Samsung has plans to merge the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines next year – that’s what has been reported every summer for the past couple of years. Today, almost like clockwork, another report has emerged with similar claims and a 2021 timeline.
A Galaxy S21 with S Pen is in the works, apparently
The Samsung Galaxy S21 series, which may also launch as the Galaxy S30, is codenamed ‘Unbound’ and consists of three premium smartphones – M1, N2, and O3 – that are scheduled for release in the first half of next year.The Galaxy S21 and S21+ are expected to follow the usual flagship recipe by pairing newer Qualcomm or Exynos chipsets with better cameras and updated software. The Galaxy S21 Ultra should be more of the same, but it could bring a little extra to the table.
In an attempt to focus more on foldables without alienating consumers, The Elec claims Samsung is planning S Pen stylus integration for the Galaxy S21 Ultra. The device will, therefore, act as a spiritual successor to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
Samsung reportedly plans to discontinue the Galaxy Note series next year. But, rather unsurprisingly, this may change because the company has not locked in plans for the second half of 2021.
Foldables will replace Note in Samsung launch roadmap
If the company moves ahead with everything in 2021, it will do so with the aim of boosting foldable smartphone sales in the second half of the year, which Samsung sees as the future of its business.
The Galaxy Z Fold 3, for example, could be positioned as a more direct Galaxy Note successor by focusing heavily on productivity and boasting S Pen integration. It may also take the Galaxy Note lineup’s usual August launch date.
Samsung may choose to release the Galaxy Z Flip 2 around the same time too. It unveiled the original Galaxy Z Flip in February but only recently introduced the 5G variant, so waiting around a year for the second version would make sense.
If the South Korean company has plans for any other foldables, those could be unveiled at the August Unpacked event as well.
Samsung won’t have to directly compete with Apple anymore
Considering the countless number of reports over the years, a merger of Galaxy S and Galaxy Note seems inevitable at this stage. But whether 2021 is the year Samsung finally chooses to do so will remain to be seen.
If it does so, there could be benefits and drawbacks. On the upside, Samsung will avoid competing directly with the annual iPhone launch and other fall flagships such as the Google Pixel series.
But on the other hand, the heavy focus on foldables likely means sales will decrease. After all, production of ultra-thin glass is still very limited and prices are unlikely to suddenly decrease, which could put off consumers.
Will ‘Galaxy Note’ be gone forever?
The obvious move would be to retire either the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note name when merging the two product lineups into a single series. But to maximize the lineup’s potential, Samsung could choose to keep both brands around.
The standard and plus-sized flagship models could continue to be marketed under the Galaxy S branding, for example, but the Ultra variant complete with S Pen could take on the Galaxy Note name or a variation of it instead.
The new lineup could, theoretically, look as follows:
- Samsung Galaxy S21
- Samsung Galaxy S21+
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Note or Galaxy Note 21