Ahead of its scheduled previewing at the 2013 Mobile World Congres in Barcelona, pictures of the supposed Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 were leaked out.
The images were first published by Italian website DDay.it and picked up shortly by SamMobile. Most depicted the upcoming mini tablet from Samsung being held in a portrait position and used by a man.
While Samsung has confirmed that another Galaxy slate will rollout from its production lines, these images represent the first solid proof of the Note 8.0's existence. It is widely believed that the new slate will try to wrestle with Apple's iPad for global leadership of the tablet market.
Also, Samsung would want to arrest the momentum gained by the 7-inch Nexus 7, which was jointly produced by Google and Asus and released in late 2012. The small tablet has gained strong following since then, roundly eliciting praise for unwrapping features that exceeded its price level.
Per Samsung's admission early last year, its tablet lines have been performing below expectations, with once executive bemoaning that the Galaxy Tab was hardly making a dent in the tablet arena that remains in the full grip of Apple's iPad.
Things, however, improved by the second half of 2012. Research firms pointed to the surging shipment numbers of Android tablets. In particular, Samsung tablets gained traction in the period, upping its market share from single digit to double digits.
Not to be looked over is the emergence of small tablet class, triggered by Amazon's Kindle Fire with the Nexus 7 following suit. Apple was compelled to join the fray by issuing the iPad Mini despite earlier pronouncements from the late Steve Jobs that his company would not stoop down to such level.
Now Samsung is jumping into the pool with the Galaxy Note 8.0. Note that this is not the company's first attempt. There was the Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.0 and Galaxy Tab 7.7 Plus but they paled in comparison to the market leaders.
With its rumoured specs that largely outshine rivals out there, specifically the iPad Mini, Samsung is hopeful that its fresh try will finally ruffle the industry like it did with the Galaxy S series smartphones.
Apple's iPhone routinely beats the first Galaxy S and the Galaxy S2 but Samsung hit big last year with the Galaxy S3. Strategic Analytics said in Q3 2012 that the S3 edged out the Apple smartphone in global sales figures.
Samsung is upbeat that the same pattern will be applicable to its Galaxy tablets.
To contact the editor, e-mail: