Discussion: Is Samsung intentionally making the Galaxy Note series irrelevant?

Discussion: Is Samsung intentionally making the Galaxy Note series irrelevant?

The Galaxy Note may be losing its sheen, but now it may lose its market share to its own siblings

Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series are the headliners of its multi-billion-dollar smartphone business. As the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer by volume, Samsung has many hats to wear. But these two series have primarily driven smartphone innovation for nearly a decade. However, Samsung has lately diverted its attention towards nurturing its range of foldable smartphones and that has been pushing the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note series to the brink of redundancy. Latest rumors suggest the S Pen might not remain exclusive to the Galaxy Note series. So the question here is — is the Samsung Galaxy Note series bound to become irrelevant — or at least less relevant than it is now? Let’s Discuss!

The Samsung Galaxy Note series literally gets its name because of the unique value the S Pen adds to the smartphone. In addition to its note-taking abilities, the Note series has been the flag-bearer for the finest user experience, especially for the pro consumers. However, that dynamic is evidently changing and the Note series might not remain unique in the near future. Notably, the phones were also among Samsung’s initial phablets but that has gap been already been bridged by the Plus and Ultra versions of the Galaxy S Series smartphones.

Ever since Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, reports have indicated the Korean giant’s plans to reassess the positioning of the S Pen. Within a month of the Galaxy Note 20 series’ launch, reports emerged that Samsung would be adding stylus support to the most premium of the three Galaxy S21 devices — presumably the Galaxy S21 Ultra. There are also reports that suggest stylus support on Samsung’s next foldable flagship — likely to be called the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Earlier this week, Samsung Electronics’ Head of Mobile Communications Bussiness, Dr. TM Roh almost confirmed these reports when they announced that Samsung would “add some of its most well-loved [Galaxy Note] features to other devices” in a fervent editorial about the future of Samsung’s mobiles division in 2021.  Dr. Roh also talks about “open standards” but we haven’t quite been able to decode that successfully just yet.

samsung galaxy note 20 ultra stylus s pen

Parallel to these reports about Samsung extending stylus support for the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Z Fold lineups, rumors about the Note series getting discontinued have also floated on the internet. The speculations were based on the assumption that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 might replace the Note series in 2021. Naturally, this step would result would not only dilute the special attention that the Note series has received due to the S Pen, but could also further diminish its already declining sales.

Other reports quash the rumors about the Note lineup being discontinued. But there is no denying that the availability of S Pen on non-Note devices can be the second nail in the coffin for the Note series — the first being the emergence of foldables as practical tools for pro consumers.

One can also look back at incidents like the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, which essentially redefined the prioritization of features between the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note series. Before the incident, the Note series either had newer or better features (or both) than the Galaxy S series. But after it, Samsung redirected its focus to innovate for the Galaxy S series and reiterate these innovations for the Note series.

With the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 purportedly sharing the one feature that has so far been unique to the Note series, the upcoming devices in the lineup are likely to have fewer takers.

Do you agree that Samsung is trying to make the Galaxy Note series less relevant so it can eventually be phased out in favor of newer devices? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

About author

Tushar Mehta
Tushar Mehta

I am a Senior Editor at XDA. I have been reviewing gadgets for over five years and gained experience by working for prominent tech publications in India before joining XDA. I enjoy fiddling with all smart objects and my love for software customization dates back to the Symbian S60 days. I like to devote my spare time idealizing the romantic union of technology and philosophy or spacing out on Pink Floyd. You may email me at [email protected]