No new Galaxy Note this year, Samsung exec confirms

Mobile comms head confirms rumour that the company is focusing on its 'Fold' range

The future of Samsung's Galaxy Note appears to be in doubt after the company revealed it would be pushing most of the range's features onto other devices for this year's release cycle.

Confirmation came from Samsung’s president and head of Mobile Communications Business, TM Roh, speaking ahead of August's Unpacked event, which typically showcases the company's latest hardware.

The virtual event, which will be held on 11 August on Samsung’s website, will likely showcase the highly-anticipated Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3, images of which were leaked in June.

However, the Galaxy Note smartphone has been notably absent from leaks and conversations ahead of the event, leading some to speculate that the brand may be pushed aside in favour of folding hardware.

Roh has now published a statement clarifying the situation:

“Instead of unveiling a new Galaxy Note this time around, we will further broaden beloved Note features to more Samsung Galaxy devices,” he said, referring to the “first-ever S Pen designed specifically for foldable phones”.

The S Pen has been a long-time staple of the Galaxy Note smartphone range since the launch of its first iteration in 2011, allowing users to jot down details of a business meeting or to-do list by turning the device’s touchscreen into a notepad.

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The useful feature is now being expanded to Samsung’s foldable smartphone range, with leaked photos of the Z Fold 3 visibly including a stylus pen stored at the back of its book-like spine.

On Wednesday, Roh said that “the upcoming Galaxy Z Fold combines the very best that smartphones and tablets offer and delivers completely new ways of working, connecting and creating, while the upcoming Z Flip exhibits an even more refined style, armed with more durable, stronger materials”.

“I firmly believe these devices will answer the call for the versatile mobile technology we need as we navigate the open road ahead,” he added.

Samsung’s decision to skip the Galaxy Note in favour of its new foldable phones has been long-rumoured, with sources telling Reuters late last year that the tech giant didn’t have plans to develop a 2021 iteration of the range.

At a shareholder meeting in March, Samsung co-CEO Koh Dong-jin warned of a “serious imbalance in supply and demand of chips in the IT sector globally”, adding that although the “Note series is positioned as a high-end model in [Samsung’s] business portfolio (...) it might be difficult to release [a] Note model in 2H [of 2021]”.

“It could be a burden to unveil two flagship models in a year,” he said, referring to January’s launch of the Galaxy S21. However, the company didn’t rule out that the Note could make a return in 2022.

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