Super Bowl Sunday 2012: Galaxy Note to Make a Splash But Will it be Enough?

   on February 04 2012 10:05 AM
Samsung Galaxy Note
Super Bowl Sunday 2012: Galaxy Note to Make a Splash But Will it be Enough? IBTimes

South Korean electronics giant Samsung is all set to reveal its newest Galaxy Note ad at Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 5) and it's going to be a treat for Android fans.

The newest ad is part of a series of Samsunged ads made by Samsung to tease Apple and iPhone fans, who are forced to wait in long lines to get their hands on Apple devices.

Samsung has been making jibes at Apple for long with its ad tagline The Next Big Thing is already here, which suggests that Samsung smartphones are superior to the iPhone in whatever form it's taking next.

The newest tagline is The Next Big Thing is already here...Again, an apparent hint that Galaxy Note too is superior to the iPhone.

During the past six months we've launched the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus and now the Galaxy Note super phone in North America bringing unparalleled innovation to the marketplace. The Galaxy Note ushers in the era of truly personalized communications, allowing people to capture, share and create like never before, said Todd Pendleton, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Telecommunications America.

No doubt, Samsung has poured millions of dollars into Galaxy Note's Super Bowl ad, which will air on Sunday. The teaser (see below) promises that the ad will be funny. And, it ought to be because it was directed by Bobby Farrelly, whose credits include Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary.

This is a big deal because it's the first time that Samsung will be airing its ad at the Super Bowl. Samsung claims the ad will be one of the longest in the game, which points to at least a 60-second or even a 90-second slot. It's an ad spot, which most other advertisers would kill for and Samsung has spent millions of dollars on securing it. But will it be able to create such an impression in viewers that those will be translated to sales figures?

Samsung said it has shipped over 1 million Galaxy Note devices in Korea, Hong Kong, France and other markets where it has been launched. However, it faces an acid test in the U.S. market and mere marketing blitz may not be enough.

Why? The biggest problem that Samsung faces is categorizing Galaxy Note. The ad that ran in Las Vegas during CES 2012 event with the tagline Is it a smartphone? Is it a tablet? It's Galaxy Note has left the public confused and wondering whether the device with the 5.3-inch touchscreen display and stylus should be categorized as a smartphone or a tablet.

Samsung later cleared the air, categorizing Galaxy Note as a smartphone. However, the ambiguous form factor has persuaded the media to categorize it as a smartphone/tablet hybrid, a tweener device.

And, this is where the problem lies. According to Rob Enderle of Enderle Group, consumers' response to smartphones/tablets in the 5-inch to 7-inch range has been lukewarm at best and Dell's two Streak tablets which were pulled off the market within a year of their launch testifies that Samsung is taking a risky gamble.

That form factor has been problematic, Computerworld quoted Enderle as saying. It requires a lot of marketing to be successful, which Dell didn't do with Streak.

ABI Research analyst Kevin Burden also feels 'tweener' devices haven't been too successful. That's a stretch for me, Burden said. We simply don't know how successful the Note will be, since our only real experience was with the Streak. Tweener devices don't always do well.

According to John Feland, CEO and founder of Argus Insights, Galaxy Note's biggest setback could be its form factor. Galaxy Note is large to hold in one hand and take notes with the other hand, TechNewsWorld quoted Feland as saying. The other hiccup was that the stylus only works on the screen, not the touch buttons that control key Android functions. As such, users have to orchestrate a complex juggling dance to hold the tablet, switch the grip on the pen and then hit the button.

And, then there's the sticker price shock - Galaxy Note has been priced at $299.99 with a 2-year contract, which is $100 more than entry-level iPhone 4S (16GB model).

However, Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates feels Galaxy Note will be successful especially if Samsung pitches the usefulness and need of the stylus well. The stylus, Gold said, is a great idea by Samsung to try and elevate the device beyond being just a smartphone.

For instance, Gold said, the stylus is absolutely necessary for navigation and drawing.

However, Galaxy Note's success will also depend on the apps that will be specifically be created for stylus use. It will depend on the kind of apps that take advantage of the stylus capability that determine if users accept it or demand it...It can help content creation, Computerworld quoted Gold as saying.

ABI's Burden also feels stylus will play an important role in making or breaking Galaxy Note because a 5.3-inch touchscreen almost demands more productivity from a user.

It could get frustrating for users if they didn't have the option of using a stylus, Burden said.

Enderle also feels Samsung needs to position Galaxy Note well and explain to the public how it is different from other smartphones. For instance, Galaxy Note could be useful to digital artists as it can be used as a digital canvas. in the alternative, the device can also be used by students to take down handwritten notes, or by music or video producers to record, view and edit music and videos on the device itself.

In other words, Samsung needs to clearly explain what the device is capable of.

Moreover, Galaxy Note, being a 'tweener' device, may cater to the needs of someone who's looking for a device with smartphone and tablet capabilities but is not willing to spend on two different devices.

Perhaps, Samsung will try to target this group of audience - those who are looking to condense their device usage into a single product - when it airs its Super Bowl ad on Sunday.

Samsung is expected to draw attention especially to the S Pen stylus that accompanies Galaxy Note.

To the untrained eye, S Pen look like any any typical stylus, but look a little closer and you'll see that it has been engineered in such a way so that it is not only fast and responsive but also it gives the user precise control over what is written or drawn on the device display, much like an ink pen would on a paper pad.

With the S Pen, the user write a note or e-mail, sketch a drawing, annotate websites or even write in freehand the words they'd like to send in a text message.

Moreover, Galaxy Note comes with Samsung's proprietary multimedia application called S Memo, which has been designed to convert those scribbles, sketches or notes into a memo, which the user can save or share.

The application not only allows the user to share the content with others, but also features an easy screen-capture function that allows users to capture and save any screen and annotate it being saving it or sharing it with others.

S Memo also boasts of a smart professional planning tool and a calendar that integrates the device's to-do list and schedule.

In conclusion, Galaxy Note can become a success, especially if it appeals to those who are seeking a device, which they can carry in a briefcase, purse or a coat pocket. But for those who like keeping their devices in their jeans pocket, Galaxy Note could be a turn off.

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