Every year since the inception of Samsung's highly successful Galaxy Note series, the Korean company has introduced the latest model during the IFA exhibition in Berlin at the start of September. Only this year, it held the launch event a couple of weeks early and relocated it to New York City. This geographic switch is at least partly down to the fact that the new Galaxy Note 5 will not be going on sale in Europe. Not today, not tomorrow, and maybe not at all. It would have been a bad look to come to the center of Europe to announce a product no store on the continent will stock.
"Samsung’s portfolio will be centred on the Galaxy S6 edge+."
But what's driven Samsung's decision to withdraw one of its halo devices from one of the most important electronics markets in the world? The company says it's a matter of "consumer needs and the specific market situation." To best serve European needs, Samsung is promoting the Galaxy S6 Edge+ ahead of the Note: a device that has the same basic hardware as the Note, but misses out on the stylus and related functionality. In short, Samsung is saying that European customers appreciate big screens just like everyone else, but probably don't make use of the stylus as much as their Asian or American counterparts. As someone who's used each of the four Note generations so far, and often forgotten the stylus even existed, I'm inclined to agree with that assessment.
The situation could still change, depending on how much of an outcry the Note's European absence engenders (one retailer has started a petition to encourage Samsung to change its mind), but for now at least, Europeans are going to have to look elsewhere to satisfy any cravings for a stylus. Samsung's full statement on the matter is below.
Verge Video: Hands on with the Galaxy Note 5
"The market availability of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will vary according to consumer needs and the specific market situation. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will be introduced in the US and Asian markets in August and we will look at further opportunities to launch the Galaxy Note 5 in other markets."
"With the launch of the original Galaxy Note series in 2011, we created a whole new smart device category that set a new industry standard, which all others have followed. For our European customers, Samsung’s portfolio will be centred on the Galaxy S6 edge+, so as to better cater to their needs."