The Galaxy S8 will have an S Pen accessory, or a stylus accessory of some kind as an external writing instrument. And it is interesting that this report about the S Pen leaked at the same exact time that critics were playing up fears that Samsung would do away with the Galaxy Note line and brand. This is no surprise: the same critics have been saying the same thing since the first Galaxy Note 7 recall. The goal, as always, is to force consumers into making a decision that they would later regret.
The S Pen as an accessory with the Galaxy S8 had some consumers concerned that Samsung would do away with the Galaxy Note 8 series. Well, that claim has now been substantiated for what it is – nothing more than a false hope. The Galaxy Note 8 will arrive this Fall, as has been the custom for the Korean giant's most prestigious phablet series, and Note fans know the phone that rules the day for them. But, what has been hidden through all the false claims of an abandoned Note series is that Samsung has implemented stylus accessories before, but none of these ever led to the death of the Galaxy Note series.
The earliest evidence I've been able to gather regarding a stylus accessory for the Galaxy S line has been with the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy S4. First, Samsung provided a C Pen (it wasn't called an S Pen) for the Galaxy S3 (via Amazon), and MobileFun offered Samsung's genuine C Pen for both the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4. I purchased the C Pen for my Galaxy S3, but the phone only had a basic notetaking app that appeared as a basic legal notepad – nothing more.
As for the Galaxy S5, Samsung didn't have a specific C Pen that worked similarly to that of the Galaxy S3, but the company had partnered with Cross to bring a ballpoint pen that doubled as a digital stylus. This ballpoint pen would work with practically any Samsung Galaxy smartphone, but it appears as though there was some demand for it to work with the Galaxy S5 that was also announced in early 2014. The fact that the pen and the Galaxy S5 were not announced together demonstrates that the external pen was not designed to imitate the Galaxy Note series.
One year ago, we leaked an exclusive about a new Ballpoint pen/ C Pen stylus that works for paper and digital screens though it was designed for the Galaxy TabPro S Windows tablet. This new ballpoint pen/stylus may indeed be used with any Samsung device (including the Galaxy S7 edge, for example), but again, it has been designed as an external accessory that wouldn't necessarily convert the Galaxy S7 edge or even the Galaxy S8 into an upcoming Note 8.
Finally, there is further evidence that this external S Pen accessory will arrive to market, and it pertains to the fact that just a year ago, Samsung patented an S Pen cover with a built-in S Pen that would work for any Galaxy smartphone. Perhaps Samsung is deliberating whether or not to bring this to the forefront of the Galaxy S series. If so, Samsung could offer the case as a separate accessory alongside of a capacitive stylus. Even then, though, the company still intends to bring out a Galaxy Note 8 – so the stylus alone isn't enough to make Samsung abandon the Note brand and series.
These are but a few cases, but it goes to show that Samsung has always concerned itself with offering digital writing options for those that prefer a smaller device than the Note but want to at least have a stylus handy for rare occasions. And yet, Samsung has never, at any time, used the existence of a stylus for its other Galaxy smartphones as a means to eliminate the Galaxy Note series. It's déjà vu, something we've already seen; because it's nothing new, our response should be nothing new as well.
This isn't to say that Samsung can't do something new and bring added functionality with the S Pen, because it can. Samsung has sovereignty over its products to do whatever it wants to with devices that bear its name. At the same time, however, since Samsung can change its mind at any moment (and has made some last-minute changes for its high-end smartphones before), we only have past events to go on. And, from what the past shows us, there is little justification to assume the Galaxy S8 S Pen accessory indicates the death of the Note line.
The Galaxy S8 S Pen accessory story was meant to be a reason to celebrate, but it has been used as a tool of mass hysteria to provoke Note fans to assume the worst. When journalism does its homework by examining Samsung's history, the S Pen accessory can be seen for what it is: a way to provide more choice without eliminating what remains to this day the most prestigious smartphone series the market has ever seen.