What just happened? There have been plenty of signs that Samsung is set to kill off the Galaxy Note series, and we may have just got the strongest indication to date. It's just been discovered that the Korean giant hasn't renewed the Galaxy Note trademark, signaling what could be the end for the long-running series.

GalaxyClub noticed that Samsung has recently renewed the trademarks for many of its phones, including the Galaxy S, Galaxy Z, Galaxy M, and Galaxy A series, but one noticeable absentee was the Galaxy Note.

We already know that there isn't going to be a new Galaxy Note this year, which would presumably have been the Galaxy Note 21. Samsung executive Koh Dong-jin back in March told shareholders that it could be a "burden" to release two flagships in a year, and the chip crisis likely played a role in the decision.

The missing Note trademark doesn't confirm the line's demise, but it's certainly an ominous sign for the device that helped popularized the word "phablet." The writing was on the wall when reports last year claimed that Samsung would be bringing S-Pen compatibility, the Note's most distinctive feature, to other devices. That was confirmed with the release of the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold3, though neither has a dedicated S-Pen slot.

There's always the chance that Samsung will bring back a revamped Note series sometime in the future, possibly after 2022, but with the company putting such a focus on foldable devices, it's looking more like the Galaxy Note 20/Note 20 Ultra will forever be known as the series' last.

Image credit: Framesira