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4 min read 261 Shares 21 comments

Samsung was right not to torch the brand for the Note 8

Samsung had a very visibly difficult 2016 in marketing terms, and while there were other hiccups throughout the year, it was the recall of the Note 7 and its eventual withdrawal from sale that looked likely to hurt the company's image the most. Now, we know that Samsung is sticking with the Note brand for its successor, and that's a good thing. 

It looked for a little while that abandoning the Note brand is a move Samsung could have been seriously mulling, but the company's head of mobile D.J. Koh confirmed to CNET that Samsung is sticking by the Note. "I will bring back a better, safer and very innovative Note 8," Koh said.

For anyone that disagrees with that move and is thinking that Samsung should have used it for a full reboot of the lineup, consider that the Note 7 was set to become the best-selling handset in the range, projected to outsell the ever-popular Note 5, before its recall.

In the few weeks the device was on sale before the initial recall and ban on sales, Samsung had to get back 2.5 million devices that had already been sold. That's clearly not a brand without supporters.

samsung galaxy note 7 test
So that's where all the Note 7 devices went... / © Samsung

It's also not the first time Samsung's been embarrassed by the Note range - back when it first launched, the oversized handsets were generally regarded as quite outlandish, but as screens have grown and bezels have shrunk, the Note brand really came into its own, adding features that other so-called phablets weren't considering. No one thought having a stylus on a phone would be useful, but Samsung eventually made it a key feature of the Note range. 

Admittedly, it'd be tough to argue that Samsung didn't take a knock during the whole debacle; the recall alone cost billions of dollars, but the damage many pundits assumed would engulf the Note brand (and Samsung more widely) never seemed to happen. Indeed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll at the end of November found that it didn't really harm US consumers' faith in the brand at all. 

Opinion by Ben Woods
My faith in Samsung and the Note brand isn't shaken
What do you think?
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Combine that with the fact that while Q3 2016 didn't look pretty for Samsung, its final quarter was positively rosy with revenues of around $44 billion alongside a 50 percent year-on-year increase on operating profit. Again, those aren't really numbers that show a destruction of the Samsung brand as a whole. In fact, the only handset makers to capitalize on the company's missteps were largely Chinese brands and Samsung retained its Q3 smartphone leadership, according to IDC figures

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy note 7 review 7589 off white flag
A Note 7 in happier times. / © AndroidPIT

In monetary terms, building a new product brand from scratch is an expensive process, both in settling on the branding and market positioning, but also the relentless ad spend required to get consumers of the world to notice your shiny new thing. But it's not because it's an expensive process that Samsung isn't walking that metaphorical road, it's because the Note brand still has a less calculable value far beyond those marketing and advertising costs, having gathered millions of users, and plenty of devoted fans, along the way. 

In some ways, sticking with the Note name is the harder of the two choices. 

Perhaps most importantly for me though is that it's a statement that the company isn't trying to pull the wool over its users eyes in any way. It messed up. Then it messed up again. But it's not trying to make consumers forget about that by migrating essentially the same product to a new name, it's sticking with a brand that is now known for catching fire to convince you it's going to do better next time. 

And now it really has to.

gsmarena galaxy s8 render
A render of what the Note 8 could look like. / © GSMArena

Do you think that Samsung should change the Note brand for the next Galaxy phablet? Do you think Samsung's loyal fans will stick with the brand and lead the Galaxy S8 to success too? Let us know in the comments below!

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Readers' favorite comments

  •   12
    Note5isBoss 9 months ago

    It's Samsung who made today's phablet handsets prominent in August 2011.

    It's Samsung who has made Apple increase the screen size of those worthless iPhones now the IPhone 6S plus and iPhone 7 plus was born.

    It's Samsung who made Google come out with that joke of the Nexus 6p the large phablet with no purpose or features to take advantage of the screen.

    Now Google has the silly HTC Pixel handsets they are so dull, boring, typical run of the mill featureless stock Android handset definitely not for me.

    I've said since March 2011 nothing beats Samsung they are Android and technology nothing else matters period.

    The Galaxy Note line is the BEST INNOVATION ever an all purpose business/entertainment masterpiece that can never be duplicated unless by Samsung.

    Everyone makes a big screen but they don't know what else to do after the big screen Samsung rules the phablet game period.

21 comments

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  • I have the Galaxy Note 3, I'm waiting on the new Galaxy Note ? Which ever comes next..... I know the Note 7 failed but I'm sure Samsung can fix the faults.....


  • love you Samsung specially note series it's really lovely series, still I having Note 5.
    thanks once again Samsung.


  • I have Note edge i want buy Note 8 with Best audio DAC . removable battery and thermo sensor


  • BruinGuy 9 months ago Link to comment

    "It looked for a little while that abandoning the Note brand is a move Samsung could have been seriously mulling"
    Where can you substantiate this? This is a case where some reporter ponders this idea and all of the other blogs jump on the idea thinking it came from Samsung. Do you have quotes from Samsung saying they ere "seriously" considering dumping the Note moniker?


  • Mark
    • Admin
    9 months ago Link to comment

    Samsung abandon their original customer base so they could try to be Apple. Well they have failed miserably. They have not taken many of Apple's customers away and they have all but destroyed the best phone on the market. The Note series was designed for the business / power user. Taking away the removable battery and expandable storage in the Note 5 cost them market share. I do not think Samsung is being totally honest about what caused the problems. Because those problem are present in other models, just not to the same degree. I personally do not trust Samsung anymore to many lies and cover ups. Not testing a product before release is beyond carless. It should be criminal if it is not, in my opinion.


    • BruinGuy 9 months ago Link to comment

      I'm part of the "original customer base" having started with the Galaxy Nexus and then all of the Notes. I never felt abandoned and appreciated the upgrades. Yes, I liked a removable battery. But waterproofing and wireless charging more than made up for it. Turns out I didn't need a removable battery. I'll buy a Note 8 because the Note 7 was, by far, the best phone I've ever owned. It's not even close.


      • Mark
        • Admin
        9 months ago Link to comment

        BruinGuy- Water proofing is not prevented by having a removable battery. Just look at the Galaxy S5. Wireless charging I do not know about but I see no reason why a battery being removable would prevent it. I have also been a Samsung owner since the S3, which is still going strong thanks to the removable battery. It has been drowned twice once in salt water and washed by my 4 year old daughter because she got it sticky from eating candy. By removing the battery and letting it dry out without a power source the phone is still working. That is not possible with a non removable battery. With the power source still in the phone just short out. Non removable batteries are just planed obsolesce, to force you to buy a phone more often. There is no advantage to having a sealed battery except for the manufacture can make more money. There are lot of advantages to having a removable battery which I have posted many times.


      • Wrong. ip68 cannot have a removable battery.


  • The thing is now that we have been shown that samsung didn't test their devices properly before leaving the factory or being shipped to carriers or clients. What is the guarantee this will not happen again. Why must I take the chance and buy the s8 for example? Samsung as far as I know or read didn't pay damages to all those poor clients that had to endure the painfull experiences of damaged propperty. What happens if those test are bypassed or not really enforced as they claim and next time somebody has their head blown off or severe burns in the face? Can samsung be trusted that they will really admit it was due to their negligence or will the customer be the one that will be scared for life and samsung walk away and just act like nothing has happened? I don't know this charade with the whole 300 million engineers (fig.) tested it and a 8 point check will now be done doesn't impress me at all and gives me no assurance that it will not happen again as a customer. They can't even keep a promise with monthly security updates how will they keep this promise? They can't even give their client's firmware, the latest I must add, on time. How can you trust such a company when clearly they can't keep their word as I've stipulated supra? Just my opinion.


    • BruinGuy 9 months ago Link to comment

      I'd be willing to bet that the next Samsung phones will be the most ever tested by any manufacturer. They'll be the safest phones made. The public will excuse one faux pax but another one could be fatal. Samsung knows this and will bend over backwards to avoid a problem.


    • Property damage. What a laugh!


  • Anyone who rushes out a product without it being Fully checked out, causes there own problems, all Galaxy phone users want Samsung to please there own phone users instead of copying nearly everything Apple offers on its iPhones, but they will not which is so stupid, Note 4 was the Best Note phone, but Samsung let down the Note 5 removing there Best selling options on a Super phone, we hope the Note 8 brings back there Best selling option and make it alot easier to solve any battery problems quicker


    • What??? It's Apple that is copying Samsung on allmost everything?
      Phablet? Wireless charging? Fast charging? OLED screen? Bezelless screen? Curved Screen? Widgets? Inline fingerprint scanner? Irisscanner next year?

      What did Samsung copy from Apple? Rounded corners? RIDICULOUS.

      How can Samsung copy Apple if Samsung is 2-3 years ahead of Apple? Apple fans keep amazin me with their sectarion like behaviour.


      • Apple never Offered the Removable Battery or Micro Sd Card slot on there iPhones,so Samsung thought we will not offer these options on the Galaxy S6 models & Note 5,so iphone users will switch to there Galaxy phones,but it back-fired on Samsung are there Sales Struggled because of there Stupid mistake,we are even getting rumours about the Future Galaxy S8 models and Samsung not offering the 3.5 headphone jack just because Apple as not offered this on the iPhone 7 models,and if Samsung do does this loads will be Switching away from Samsung phones


      • BruinGuy 9 months ago Link to comment

        Andrew, where do you get your sales figures from? Samsung's S7, S7E and the Note 7 were the fastest selling phones in Samsung's history. It may have hurt sales with the techie crowd but that's less than a half a percent of Samsung's customers.


      • The Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge have become very popular because Samsung brought back one of there Best Selling option on these phone the Micro Sd Card Slot


      • Mark
        • Admin
        9 months ago Link to comment

        Now they just need to bring back one more feature, the removable battery. Then and only then will I buy another Samsung


      • Good luck! Especially after what just happened!


  •   12

    It's Samsung who made today's phablet handsets prominent in August 2011.

    It's Samsung who has made Apple increase the screen size of those worthless iPhones now the IPhone 6S plus and iPhone 7 plus was born.

    It's Samsung who made Google come out with that joke of the Nexus 6p the large phablet with no purpose or features to take advantage of the screen.

    Now Google has the silly HTC Pixel handsets they are so dull, boring, typical run of the mill featureless stock Android handset definitely not for me.

    I've said since March 2011 nothing beats Samsung they are Android and technology nothing else matters period.

    The Galaxy Note line is the BEST INNOVATION ever an all purpose business/entertainment masterpiece that can never be duplicated unless by Samsung.

    Everyone makes a big screen but they don't know what else to do after the big screen Samsung rules the phablet game period.

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