Eric Zeman/Android Authority
Galaxy Note is dead. Not official, but we will not see new ones in 2021. Samsung may bring back the coveted Note series in 2022, but for now, the Galaxy Note has almost been replaced by the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Using the latest generation of S Pen Fold provides a stylus option for the first time, and it seems that Samsung has completed the transition to a new power user profile. After a year of foldable products occupying a central position on store shelves, will Samsung want to return to the Note series?
Of course, this story is more complicated than Samsung simply replacing the Note series with the Z Fold series. The ongoing global component shortage may at least play a small role in the decision not to launch the two products at the same time. Due to the tight supply of processors and other key components, the shortage of its technology showcases does not look good for the company, so Samsung may just give priority.
Samsung may try to refill Note Lightning with a foldable device.
Or this could be part of a larger phase-out strategy for the Note series. Previous Galaxy Note models, including Note 10 in 2019, have witnessed strong growth in the Galaxy product line and have certainly played a role in driving Samsung’s mobile success. However, there are reports that Samsung expects Note 20 demand to be tepid, which may cause the company to produce only two-thirds of the original plan.
The attractiveness of the Note series may be waning. Perhaps Samsung thinks foldable products are a trustworthy new market? Either way, Samsung has made a choice. When unavoidable, foldable devices are the first choice. However, in the long-term or short-term, will there be rewards for sacrificing the Note series?
Affordable foldable products: the game of the future
Eric Zeman/Android Authority
Samsung’s preference for this generation of foldable devices is not without risks. Without the Galaxy Note, the company’s advanced user customers would face the prospect of paying at least $1,799 for this year’s productivity powerhouse. If they want the complete experience (if you want to store the S Pen, then the additional cost of the S Pen Fold is $50, and the cost of the S Pen Pro is $100). For the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra with lower camera settings than 2020, or even normal Note 20 phones, this is a lot of money. Therefore, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 may still be a niche phone, and many Note fans may just ignore the upgrade cycle of the year instead of switching to the team folding.
Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review
Fortunately, the price of the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is more reasonable, starting at $1,000. However, this fun and stylish flip phone was not built to attract traditional power users Note customers. It is more like a mobile phone that brings foldable products to mainstream consumers. Especially now it is running (almost) mainstream price tags. This is the essence of Samsung’s strategy-to introduce foldable products to the mass market at the expense of traditional advanced user smartphones.
If the Galaxy Z Flip 3’s sales are good enough, and its price may now be comparable to that of the Galaxy S21 Plus, then Samsung has been a leader in foldable packaging for many years.
Samsung’s strategy is to sacrifice traditional high-end user smartphones as a cost to launch foldable products for the mass market.
It seems that no other competitor will provide a foldable smartphone that can enter the mass market in the short term. Huawei Mate X2 has excellent workmanship, but the price is still ridiculously high. Without the Google app, it would be difficult to sell in the West. If the Chinese company’s rollable concept phone Oppo X 2021 goes on the market, its price may be equally expensive. Even if the Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold for the Chinese market is more affordable than Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold series, its price will still be higher than US$1,500 if it is targeted at a global audience. It won’t.
Almost all other major brands are still closer to expensive concepts than entering the mass market stage with their flexible phones. Before they can close the gap, one or two more iterations are needed. By relying on mainstream foldable smartphones, Samsung looks on track to enjoy mobile leadership for at least a few more years. Even the company’s biggest competitor, Apple, is not expected to launch its first foldable phone before 2023. Even this phone may be marked with a super high-end price tag.
Fill in the gaps in your notes
Adam Molina/Android Authority
Of course, the success of using mainstream foldable devices to push itself ahead of mobile games is far from guaranteed. In fact, the absence of Note 21 provides Samsung’s competitors with an opportunity to grab more market share, especially when its bet on foldable products fails to change the number of products.
Especially Xiaomi, which performed strongly in 2020 and 2021, used the collapse of Huawei to challenge the market leader Samsung and compete for the top spot in the global market share. Oppo is also gritting his teeth. Samsung’s long-term leadership in the field of smartphones is declining, which may partly explain why it is so willing to try to make foldable products stick to it.
Samsung’s competitors seem to be a few years away from mainstream foldable products.
Consumers who want to pay more attention to productivity than Z Flip 3 but do not want to spend astronomical amounts on Z Fold 3 may turn to high-end mobile phones such as Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, Sony Xperia 1 III, Oppo Find X3 Pro, and other enthusiast markets The product. Without a new Galaxy Note model, Samsung may find it much more difficult to compete with high-end smartphones. Especially the Pixel 6 Pro and the new iPhone Pro Max are coming soon, and they will definitely become the focus of attention for those looking for new phones before the end of the year.
Having said that, manufacturers have always tried to reproduce the charm of Samsung’s advanced user phones equipped with stylus pens. For fans, there is nothing closer than the Galaxy Note. Don’t forget, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra now covers most areas of Note. If the foldable device fails to operate as planned, Samsung can always return to the series. Samsung is not fully committed, and may be able to take a break from the Note series.
Samsung sacrificed Note in order to make foldable products the mainstream this year. Pushing the nose back to the front and avoiding the fierce competition from Chinese brands is a bold approach. Samsung has an advantage by leveraging technology that its competitors cannot currently match at a price point at which its flagship products can compete. But without risk, there is no reward, and Samsung has left a gap in its product line that others hope to fill.
Do you think Samsung’s strategy of placing affordable foldable products before Note will succeed? Vote in the poll above and tell us what you think in the comments.