AT&T will be the first to offer the device that ZDNet dubs a “phablet” for a two-year, $149.99 contract or $24 per month under its AT&T Next installment plan.
Carriers Sprint and US Cellular did not specify their release dates for the Android device, which offers the same features as the Galaxy 4, but with a larger screen and an eight-megapixel camera.
Samsung is clearly placing the emphasis on the mini-tablet quality of the device. In his official statement announcing its U.S. release, Nick DiCarlo, vice president of product planning and marketing at Samsung Mobile, called the Galaxy Mega “an optimal device for movies, books, music and games.”
So what does it mean for advertisers?
The billion-dollar question is: "How will consumers define the device? Is it a mini-tablet that happens to have a phone app? Or a phone with a bigger screen?” says Tom Cunniff, founder of Cunniff Consulting, which serves CPG brands and companies in Big Data, social and mobile.
“If it's a mini tablet, it could be a game-changer for mobile ads -- especially as free WiFi slowly becomes ubiquitous. If it's a phone with a bigger screen, then... meh. Nothing really changes,” Cunniff tells Marketing Daily. “Marketers have a powerful opportunity to impact this definition by offering free experiences that are tablet-like. But they can't take a ‘wait and see’ attitude. The consumer perception about what sort of device it is will solidify fast.”
Al DiGuido, president of Optimus Publishing, which creates custom advertising with an emphasis on tablets, said a lot will depend on the installed base.
Samsung’s challenge, he adds, is targeting a user base that is already using a competing tablet and/or smartphone product (typically Apple) and convincing them to leave Apple and join on with the Samsung view of the world.
“The battle for Samsung is much more than creating a functionally better product,” DiGuido adds. “It is a marketing challenge to capture that same passion that the Apple Nation has for its product line. Not easy.”
The Mega is already available in Europe, Russia, and South Korea.