Samsung is planning to merge its two high-end lineups of Android smartphones, the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series, South Korean outlet The Bell reports, citing people close to the Seoul-based tech giant. The idea is said to be coming from the very top, i.e. Samsung Group Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, the de facto leader of the conglomerate since 2014 when his father and Chairman Lee Kun-hee was left in a comatose state following a heart attack.
While the move has yet to be greenlit, the basic thinking behind it reportedly stems from Samsung's declining smartphone sales across all price segments, with the company hence looking toward streamlining its product portfolio as a way to entice consumers into buying more of its new devices instead of settling for older, more affordable models whose prices drop after their successors are released. Both the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S9 lineups are said to have suffered from that kind of thinking, with the Galaxy S8 series still outperforming both in terms of sales. Due to that state of affairs, Samsung is said to have lowered its expectations for the Galaxy Note 9's sales to 12 million, only a million up compared to the 2017 Galaxy Note 8 series.
The report is seemingly in line with recent rumors about the upcoming Galaxy S10 family featuring three models instead of traditional two, with the most premium one supposedly sporting a triple-camera setup on the back, a two-sensor system on the front, and possibly an S Pen should Samsung choose to merge its two Android flagship lineups next year. While that approach would still see Samsung deliver three high-end devices per year, it would likely allow the company to save on R&D and marketing costs while possibly improving its annual sales in the high-end mobile segment. It could also allow it to free up the second half of the year for more unconventional offerings such as foldable smartphones. Samsung's first bendable handset is expected to debut early next year and the tech giant may follow up on the concept as early as the second half of 2019 should the market respond well to it, industry insiders claimed earlier this week.