Accelerate back to the present and those naysayers are eating their hats after Samsung revealed it shifted 10 million of the original phablet, and a rather more impressive 30 million of its successor, the Galaxy Note 2.
Eyebrows were raised at TechRadar too when the original Galaxy Note arrived with its S Pen stylus (not, as a certain Marc Chacksfield called it, the Pen S - that just sounds rude), but the larger screened device grew on us with smooth operation and an impressive display.
This is all good news for the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the latest installment in the Korean firm's super-sized handset range, sporting a 5.7-inch display, quad-core processor, 3GB or RAM and 13MP camera. On paper at least, it looks set to be a strong seller.
Sony looks to tackle Samsung
If Sony manages to hit that figure it would signal a 55% increase in sales over 2013's projected 45 million units shipped, and would further cement the Japanese firm's place in the market.
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.