The big picture: Sales of the Samsung Galaxy Note series are expected to reach eight million units this year, which is a 20 percent drop when compared to last year. The company is said to be integrating the S Pen into the Galaxy S21 series as well as the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which could be an indication that the Note series is approaching a dead end.
It's been rumored for a while now that Samsung is looking to streamline its high-end smartphone offerings, with the Galaxy Note as the most likely candidate for retirement. The Note is well known for setting the trend towards bigger smartphones, but with each passing year it's brought fewer notable advantages over the Galaxy S series smartphones.
A new report from Reuters seems to confirm that possibility. Between the crowded Galaxy S lineup and the Galaxy Note lineup, the latter used to encompass the best the company had to offer to its biggest fans, but lately the lines have blurred enough between the two lineups in terms of specifications and overall design that it's becoming hard to justify the Galaxy Note's existence in the product matrix.
Another reason has to do with Covid-19 and its strong impact on sales of high-end smartphones, which have slowed considerably as people shift their priorities to more easily navigate these uncertain times. Analysts seem to agree that most consumers are now gravitating towards mid-range phones, which now strike a good balance of performance, features, and battery life for a more palatable price well below the asking price of higher end offerings.
That said, a much more plausible reason to get rid of the Note lineup is that Samsung is reportedly looking to add its defining feature -- the integrated stylus support -- to the entire Galaxy S21 lineup as well as the upcoming successor to the Galaxy Z Fold 2. This makes the Galaxy Note redundant moving forward, and those resources can be devoted towards improving the Galaxy Z Flip and developing new experimental form factors.
In related news, SamMobile reports that Samsung will drop the price of the upcoming Galaxy S21 lineup by at least $100 to encourage more people to upgrade. However, don't expect to have a charger or earphones included in the box, and the integrated stylus could also mean a slightly smaller battery.