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Samsung’s next generation of devices will not feature a Note smartphone, the South Korean technology giant has announced.
The company’s president T M Roh confirmed the change to Samsung’s development cycle in a blog post, saying that “Instead of unveiling a new Galaxy Note this time around, [Samsung] will further broaden beloved Note features to more Samsung Galaxy devices”.
The major feature of the Note devices are Samsung’s S Pen stylus, and Dr Roh says that Samsung will have “the first-ever S Pen designed specifically for foldable phones”. Leaked renders of the company’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 case have already revealed a dedicated S Pen slot at the back, meaning it might be possible to write notes using the screen on the front of the phone and potentially the larger screen on the inside.
“We will not be commenting on rumour or speculation at this time. We will share more details on our future portfolio at Galaxy Unpacked on 11 August”, Samsung told The Independent when asked for more information.
The standard Samsung Galaxy S21 range already has stylus support, leaving questions open about the major benefit of the Note line - although lacks a dedicated place in the phone to store it.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 case renders showcase a dedicated S Pen slot https://t.co/vZagA3f8wj
— XDA (@xdadevelopers) July 26, 2021
The move away from the Note has been rumbling for some time, with Bloomberg reporting in March this year that the global chip shortage meant that it would be a “burden to unveil two flagship models in a year”, according to Samsung co-CEO DJ Koh. It is possible that a new Note model would be released in 2022, however, as “the timing of the Note model can be changed”, he added.
Samsung has also revealed a few new tweaks to be expected to its foldable devices, including better multitasking and enhanced durability.
“For our third generation of Galaxy Z phones, we have lined up even more partner apps that make the most of the versatile fold-out format. From hands-free optimized video calling with Google Duo and watching videos in Flex mode on YouTube to multitasking in Microsoft Teams, our foldable ecosystem will offer a wealth of seamless and optimized experiences”, Dr. Roh writes.
Samsung’s Unpacked event will take place on 11 August, showcasing the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and clamshell Galaxy Z Flip 3. It is also expected that a a Galaxy FE device, two Galaxy Watches, and a new set of Galaxy Buds will also be announced
The South Korean smartphone giant is facing increasingly tougher competition in the foldable space.
Huawei’s Mate X2, Xiaomi’s Mi Mix Fold, and Microsoft’s Surface Duo all feature larger internal screens, although Samsung is the only major player for clamshell devices as Motorola’s Razr was received with mixed reviews.
There are also reports, however, that Samsung’s new foldable devices will have their primary setback - the price - addressed by a significant cost cut. Although prices will differ by country, Sammobile reports that the foldable phones could see a 20 per cent price slash compared to their predecessors.