- There won’t be a Galaxy Note 21 release next year, as Samsung is looking to discontinue the Note series.
- The Note’s only remaining iconic feature is the S Pen stylus, which will be brought over to the Galaxy S21 series and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 as an accessory.
- Samsung has not confirmed these rumors, but sources told Reuters there’s no trace of a Note 21 development program yet.
A flurry of reports claimed in the past few weeks that Samsung is about to do what once seemed unthinkable. The Galaxy Note is about to be retired, as Samsung consolidates its flagship lineup and planning bolder moves in the foldable department. The Note brand managed to survive the massive Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. But the battery issues that lead to explosions and fire did not kill the Note, and Samsung wasn’t ready to let the Galaxy Note go despite speculation that the Galaxy S and Note were already on converging paths.
The Galaxy S20 and Note 20 lines are the best examples of that. The phones look nearly identical and offer almost the same set of high-end specs for the same high-end prices. The Note 20 does make some annoying sacrifices, including the fact that it’s a $999 premium phone made of plastic, and that alone qualifies it for discontinuation. The Note’s only advantage remains the S Pen, but the stylus is coming to the Galaxy S21 Ultra next year and the next-gen Galaxy Z Fold. That’s what reports said in the past few weeks, indicating that there won’t be a Note 21 handset. A new story for a more trusted source now says that Samsung is indeed dumping the Galaxy Note series.
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It’s Reuters that’s reporting that Samsung may discontinue the high-end Galaxy Note phones next year. That’s coming from “sources with knowledge of the matter,” and the move will supposedly reflect the sharp drop in demand for high-end smartphones during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Most smartphone vendors have indeed been impacted by the health crisis, but Samsung’s sales problem has been exacerbated by its own decisions. Samsung chose to launch Galaxy S20 and Note 20 phones that started at $999, in a universe where the iPhone 11 started at $699. Apple sold a massive number of iPhone 11 units despite the pandemic, and the iPhone 12 generated a better than expected demand. The iPhone 12 is also more affordable than the Note 20 that launched a few weeks earlier.
Reuters says that Samsung has no plans to develop a new Galaxy Note for 2021, saying the information comes from three sources. Planning for a new device starts about a year before the phone is supposed to ship. Samsung phones usually leak well in advance of their launch, and reports a few weeks ago said there was no trace of the Galaxy Note 21 development program.
According to one of the sources, the development efforts that would be directed to the Note would be channeled into Samsung’s foldable range.
Reuters also says that the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be compatible with the S Pen stylus, which will be sold separately. There goes the Note’s only advantage over any other device and its only reason for existing.