I know, I know. Everywhere you look there’s another article talking about the Note. Note news and op-eds take up a good chunk of our front page right now, and this is just adding to the growing pile. However, this article isn’t one that really focuses on what’s going on with the Note right now; rather, I want to discuss what I think should happen with the Note in the future.
At this point, there’s absolutely no way for the Note 7 to recover. If I had to guess, I would say that the Note brand in general is tainted for the foreseeable future, and it has even started bringing down the Galaxy S series with it due to their similar names. To put things in the kindest terms possible, Samsung’s reputation is up a creek without a paddle right now.
But here’s what I think would help, and what I would like to see.
First, while Samsung is still trying to figure out what’s up with the Note 7, I would love to see them focus on the S7 and S7 Edge. There were a couple of advantages that the Note had software-wise such as TouchWiz’s updated Grace UX, a much improved Always-On display, and Android Nougat, all of which were expected to eventually make its way to the S7 duo. With the Note in its current state, they should work on getting those updates to the S7 and S7 Edge sooner.
Second, I wonder if it’s best just to nix the Note brand altogether - not the S Pen, the brand. Not only did this debacle put the Note name through the ringer (twice), but when you compare the Note 7 with the Galaxy S7 Edge, you’ll find that the two are almost identical save for the inclusion of the S Pen in the Note and a couple of other features. With that in mind, what’s the point of having a separate Note device at all? Why not just include the iconic S Pen with the larger Galaxy S7 variant instead? To me, it seems like the fastest route to putting this whole exploding Note problem behind us.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a change that would go into effect anytime soon. I imagine Samsung has already put a lot of work into the Galaxy S8 before this mess happened. To scrap the S8 Edge (which is what I assume the larger variant would be called) to make it more Note-like now would be a bad idea – after all, the wound here is still fresh. Bleeding, even. But perhaps Samsung could skip next year’s “Note 8” completely, and implement this new change with the Galaxy S9 duo in 2018. If they really wanted to, they could probably just pull a Microsoft, skip 9, and say that the new Galaxy is so great that they’re skipping ahead to 10 with the new Samsung Galaxy X or something. I’d say that by merging the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines that it would be worth a cool name like Galaxy X.
Then again, that’s kind of what they did with the Note 7, and that… uh… didn’t work out.
It’s a weird and very unfortunate situation, but I don’t think it’s impossible to bounce back from. Extremely difficult, yes; this is the biggest muck-up in smartphone history thus far, and people are going to remember it for a long time. However, I really do think Samsung’s best bet is to cut its losses with the Note 7 and instead focus on keeping the S7 and S7 Edge fresh for now, and in the future perhaps consider uniting its two flagship brands into one.
Readers, what are your thoughts? Do you think that Samsung can bounce back using the Note brand, or should they unite the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S brand into one?