Samsung’s Galaxy Note line has been around for nearly a decade, going back to 2011, and the Note was originally known as a “phablet,” something of a hybrid between a smartphone and a tablet. The line has sold millions of devices over the years, and it’s a rare instance in which a product had a major recall—which Samsung did with the Galaxy Note 7 and its “exploding battery” in 2016 — and kept the brand alive anyway.
But now, there are indications that the era of the Galaxy Note is soon coming to an end.
A report this week out of South Korea, from the Korean-language publication Aju News, stated that Samsung in 2021 will introduce the Galaxy Z Fold 3, an update of this year’s well-received Galaxy Z Fold 2, and it will replace the Note in Samsung’s lineup. The Aju News report was cited by Tom’s Guide, and has not been confirmed by Samsung.
The move, if it's made, will follow the arrival earlier this year of the Galaxy Note 20, which is not believed to have sold especially well.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2, on the other hand, earned rave reviews on its arrival on the market this summer. The folding phone, which has 5G capability, was praised by The Verge as “an extravagant success.” Nearly every review called the Galaxy Z Fold 2 a considerable improvement over the original Galaxy Fold, which arrived on the market the year before.
The successor product to the Galaxy Z Fold 2- which has a listed price of nearly $2,000—would slide easily into the highest-end spot in Samsung’s lineup. The report also suggested that the S Pen, the stylus that works with the Galaxy Note, could be offered with the new Z Fold 3, and possibly with the Galaxy S 21 as well. The Z Fold 3 is expected to arrive in June of next year.
“According to a Samsung Group official on the 22nd, Samsung Electronics decided to release the Galaxy Z Fold 3 in June next year earlier last week and entered the final test to confirm the specifications of the mass-produced handset,” the English translation of the Aju News story said.
“Samsung Electronics has confirmed that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be equipped with the S Pen, a feature of the existing Galaxy Note series. Beyond simply mounting the S Pen, it has the character of a terminal that replaces the notebook series by adding an S Pen slot to store the S Pen in the product. As the S Pen technology is applied to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy S21 Ultra (tentative name), the Note series will be discontinued.”
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.