For the past five years, Samsung has released a large-screen, stylus-equipped, second-half flagship smartphone known as the Galaxy Note, whose name has been appended by sequential numbers to denote the particular model’s generation. While this year’s version — set to debut in August, as the Note 5 did last year — should be known as the Galaxy Note 6 according to the standard nomenclature, a report out of South Korea (via SamMobile) claims that the company will buck tradition by calling it the Galaxy Note 7.
The Electronic Times cites multiple, anonymous, high-level industry sources in reporting the alleged name change, claiming that Samsung wants to line up generation numbers with its pair of popular first-half flagships, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. Executives are reportedly worried that by habitually trailing the Galaxy S series with respect to its appended digit, the annual Galaxy Note model may appear less technologically advanced to the average consumer — when the opposite has consistently been true.
It would also serve to set this year’s purported Note 7 against the expected iPhone 7, perhaps suggesting an equally long history as the decade-old Apple megahit.
What’s more, the Times is reporting that there will be just a single model of the Galaxy Note, one that features Samsung’s popular dual-curved-edge Super AMOLED display. If true, this would be the first time that the company would be introducing a curved-edge device as its primary seasonal flagship, instead of alongside it.
As far as the reported name change is concerned, it would not be unprecedented in the mobile industry: Huawei performed the same maneuver with both its P- and Mate- series handsets. Those lines each leapfrogged quite a few generations, which had the effect of making them both line up with one another, as well as appear more generationally advanced.
However, the artificial manipulation of brand names in this manner could potentially do a disservice to consumers; if some brands are choosing to ditch widely held conventions, it may make it difficult for less-informed shoppers to discern the true generation of a given device from any manufacturer, not just those engaging in this practice.