Could Samsung challenge Amazon with E-Ink Optimized “Daynote”?


The USPTO is our friend. When companies create new products, they get their product names trademarked through the United States Patent & Trademark Office, which makes these records public and searchable. Before a new smartphone or gadget is ever announced, we often see it’s name pop up in these records. While they don’t always tell the future, the latest trademark filing from Samsung has turned our heads.

Introducing the Samsung Daynote.

Samsung Daynote Trademark

Get out your umbrellas and load up on salt, because I’m about to rain down the speculation. Could Samsung be preparing to take on Amazon and their Kindle line with an E-Ink optimized version of their “Note” product called Daynote?

It’s quite possible.

E-Ink provides three huge benefits to users:

  1. The screen is much easier on the eyes
  2. The screen is perfectly visible and glare free in direct sunlight
  3. The screen requires a TON less battery life

Amazon essentially created their own category with the original Kindle. They dominated tablet sales and were virtually untouchable. Then Apple reinvented the tablet, essentially creating their own category with the iPad. Neither the Kindle or iPad were first to market with these types of gadgets, but for a lot of reasons, everything clicked.

In many ways, smartphones and tablets – with their LCD screens – have supplanted the demand for E-Ink devices like the original Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite. But a primary consumer concern is still battery life, and if you’re a student doing a ton of textbook reading on your tablet, something easier on the eyes might be nice.

Why wouldn’t an Android-based tablet with E-Ink support take off? Lots of reasons.

Way back in 2009 we saw an onslaught of E-Ink Android devices. Remember the Alex eReader? How about the Entourage eDGe? Or the Barnes & Noble Simple Touch Glowlight? All Android, all with e-Ink, and all failed. Last month B&N even announced they’re no longer making the Nook (themselves).

In 2011, when an Amazon E-Ink Android Tablet was rumored, we ran a poll to determine how much popular it might be. It was an open ended poll asking readers what tablets interested them the most… the results were pretty overwhelming in favor of an Android-based E-Ink Kindle.

Amazon E-Ink Poll

Manufacturers haven’t given up on the concept, either: less than a year ago, the YotaPhone was announced, an Android phone that runs with both LCD and e-Ink technology. The overwhelmingly positive comments on that article indicate the desire for an Android with e-Ink may not be gone.

One huge problem with the above failed Androids was the lack of a household name. A second was the inability to tastefully implement the technology. Amazon didn’t make the first eReader. Apple didn’t make the first tablet. But both companies came to dominate those respective markets. Why? Great implementation, great marketing, brand leverage, and perfecting timing.

Samsung has carved out their own slice of dominance, owning a piece of almost every tech pie, from phones and tablets to washers and dryers. But it’s their “Galaxy” brand that remains tattooed on the brain of tech lovers.

Samsung might be one of the only manufacturers on the planet who could manifest an e-Ink Android with a great hardware implementation. They could leverage the Daynote name through their Galaxy Note series, even incorporating it as a FEATURE while still retaining the original Galaxy Note name. And hey… the timing might be perfect.

Later this month, Google will be launching Textbooks on the Google Play Store. That’s right… Textbooks.

We’re working on bringing textbooks to Google Play Books. We’ll launch with a comprehensive catalog of higher education titles across science, mathematics, engineering, and more from all five major textbook publishers including Cengage, Wiley, Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Macmillan. You can purchase textbooks at full price or rent them for six months at up to 80% off. You can use all of the features of Google Play Books like search, bookmarks, highlights, notes, dictionary, Wikipedia lookups and night mode. And they are available across platforms on web and mobile.

Would this not make for even better timing for a Galaxy Note with e-Ink features?


Samsung could capture a huge portion of Amazon’s eReader customers and swallow a big gulp of Amazon’s marketshare. In a world where phone and tablet tech is more iterative than revolutionary or even evolutionary, they’d offer a feature that no iPad dare include.

Maybe battery life will improve to the point where e-Ink power consumption savings are no longer a benefit. Maybe the mythical “Daynote” will waddle along with a great benefit but little success, like the Samsung Galaxy Beam. Or maybe e-Ink technology will grow, incorporate color as has been rumored, and an entirely new tablet experience will become the defacto tech standard.

[polldaddy poll=7295216]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. It’s not the hardware, it’s the content that matters here. Amazon would likely be fine with Samsung competing in the e-reader space provided they can sell books to the users. In that, Google is more of an Amazon competitive threat than Samsung here, but since the market is moving toward general tablets in this space and there’s plenty of competition there, I don’t see how this changes much.

    1. What if the Daynote has all S-Pen features, all the Android features, has E-Ink display, and can run the Amazon Kindle app from Google Play store – TO BUY BOOKS FROM Amazon? Then why would anyone buy another reader-only gadget that has no other benefits?

      1. At that point, probably cost. Fairly decent e-readers have gotten a good bit cheaper since tablets have become common and one doesn’t need many features to read a book on the device.

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really have an strong opinion on the Daynote itself. I just find it interesting that Samsung is making a play for what appears to be a shrinking market segment.

      2. I believe the real question is who would want a Daynote over a regular tablet and what would the price point be. I think the chief issue would be screen performance. Now if the Daynote had color e-Ink (or some other technology like Mirasol), this could be a game changer.

  2. Another day late/dollar short item. I already have a Paperwhite, works great, runs cheap and I see no real reason to replace it. It ain’t broke so why fix it?

    1. I’m waiting on the next gen, think it’s coming next month.

    2. I am still rocking my Keyboard 3G and I don’t see any reason to replace it either.

    3. Just because you already have one doesn’t mean someone else won’t get it.

      1. I did not assert that it meant that no one else wouldn’t get one. The poll asked a question and I answered, that’s all.

    4. One less device to carry around.

  3. All I can think of is It’s Always Sunny…Daynote, ah ah ah! Champion of the sun ah ah ah

    1. Ha! xD

      That should be their first commercial.

    2. Fighter of the NightNote!

  4. This is a great idea and if samsung can provide, awesome.

  5. I could see it if there was a normal screen on one side and e-ink on the other. There are too many things that rely on the quickness of a normal screen on phones for e-ink to be the only one.

  6. I would like my Note 3 to have the option to switch from e-ink to whatever screen they end up putting on there.

    1. That would be the tits sir.

    2. The phones/tablets that have smooth, glass backs (iPhone, Nexus 4,…) could easily just have an e-Ink display put there. Wanna’ read a book (or email or anything static in black-and-white)? Just turn the phone over and press the screen button. Voila! E-reader.

      Other than perhaps being a little more fragile, no functionality is lost. Price would be the only constraint.

      1. Then we can get reversible cases!

  7. The point of the Galaxy Note name is that the current Note screen is specially made to respond to the pressure sensitive Wacom made S Pen stylus. So you can make notes. Don’t know if this could be compatible with the e-ink as well.

    1. The screen and digitizer layer are separate, all they would have to do is apply that same layer over the E-ink display and it will be compatible. Of course they would have to make a few software changes to complement the pen but its not something that would take them any more time to develop than if they were using the Amoled display.

      Sony already has a few working prototypes with the final product coming in the fall.

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      It’s not the hardware, it’s the
      content that matters here. Amazon would likely be fine with Samsung
      competing in the e-reader space provided they can sell books to the
      users. In that, Google is more of an Amazon competitive threat than
      Samsung here, but since the market is moving toward general tablets in
      this space and there’s plenty of competition there, I don’t see how this
      changes much.

  8. ..

    1. It looks kinda cool, except for the color…

  9. Rob, you need to be more clearer about your statements. You mentioned “Last month B&N even announced they’re no longer making the Nook”. That is only true for the color Nooks not the E-ink Nooks.

    1. Yeah, I felt like that statement was pretty irrelevant to the article at hand.

  10. Day note! aaaaaaaah

  11. I still like the idea of a slightly thicker phone with an e-ink display on the back and amoled on the front. The e-ink display would be smaller than the front display to both accommodate the camera and camera flash, but it would be quite nice to use outside for text messaging, reading, and even browsing the web.

    Yotaphone has something similar to what I’d like, but I’d like a full touch screen on the back with text messaging abilities instead of a few limited apps and some static mirroring. There could be some sort of physical switch or slider button to change displays. If there was full touch sensitivity that allowed or typing in email, text messaging, basic office app, and browsing website, then I’d be perfectly happy for most of the day. Music controls would even be fine on the e-ink side. At darker times or when viewing color media I could use the other side. I imagine that sort of use scenario would provide amazing battery life on even average sized batteries.

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