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Here’s why Samsung may drop the Note brand

It was only yesterday that Samsung announced that it’s terminating production of its latest flagship smartphone amid reports of replacement units catching fire, and now the Internet is filled with speculation that the South Korean company is going to ditch the Note brand as its reputation is too tarnished for consumers to want to pick up a next-generation handset.

Speaking exclusively to The Korea Herald, Kim Duk-jin, the vice chief of Korea Insight Institute, recommended that “Samsung [should] drop the Note brand as consumers may still find it dangerous even when the new Note 8 comes out.” He then went on to reveal that even as the entire debacle unfolded, the perception of the Note lineup started to change around the world.

This point can be backed up by statistics, too. The Institute revealed that Konan Technology, a company based in Seoul that analyzes social network services, spotted a trend in negative perception of the Note 7, which has risen to 53 percent in October from 34 percent in August. Positive perception dropped to 42 percent from 62 percent during the same period.

It’s clear that many people are taking to their favorite social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to share strong thoughts on the Galaxy Note 7’s hidden ability to burst into flames without warning. But it’s not only the public that have these sentiments. The majority of the world’s leading travel companies do, too.

Shortly after reports of explosions started to surface, many airlines and cruise companies started to issue notices banning passengers from carrying the Note 7 on board or in cargo on their vehicles. Some were more lenient and allowed them to be brought on, but they had to be powered down and remain off for the entire duration of the journey.

When the replacement variants were issued, they were briefly allowed on board. However, the majority of airlines reinstated the ban when a unit started smoking on a Southwest Airlines flight before takeoff, which resulted in the aircraft being held on the runway while it was evacuated.

It’s unlikely that they’d take too kindly to a next-generation model as Samsung made the same mistake twice, and nobody wants to own a device they can’t take abroad. After all, the Galaxy Note 7 was marketed at ‘professionals’ — and they tend to travel a lot for conferences and meetings.

Personally, I think the Note brand is dead and that Samsung should move on by dropping the moniker entirely. It should, instead, stick to one flagship by producing a stylus-totting variant. It’s a known fact that sales of the regular flat model of the Galaxy S7 are down, so maybe it could create a ‘Pro’ variant of its next iteration that sports an S Pen.

It shouldn’t rush to launch it, though. In order to recover (and yes, it’s possible), Samsung has to ensure that all future handsets it puts out work flawlessly. Another major mishap could ruin the entire reputation of its Galaxy brand — especially if it goes ahead and drops the Note title — which it just spent an eye-watering amount to save.

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