When Samsung released the first Galaxy Note in 2011, the device immediately stood out for its unusually large for the time 5.3-inch display, as well as its stylus pen. This soon led to the company’s Note devices getting dubbed as “phablets,” as they successfully combined phone and tablet features in one useful gadget. But with the lines between large phone and phablet getting blurred just as flagship phone releases and phablets come with increasingly similar screen sizes, new reports suggest that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, which is due to be announced later this year, might be the last Galaxy Note device ever.
On Friday, BGR cited South Korean publication TheBell, which wrote that Samsung has had internal and external discussions about possibly merging its Galaxy S flagship phone and Galaxy Note phablet lines, with the main factor in play being how the larger Galaxy S+ devices “look more and more” like the Note with each passing year. Furthermore, the S Pen stylus has been the only notable differentiating factor between recent Note devices and their Galaxy S+ counterparts, while basic specifications of both devices have tended to be very similar, as also noted by BGR.
For this year’s Samsung Galaxy Note 9, the device is expected to have the exact same specifications as the Galaxy S9+, with the screen size of both phones being quite similar, though slightly different. The upcoming Note is rumored to come with a 6.38-inch display, which makes it a tad larger than the screen of this year’s Galaxy S9+, and almost the exact same size as the upcoming Galaxy S10+’s rumored screen. This contrasts sharply with how the first-ever Note had a screen that was one inch larger than that of Samsung’s 2011 flagship, the Galaxy S II, which had a 4.3-inch display.
If the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will indeed be the last Galaxy Note, the potential merger of both Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines would also have some interesting business implications, according to sources who spoke with The Bell. Such a move would allow the South Korean tech titan to substantially reduce development costs at a time when consumers tend to hang on to their flagship phones longer than they used to in the past. According to BGR, a lot could depend on the Note 9’s sales figures once it gets released later this year.
Another factor that could push Samsung to combine the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S lines is the rumored arrival of its foldable Galaxy X phone early next year. That’s because the Galaxy X might come with a 7-inch display and a large battery, two features that were once associated solely with the Note series.
While rumors of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 possibly being the last ever before the Note line gets folded into the Galaxy S series have yet to be backed up by other sources, there’s a chance that the end of the Note series won’t necessarily mean the end of the S Pen. Multiple publications, including Phone Arena, speculated that the Note’s distinctive accessory might be included in the Galaxy S10+ next year, should Samsung indeed be planning to merge both lines.