Tipster explains why the Samsung Galaxy Note line is not going away anytime soon
In late 2019, Samsung's alleged plan to merge the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series first emerged. These rumors intensified recently after a South Korean publication reported that the Galaxy S21 (S30) Ultra will be compatible with the S Pen. The stylus is the biggest differentiating factor between the two lines and also the primary reason why the Note phones are touted as productivity-oriented devices.
The output and price of Z Fold 3 are not enough to replace the Note as Samsung's main flagship in the second half of the year, and Note is still a guarantee of shipment.— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) August 24, 2020
Ice claims that the Note 21 will happen, regardless of whether the Galaxy S21 Ultra gets the S Pen or not.
As the tipster explains, Samsung's foldable phones are not established enough to replace a line as popular as the Note series.
To put things into perspective, the company wasn't even able to sell one million Galaxy Fold units last year. This year, it plans to sell 6 million foldable smartphones.
In contrast, 10 million units of the Galaxy Note phones are usually sold by the end of a year after their debut in the third quarter, per estimates.
According to one report, Samsung sold around 296 million smartphones last year. So, it's evident that the contribution of foldable phones to overall sales is negligible.
Even if we put demand aside, the company is said to be dealing with supply side issues and this would prevent it from increasing the production of next year's Galaxy Z Fold 3 substantially.
Thus, currently it just doesn't make sense for the company to axe the Note line.
Samsung might do away with the Note series once foldables take off
Foldable handsets are also too expensive to go mainstream at the moment. At $1,380, the Galaxy Z Flip is Samsung's most affordable bendable device and the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G is expected to cost more than its predecessor, which was launched at $1,980.
For comparison, the recently released Galaxy Note 20 starts at $999.99.
Samsung is eager for foldable phones to gain traction and is already laying the groundwork for this apparently. The company is reportedly working on a non-flagship foldable phone that could cost less than $900. It's also expected to launch a lite version of the Galaxy Fold next year.