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Samsung: 10M Galaxy Notes sold in nine months

Samsung talks up the benchmark during the unveiling of the Galaxy Note 10.1.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Samsung executive Tim Baxter and filmmaker Baz Luhrmann at the U.S. Galaxy Note 10.1 unveiling.
Brian Bennett/CNET

Samsung Electronics has sold 10 million Galaxy Notes in the past nine months, according to Younghee Lee, head of global marketing for the conglomerate's mobile division.

Lee made the comment in the middle of Samsung's unveiling of the Galaxy Note 10.1 today in New York. The company previously said it sold 5 million 5.3-inch Galaxy Notes in five months.

The Galaxy Note sold well despite skepticism that the device was too big to serve as a phone, and too small to work as a tablet. Many had taken to calling it a "phablet."

Samsung, however, was attempting to create a new market with a tweener product that bridged the tablet and phone, and it has apparently succeeded.

"We've opened a new category," Lee said.

It's clear Samsung wants to establish some credibility for this new market by touting these numbers. The company typically reveals only the number of units shipped to its partners, as opposed to those purchased by consumers. That Samsung has been so forthcoming with the sales data suggests it wants it to be known the Note is a success.

Meanwhile, the company trotted out a number of high-profile figures, including filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and fashion designer Zac Posen to talk about the content creation aspect of the Galaxy Note 10.1, which like the Galaxy Note comes with a stylus called the S-Pen. Executives also talked up the tablet's ability to handle multiple apps on the same screen, as well as its potential as a learning tool.

"Expect more educational apps from us in the future," said Travis Merrill, director of marketing for Samsung.

Merrill added that the tablet, which runs on Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, will get the upgrade to Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean, sometime later this year.

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