The Pentax K-01 is clearly an attempt by Pentax to stand out from the wide variety of options that are now available in the ever expanding compact system camera market.
It seems unlikely that the company would ever be able to take on the marketing might of existing giants such as Panasonic, Sony, Nikon and Olympus, so it needs to do something to create waves. That's exactly what the K-01 achieves. Whether or not those waves are for the right reason, is difficult to tell.
Though it's likely to cause some division, the design is sturdy and it feels like a "proper" camera that has been built to last. The extra appeal of the large variety of Pentax lenses already on the market also sets it apart from its rivals who have a much more limited range.
It's difficult to tell at the moment who will want to buy this camera. It seems obvious that existing Pentax users looking for a pocketable alternative to their main camera body would be interested. But given its large size and weight (it's not too far off the size of an entry level DSLR), some may not consider it portable enough to do that job.
Time will tell if the Pentax K-01 can maintain the buzz surrounding its launch and translate that into actual camera sales, and we'll be very keen to put it through its paces once a full review sample is available.