According to a new report published today in South Korea, Samsung is planning to skip the six entirely and go straight to seven in a move that Microsoft is no doubt familiar with. According to ETNews:
[Samsung] has decided to skip over Galaxy Note 6 to eliminate any inconsistency with an image that can occur as numbers of two products’ brands are different. It is also applying dual-edge on Note series for the first time. This is seen as Samsung Electronics’ strategy to maximize marketability of ‘Galaxy Note7’, which is considered as Samsung Electronics’ biggest anticipated product, and to widen a gap between itself and Apple.
The IT news outlet then quotes an unnamed industry source as saying, “Within Samsung Electronics, a new Galaxy Note is already being called as Galaxy Note 7.” Another source, also offered the following comment:
When Galaxy Note 6 that has its model number lower than Galaxy S7, which is the newest model, is released, it can give out a feeling that it is an outdated phone. It is known that Samsung Electronics has made the numbers same to unify a premium image.
As if this is not interesting enough, the ETNews’ report then continues, making mention of the rumored Galaxy Note 7 Edge that has been talked about in recent weeks:
Samsung Electronics is also introducing dual-edge on the front and back of Galaxy Note 7 for the first time on Galaxy Note series. By doing so, curvatures of edges of the front and the back will be the same. Until now, Samsung Electronics applied edge only on one side (Galaxy Note 4). For Galaxy Note 5, it applied edge only on the back and made the front flat. Dual-edge can help Samsung Electronics to hold superiority in competition with other businesses since it has high level of difficulty in technology.
The piece also makes reference to the belief that Samsung’s new phone(s) is/are likely to go into production mid-July and release in early or mid-August.
Despite the rather surprising idea that Samsung may skip the six, it does make sense. Since its inception, the Galaxy Note has always been one number behind the flagship Galaxy S series, thus creating a schism in the annual “focus number”. Whereas this might not have been such a problem in the past, competition has increased in the form of a flood of phablets from OEMs around the world, including Google itself with the Motorola Nexus 6 and the Huawei Nexus 6P.
Likewise, as has been argued, Apple is clearly gearing up to release an iPhone 7 in a few months, and along with it will be massive amounts of PR and page hits relating to the number. Samsung, in a sense, does have a potential problem in that a Galaxy Note 6 would possibly (1) be seen as more of the same from last year’s Galaxy S6 – including the lack of microSD support – and (2) it would be a number smaller than the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (or Pro as it may be called).
By moving directly to numeral seven, Samsung would not only be streamlining the company’s most premium of products, but so too would be making a clear delineation from the “controversial” nature of last year’s Galaxy-6 products. This is, as mentioned earlier, similar to the strategy that Microsoft employed when it decided to rename its newest desktop OS as Windows 10, bypassing Windows 9 entirely. Many had speculated this was a deliberate attempt to clearly distance itself from the “hot mess” that many complained exemplified the “convoluted” nature of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
Perhaps more excitingly however, the prospect of a curved display on the Note Edge brings with it a possible return to form via 2014’s Galaxy Note Edge, though it would remain to be seen as to if Samsung actually reuses said product’s intuitive side screen, or just pulls from the far less productive Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S7 Edge implementations.