At this point, we can be fairly sure an 8-inch Galaxy Note tablet is a thing that's happening. It has shown up in numerous benchmarks (as the GT-N5100), and supposedly packs a 1280x800 LCD display, which we can all but guarantee will be of the Wacom variety.

Now, Samsung's head of mobile JK Shin has allegedly confirmed the device's existence to Korean news outlet iNews24. The announcement was made at an invitation-only dinner with some of Samsung's newly-promoted high-level officers. Also on the list were a few members of the Korean press. At some point, Shin revealed to iNews that the 8-inch Note would be revealed at MWC in Barcelona, late next month. No other details were provided.

While our Korean (read: Google Translate's Korean) isn't exactly up to snuff, the way we read it, it sounds like Samsung also confirmed that neither of its next major phones will be announced at MWC. This is far from surprising. Samsung unveiled the S III at its own private event in London last May, and there is no reason to expect them to change that strategy this year for the S IV (or whatever it's called). We're likely a long ways off from the next Note phone(s), so there's no reason to expect those, either.

The 8-inch Note, widely assumed to be Samsung's play against the iPad Mini, is a more logical fit for a trade show announcement for two reasons. First, it's far from guaranteed that an 8-inch Note tablet will be a sales success. The Note 10.1 hasn't exactly caught on like wildfire (at least in the US), and none of Samsung's past tablets have really managed to make a sizable dent in the marketplace. Second, it's a fantastic opportunity to do a little one-upsmanship on every other company showing off products. I can guarantee the line for Samsung's MWC press event will be the longest, and that its booth will be the most crowded. Samsung enjoys even more brand recognition in Europe than the US, so expect things to be at a fever pitch come February.

You can also bet Samsung will milk said excitement for every ounce of coverage it's worth - so get ready for teaser videos and pictures of carefully silhouetted rectangles out the wazoo over the coming weeks.

iNews24 via Engadget