Chitika Insights recently revealed that Galaxy Note impressions, as a percentage of Galaxy Nexus impressions, had increased from 17% to 44% from February 25 to March 26. This piece of data can help us in determining the initial popularity of the “phablet” device.
We will need to make two assumptions to use this data. The first is that the change in impressions occurred in a straight-line fashion. The second is a bit more contentious; we have to assume that all ICS activations from February to April 2012 have been for the Galaxy Nexus. While this is obviously an inexact assumption, it is likely close enough to reality for our purposes as the Galaxy Nexus served as the halo device for the ICS launch and few other devices have been upgraded or released on the most recent Android version. We can then use the Google-provided version distribution and device sales rate data to develop the following chart of units in use of the two phones:
We can also look at the weekly rate to see how the popularity of the Note continues to strengthen:
I am actually quite surprised by the strength of demand for the Note. The size is confusing to me as a consumer and I don’t find it particularly practical, but it clearly provides some benefit to a segment of the mobile market.
Though the sales to date of 4.5 million units should in theory be a maximum, Samsung recently indicated that 5 million Galaxy Notes had been sold. I can only explain this variance as being the result of the Chitika impressions data being US-based while Google’s provided data is international. This indicates either that the Galaxy Nexus has been significantly more popular in the US than internationally, or the reverse for the Galaxy Note, or a combination of the two.
The current weekly sales rate of 1 million units for the Note represents 21.3% of the net additions to the Gingerbread user base. I will leave it to the reader to decide whether they consider this a positive or negative tidbit: on the one hand, this is a significant portion of an (albeit out-of-date) important version for Android unified on a single device. On the other, the device is probably the main contributor to the continued fragmentation of Android, especially given the hardware fragmentation it introduces (as opposed/ in addition to operating system fragmentation).
For the sake of comparison, I will also present the iPhone weekly sales rate (for the past quarter and the best estimate of the upcoming quarter). Again, the reader can decide whether this spells doom for Apple or whether Samsung’s business is being laughably outshined by Apple. I suspect the reader’s particular bias will mean a different answer for each of you.