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The dilemma of the Galaxy Note 10: Get out of the shadow of the Galaxy Fold

The dilemma of the Galaxy Note 10: Get out of the shadow of the Galaxy Fold

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The Galaxy Note 9 of 2018 was very similar to the Galaxy S10 Plus this year.

Sarah Tew / CNET

When Samsung introduced the first Galaxy Note in late 2011, the device was something never seen before. The Note of that time luca a screen of 5.3 inches, which was much larger than the screen of 3.5 inches of Iphone 4s, and includes a pencil to write on the screen. As the line evolved, Samsung was including its most risky and innovative technologies, such as a curved screen and iris scanner, in the Note before expanding them to other devices.

The Note marked the beginning of a new category of devices that merged a phone and a tablet (tabs). Many critics wondered if someone bought a smart phone with such a large screen. But people did it. Anyone who would like the most innovative technologies and Samsung's largest screen looked for a Note, and thus was born a fervent fan base.

Very soon, all other companies in the mobile industry launched large-screen smartphones, including Apple. And that's exactly where part of the fight for the next is Galaxy Note 10.


Reproducing:
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What we expect from the Galaxy Note 10

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Today, the tablfonos category (phablets, in English) no longer exists, because essentially all phones are tabbonos. While 5.3 inches looked huge in 2011, it is now a small size compared to the iPhone XS Max 6.5 inches, not to mention the OnePlus 7 Pro 6.67 inches or the Huawei Mate 20 X 7.2 inches. Samsung's Galaxy S Plus models are essentially the same size as the Note line (the S10 Plus and Note 9 have 6.4-inch screens), and the designs are similar. So are the prices, since both have an initial price of US $ 1,000.

The Note family, who will receive a new member when Samsung presents the Note 10 at an event on Wednesday in Brooklyn, New York, no longer has Samsung's most innovative technologies. That title belongs to the Galaxy Fold, the company's next phone that is displayed on a tablet. Even the Galaxy S line has received new technologies before the Note, including three camera lenses, the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor on the screen and the ability to wirelessly charge other devices on the back of the Galaxy S10. The Galaxy S10 It was also the first Samsung phone with a 5G option.

The Note is no longer the leader in innovation, nor is it Samsung's largest phone (although it will be able to recover that crown with the Note 10). Its main differentiator is the S Pen pencil, and that is not something that all Note owners really use. With the Note 10, Samsung has to find a way to make the device obvious to advanced users. Otherwise, there may no longer be a clear need for that phone.

"The design of the Note is actually very close to the S line, so the differentiation has disappeared," says Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. "The question is, do you need both lines?"

Samsung declined to comment for this article.

The discomfort of smartphones

Samsung, and almost all other manufacturers, is having difficulty selling high-end devices. Telephone prices continue to rise and people are updated less frequently. If someone is buying a $ 1,000 phone with all the features and news they can imagine, they tend to hold it longer than before. In the United States, consumers now upgrade to a new model every three years instead of every two. At the same time, software updates make old phones feel new, hardware designs do not change much from year to year and less expensive devices get features that were previously only found in the most expensive flagship devices.

Global sales of smart phones have declined for seven consecutive quarters. In the second quarter of 2019, shipments fell 3 percent to 341.4 million units, according to Strategy Analytics, although the company said the general market is showing signs of stabilization.

"The outlook for the second half of this year is improving," said Linda Sui, an analyst at Strategy Analytics.