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The Note II is an Android-based smartphone that has a 5.5-inch display with 1280 x 720 pixels and uses an S Pen (stylus) for interacting with the device. A quad-core 1.6-GHz Exynos processor provides the device's motivation, and it sports an 8-megapixel camera that can also capture 1080p HD video.
The device is a major improvement over the original. It has a larger, better screen, a faster processor, better camera and a revised shape that makes it somewhat easier to hold and use.
The five-million device benchmark is a global figure. The device is for sale in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. In the United States, it is being sold by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile USA. Pricing for the device varies by carrier and ranges from $299 to $369 with a new contract.
Samsung has not provided detailed information on actual sales in the individual countries selling the Note II.
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Investment bank UBS believes Samsung is well on its way to selling a record number of smartphones during the fourth quarter of the year, thanks in part to the Note II and Galaxy S III devices.
"The Galaxy Note 2 has shipped 3 million units in its first five weeks of sales, with sell-through strong in Asia and Europe, and the U.S. gathering pace post-launch," said Nicolas Gaudois, an analyst at UBS. "We hence forecast 7 million Galaxy Note 2 [shipments], compared to our initial expectation of 5 million for the fourth quarter."
UBS downplayed the possibility that the Galaxy S III, which is now six months old, will see a sales decline during the fourth quarter. "We see a limited ramp-down, if any at all, for the GSIII, and we feel comfortable with our 15 million estimate for the fourth quarter of 2012," said Gaudois. UBS pointed out that the GSIII sold 5.5 million units in October alone. It is available from the five largest wireless network operators in the U.S.
UBS believes Samsung will sell more than 60 million smartphones during the fourth quarter, which would be a new record for the company.