299, saying the 16GB Galaxy Note 2 will arrive by the end of October. This may seem a bit early, but Samsung did say that the gadget would come to the U.S. by mid-November, leaving room for the manufacturer to be flexible with its launch plans.
The original Galaxy Note reached up to 10 million in sales last month, and its sequel is expected to double this number. Global sales could hit the 20 million mark, as predicted by Samsung Mobile president Shin Jong-kyun ion an interview with Yonhap News Agency earlier this month.
Lisa Eadicicco is a reporter covering mobile technology and video games for The International Business Times. Lisa joined the editorial team at IBT in January 2012, and has...