Opinion

A budget-friendly Galaxy Note would bring needed functionality to the low-cost experience

I am a true believer that “you get what you pay for,” so I’m not one to cater to the budget-friendly crowd. No, I don’t think that budget-friendly devices will one day take over the world and make us all wake up and realize that our $800 Galaxy S7 edge is too high a price to pay.

And yet, there are some companies out there that pick out certain features from the company’s Galaxy Note line and toss them into their own devices such as the Stylus 2 Plus and the Stylo 2. I just received the Stylo 2 about two weeks ago and have had some time with it. All while using it, I’ve been reminded that it isn’t a Galaxy Note (I already knew that, but I didn’t realize how true that fact really is).

While it has made me miss my Galaxy Note 7, it has also reminded me that there is a market for low-end stylus-enabled smartphones. And that market, regardless of how large or small it may be, is one that belongs to Samsung.

Who better to win the low-cost stylus smartphone market than Samsung? After all, the company has created the stylus smartphone standard in its prestigious Galaxy Note line, and there are a number of consumers who’d pick up the device if a Note device bearing Samsung’s quality features and S Pen came more inexpensive than the company’s high-end productivity phablet.

Samsung has done something akin to this before, with the Galaxy Note 3 Neo and even a Galaxy Note 6 Lite was rumored before Samsung decided to move to the number 7 instead. And yet, the Galaxy Note 6 Lite never came to fruition in the Galaxy Note 7 and the Galaxy Note 3 Neo was announced after the Galaxy Note 3 had already been on shelves for some weeks and was quickly forgotten in favor of the Galaxy Note 4 and the single-edge design of the Galaxy Note Edge. This time, the Galaxy Note Lite (or a budget-friendly Galaxy Note) would have a better chance of gaining ground if it were released at the same time as the Galaxy Note 8.

Sure, there’s not as much money in a more budget-friendly device and price, but there are a few reasons why Samsung should release an inexpensive Galaxy Note for a more cost-conscious market. First, Samsung has been on the front lines of the stylus-enabled smartphone experience. Because of that, Samsung should be on the front lines bringing this technology to the more cost-conscious crowd.

Next, Samsung should create a low-cost Galaxy Note because Samsung would have marketing success with this device. The Galaxy Note name has achieved much success in the smartphone world, and, despite the existence of LG’s stylus lineup, a number of consumers only think of Samsung when they think about stylus smartphones. This device would bear a popular moniker and that alone will get cost-conscious consumers inquiring as to what this low-end Note is all about.

The Galaxy Note lineup has had such success worldwide that Chinese OEMs are doing everything to put the word “Note” in their phone names nowadays (“Xiaomi Redmi Note 4,” “Xiaomi Mi Note Pro,” “Lenovo Vibe K5 Note,” and “Huawei Honor Note 8” are just a few). The mentioned phone titles are misnomers due to the fact they lack stylus functionality. Samsung knows how to put the “Note” in “Galaxy Note.”

Last but not least, Samsung should release a budget-friendly Galaxy Note because of what it would mean for the future development of Tizen. First, Samsung’s had some measure of success with Tizen in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka and the budget-friendly market would embrace another Tizen device. Now, Samsung would have to release the device even lower than the $300 bracket (the Samsung Z3 sold for less than $200 unlocked), but it would be light on features and give more of a basic Tizen experience while adding some stylus features and apps.

This may be some time off in the future, but Samsung could start the success of Tizen with a stylus smartphone by launching it on Android, a well-known platform that would embrace stylus functionality and Play Store access. And studying its impact and popularity on Android could become the stepping stone to a budget-friendly, Tizen-powered Galaxy Note in the future. All while making money on Android with a budget-friendly Galaxy Note, Samsung would set things right for a similar device launch on Tizen.

The LG Stylo 2 isn’t a Galaxy Note alternative, but that hasn’t stopped some consumers from believing it is a viable second choice. Samsung doesn’t need to launch a budget-friendly Galaxy Note, but launching such a line and maintaining it long-term would protect its own work on the stylus smartphone and prevent someone from getting a stake in the stylus smartphone at the low-end. From high-end to low-end and everywhere in-between, consumers would have no choice but to think “Galaxy Note” whenever they hear or read the words “stylus smartphone.”

And Samsung would conquer a whole new “Galaxy.”

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