It’s not just pachyderms that love the Galaxy Note – the oversized smartphone seems to be a hit with those on two legs as well. Samsung has announced that its Galaxy Note has sold more than five million units worldwide, just five months after its introduction in Europe. As the phone has spread to Asia and North America it’s winning a share of the market that many thought impossible for a device with such an unconventional form factor – and the many millions that Samsung has spent on promotion doesn’t hurt, either.

The hardware merits of the Galaxy Note are impossible to deny: it’s got the largest screen of any smartphone currently on the market, and it uses Samsung’s excellent Super AMOLED panel at a stunning 1280×800 to boot. Add that to a fast dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, 8 megapixel camera and old-school S-Pen stylus, which uses a Wacom active digitizer for greater accuracy and pressure sensitivity. Though the phone launched with Gingerbread, it’ll get an ICS update in the second quarter.  The oversized form factor had been considered something of a gamble (just to compare, the screen on the Note is almost as wide as the iPhone’s is tall) but consumers the world over have responded with enthusiasm.

Samsung seems to have single-handedly created the a niche – sorry, Dell Streak fans, that one doesn’t count. But plenty of companies are ready to step up and fight for the marketshare. Ignoring all of the “normal” smartphones that are reaching into the 4.7-inch screen area, there’s LG’s Optimus Vu, with a 5.0-inch 4:3 screen, and Panasonic’s new ELUGA Power, with a 5.0-inch 720p screen. Neither of these models have hit the market yet, but you can expect a “Galaxy Note killer” from every major manufacturer before the end of 2012.

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[via SlashGear]