Anyone who has been following Samsung’s phone for any length of time will have seen how the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note have been creeping closer together.
The Galaxy Note was once a huge phone, designed to be so that you could use the S Pen with it, while the trend in smartphones was for smaller devices. The Note was one of the devices that spawned the phablet term, merging phones and tablets.
All devices are now at that point and it has been obvious for the past few generations of Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones that the decision of which you should buy perhaps comes down to the S Pen and nothing else.
Samsung has pushed out an update to the Galaxy S20 family that brings software parity to the recently-announced Note 20 so there’s really very little difference any more.
O3 will have S-Pen
— 에아 (@hwangmh01) August 24, 2020
Which brings us to a tweet perhaps outlining something of Samsung’s future plans. This, of course, is unverified and needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, but it suggests that the 2021 Samsung Galaxy flagship – which might be called the S21 or the S30 (we think S30 is more likely) – will have a model that supports the S Pen.
That could suggest two things. It might be that it’s time for the Note family to retire and that the Galaxy S could just offer those features instead. Or it could suggest that instead of having two launch cycles and five different versions of what is essentially the same phone (excluding Qualcomm/Exynos/4G/5G, etc, variants), there will be just one flagship phone launch early in the year.
What this tweet suggests is that in 2021 we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy S30, Samsung Galaxy S30 Plus and then an Ultra device that supports the S Pen. Perhaps that will be a Galaxy Note 30 Ultra, or Samsung Galaxy S30 Note, announced at the same time.
The suggestion raises a lot of questions that we currently don’t have answers to, but we can’t say we’d surprised to see a bit of a shake-up. Samsung is launching lots of phones in its premium categories and arguably it doesn’t need to. The division between the Note 20 and the Note 20 Ultra in 2020 suggests that the Note 10 versions didn’t both sell well and that some larger difference needed to be made.
Ultimately, we don’t think that Samsung will drop the Note branding because it still has great value – despite the disruption caused by the Note 7. This will be one to watch for the next 6 months as we run towards the launch of Samsung’s next Galaxy S devices, which we’d expect in February 2021.