Samsung Galaxy Note history
I still remember the original Galaxy Note smartphone from Samsung, which emerged in a world of 3.5-inch iPhones, and the word 'phablet' was born. There were large groups of smartphone users who laughed Samsung off with its massive 5.3-inch screen, with Apple marketing going into overdrive with the iPhone 5 and its 3.5-inch display. Apple mocked Samsung in the iPhone 5 'thumb' TV commercial, saying that "a dazzling display of common sense" that your thumb can reach all parts of the 3.5-inch display on the iPhone 5.
Well, Apple may have said that years ago when Steve Jobs was alive, but the company changed with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus release. Apple shifted its game from a 3.5-inch display to the much larger 4.7-inch display on the iPhone 6, but it was the 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 6 Plus that had the world standing still. Apple fans loved it, Samsung fans were used to it for years, taking flak from iPhone users that their Galaxy Note smartphones were just too big.
Steve Jobs himself said back in 2010 during the massive Antennagate problems that making a smartphone so big "you can't get your hand around it" would help with reception, but he added that "no one's going to buy that." Well, fast forward a few years and Apple's entire stance on larger smartphones has changed, especially with the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus being two of the biggest smartphones you can buy.
Why the history lesson, and why am I talking so much about Apple? Because the Galaxy Note family of smartphones from Samsung was almost the anti-Apple within Samsung's family of smartphones. The South Korean giant has been making smartphones for what feels like forever, but it was the Galaxy Note range that really set them apart from not just Apple, but all smartphone manufacturers.
Samsung made big smartphones useful, instead of just a gimmick, and made more of a professional line of smartphones with the Galaxy Note thanks to the included stylus. Having a stylus built into the smartphone was a huge win, versus a larger iPhone, which has no purpose other than a larger screen.
Samsung continued its domination with the Galaxy Note, succeeding it with the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy Note III, but it wasn't until the Galaxy Note 4 that they began pushing the boundaries in the marketing department. With the release of the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung's marketing was saying "no one is going to buy a big phone" followed by "guess who surprised themselves and changed their minds." It was a clever tactic, and Samsung drove it home, right into the release of the Galaxy Note 5, which was a dip for the company.
The release of the Galaxy Note 5 was met with criticism, as Samsung had removed staple features like expandable storage through a microSD card slot. The bloated TouchWiz UI became an even more loathed problem for Samsung, but things started to turn around with the company in its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones. Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 was released after the Galaxy S5 smartphone, which failed to gain the kind of traction the company was used to with its Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 smartphones.
Samsung began listening to its millions of consumers, and put significant efforts into the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, and then the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, and now the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. With each successor, they bought back the things that were missing (the Galaxy S7/S7 edge has a microSD card slot, the S6/S6 edge did not) - and the same goes for the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung has improved the Galaxy Note 7 in virtually every way it can, but it's not perfect by any means.
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