Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 may go down as the last of its line. According to Reuters, the company reportedly won’t release a new Note device in 2021. Instead, Samsung will focus its efforts on the Galaxy S and its lineup of foldable phones, made up at the moment of the Z Flip and Z Fold. To make up for the loss of a stylus-specific device, the company will reportedly make both the Galaxy S and its new foldable phones S Pen compatible — though you’ll likely need to buy the accessory separately. Reuters says the decision comes in part due to a “sharp drop” in demand for high-end phones during the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the move, the company will shift development resources that it would have been put toward making a new Note to its foldables division instead.
In a way, it’s not surprising to hear Samsung may abandon the Note. Back when the company introduced the series in 2011, the Note’s 5.1-inch display and stylus support was a major outlier in the phone industry. No other phone at the time had a screen that big or came with a stylus. The iPhone 4S, which Apple released that same year, looked absolutely diminutive with its 3.5-inch display next to Samsung’s second flagship. However, thanks in large part to the success of the Note series, small phones like the iPhone 12 mini have since become few and far between. Now almost every phone is a big phone, and that’s translated into a lack of differentiation between the Note and Galaxy S lineups. With their 6.7-inch and 6.9-inch displays, the Galaxy S20+ and Note 20 aren’t all that different from one another.
Moreover, as the Note became more popular, Samsung abandoned the experimentation that had characterized the series through its early years. Stylus compatibility aside, in recent years the Note and Galaxy S lineups have featured more or less the same internal components. So it’s not surprising to learn the company wants to focus its development efforts on foldables since that’s the category that Samsung is ahead of every other phone manufacturer.