Samsung has revealed that the Galaxy Note 5 will not be making its way to Europe. I have long suspected that the Note series is coming to an end, and the decision not to launch the latest model in Europe suggests that might indeed be the case. But with both the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ being released elsewhere, why is the Note 5 being withheld from Europe?
The answer almost certainly lies within another question: why would Samsung release two almost identical devices at the same time? Either to test an unproven formula, or to initiate the withdrawal of a series while introducing a new one. In the end, either method would probably end with the same result.
S Pen vs Dual Edge
Though the Galaxy S6 was a commercial disappointment, the S6 Edge was a surprise success. This would indicate to Samsung that its future phablet success could lie with a high-end dual-edge display variant, rather than a more 'typical' smartphone model.
The original Samsung Galaxy Note was probably one of the company's biggest innovations, but the large display became less of a unique selling point with every passing year, and for two years its size stagnated at 5.7 inches, while the competition continued to get larger. With 5.5-inch handsets now fairly commonplace, the extra fifth of an inch on the Galaxy Note 3 and Note 4 no longer seems, if you'll forgive the pun, noteworthy.
As for Samsung's S Pen, the stylus it introduced for use with its phablets, our sources in Germany tell us that only 20 percent of Note-owners actually use the stylus. It seems the biggest of Samsung's recent innovations have exceeded their expiry dates.
The dual-edge display, however, is currently Samsung's big USP, and to date no one has reproduced it in the same way. Samsung has a real opportunity to capitalize on innovation once again. But maybe people do still prefer the old-style Note phablet and stylus? It could be that Samsung is running a Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+ 'test', to see which proves the most popular.
Is the fate of the Note sealed?
If the Galaxy Note 5 will be released in the US, but not in Europe, then it might be a sign that the future of the Note series has been decided.
It seems that Samsung has finally realized what I have been saying for years. The success of the iPhone owes a lot to the fact that the brand is so well known and recognizable.
Samsung's most identifiable smartphone characteristic is currently the dual-edge display, so it makes sense to branch it out to as many products as it can. The S6 Edge+ takes that dual-edge display to a larger, Note-sized device – why would Samsung need a Galaxy Note when it has that?
Are you disappointed to be missing out on the Galaxy Note 5 in Europe? Let us know in the comments below.