Take that Apple: Samsung’s Galaxy Note II hits the five million mark

It was released just two months ago – yet Samsung has revealed its Galaxy Note II has already sold five million units.

Criticised by some as being too big for a smartphone and too small for a tablet, this hybrid clearly still has lots of fans.

Best known for its S-pen feature, this 5.5inch device also comes with a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage – which you can expand to 128GB with memory cards.

The data released by the South Korean technology giant is for channel sales, which means the units have been sold to retailers. Shipped to shops and online sellers, there may not yet be five million customers who have snapped up the second-generation device, but there is obviously a high demand.

Samsung believes it will sell around 20 million of the supersized smartphones in total, twice that of its original Note.

If you compare it to the firm’s flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S3, which sold 30 million in just 150 days, it’s a mere drop in the ocean. But, it just goes to show there are a lot of people out there who want what was seen as a niche product.

The Note II has won rave reviews from tech critics, with Mobile Choice UK praising its ease-of-use, performance and functionality.

And others have clearly seen the appeal of a larger smartphone. The HTC Deluxe is just one of the bigger devices expected to hit the market. Known in Japan as the J Butterfly, rumours began flying when EvLeaks tweeted a picture of the device, with the message “HTC Deluxe, global edition”.

So far, HTC has denied reports that a 5-inch device will be launched in Europe, but analysts believe it could be showcased at the Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.

The unqualified success of the device comes as Samsung’s lawsuit with Apple rumbles on. Apple filed documents to the San Jose federal court in California earlier this month, claiming Samsung is infringing its patents on six of its gadgets.

Samsung is also coping with the bad publicity which has come after unacceptable work practices have been found at some of its suppliers, although it has issued ultimatums to bring conditions up to scratch.

China Labour Watch, which investigates factories making goods for some of the world’s biggest companies, has criticised Samsung, accusing the firm, along with Apple of bad hiring and working practices.

Now Samsung has revealed it has found illegal work practices after carrying out an audit of 105 of its Chinese suppliers, with 65,000 employees. The firm said, while it had found no use of child labour, there were instances of excessive overtime being worked.

Samsung says it has now given its suppliers a two-year deadline to meet employment laws. The firm said: “We have identified the need for initiatives to reduce employee overtime as a top priority, and we are researching and developing measures that will eliminate hours beyond legal limits by the end of 2014.”