Samsung confirms, “no new Galaxy Note this year”

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series

Samsung co-Chief Executive Officer Koh Dong-jin said it might be difficult for the brand to launch a new Galaxy Note model this year at a time when the industry was grappling with serious imbalance in supply and demand of semiconductors.

No new Galaxy Note in 2021 will be a big break with convention for the South Korean giant. Samsung has had a fabled history of launching multiple high-end phones every year for a while now—and the Note has often been regarded as the pinnacle (of that strategy) with a big price tag to match. Though, over the last year or so, Samsung has been moving these advancements to an all-new category of foldable devices like the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip.

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“Note series is positioned as a high-end model in our business portfolio,” Koh said during the brand’s annual shareholders meeting in Seoul (via Bloomeberg). “It could be a burden to unveil two flagship models in a year so it might be difficult to release Note model in 2H.”

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Speculations that Samsung might axe the Note-series entirely have been going around for some time. Those speculations reached an all-time high earlier in the year when it launched the Galaxy S21 Ultra with S-pen support. To be clear, Samsung has not confirmed or denied those speculations and by the looks of it, that “strategy” stays put even today.

“The timing of Note model launch can be changed but we seek to release a Note model next year,” Koh said confirming that the Galaxy Note series will live on once Samsung braves this—chip shortage—storm. It is of course very early to foresee its future, but there is a very high possibility that Samsung might fuse the Fold and Note into something more interesting—and exciting—because in the current form, all its Note phones end up looking like another iteration of the Galaxy S with a bundled stylus even as the Galaxy Fold holds the forte for technological innovation—something the Note did back in the day.

Coming back to the semiconductor problem, Samsung was perhaps the only major tech brand that did not seem to have an issue last year—even early this year—when it came to high-profile product launches. All its headlining phones were right on schedule. While Apple, for instance, was late with its iPhone 12 line-up. The world’s largest smartphone maker is also not immune to this global crisis though, which is apparent from Koh’s words.

“Despite the difficult environment, our business leaders are meeting partners overseas to solve these problems. It’s hard to say the shortage issue has been solved 100%.”

Chip shortage has become a huge challenge for brands (especially auto and console) lately even as they face a double whammy of supply chain disruption and higher than expected demand in the wake of a global pandemic.

Also Read | Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G review: With great power comes great productivity

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