Samsung's mobile chief hints that there will be no Galaxy Note model this year
Throughout some parts of last year, there was back and forth talk about the future of the Samsung Galaxy Note series. The large-screened handset, a phablet in the vernacular of the day, was first released in October 2011 and became the first handset shipped with a screen larger than 5-inches. It also featured the S Pen and was considered the manufacturer's true flagship model ahead of the Galaxy S line.
Samsung's mobile chief hints that Samsung might skip Galaxy Note release for 2021
The rumor that the Galaxy Note was dead started to pick up some momentum in the beginning of this year when for the first time, the S Pen was supported by a non-Note handset. The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G supports the digital writing instrument even though there is no housing for the digital writing instrument on the phone like there always was with the Galaxy Note. And while the S Pen always came out of the box with the Galaxy Note, it is an optional (and extra) purchase with the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.
There might not be a Samsung Galaxy Note model released this year
According to ZDNet, at the company's annual stockholder's meeting on Tuesday, DJ Koh, co-CEO of Samsung's IT and mobile communications division, said, "It may be difficult to launch the Galaxy Note in the second half of the year." But even if there is no new Note handset being released this year, Koh says that Sammy will still continue to offer "the S Pen user experience." The executive went on to say that "Galaxy Note is an important product category to us that has been continuously loved by consumers for the past 10 years in the global market. The S Pen user experience is an area that Samsung's mobile business has worked harder on than anybody else. Their launch timing may be different, but we will make sure that we don't let Galaxy Note consumers down."
Koh says that Samsung will expand 5G support to low and mid-range handsets this year. It plans to meet demand for region-specific models by producing such models in certain areas of the world. Samsung has a rather tough goal of producing equal numbers of conventional and foldable handsets; the company is working hard to increase production of foldables in order to make this happen. The manufacturer also plans on tweaking the pricing of its foldable models. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 will remain a super premium foldable at a price that is in line with a super-premium phone. The Galaxy Z Flip sequel will be priced more competitively for millennials.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 opens like a book and comes with a smartphone sized screen that turns into a tablet sized-display. The Galaxy Z Flip is a clamshell foldable that fits easily into a pocket when closed. When open, the device becomes a large-sized handset with a tall and thin screen. There has been some discussion about Samsung moving the release of the Galaxy Note series from the third quarter to give Samsung's foldables a clearer shot at attracting the attention of consumers. At the same time, the company has reportedly discussed merging the Galaxy S line with the Galaxy Note line to create a single flagship series. With the main differentiator between the two being the S Pen, that line between the two models has definitely blurred as we pointed out earlier in this story.
We should point out that Koh did not give a definitive answer about whether there will be another Galaxy Note handset released this year. And when he said that the "launch timing may be different, but we will make sure that we don't let Galaxy Note consumers down," it sounds that Samsung plans on offering the Galaxy Note during a different time period perhaps starting next year.
It doesn't seem that Koh's comments had much of an impact on investors. During trading Wednesday on the Korean Stock Market, Samsung shares declined .36% or 300 Korean Won (26 U.S. cents) to a price of 82,500 Korean Won ($72.82).