Aug 3rd, 2013

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-galaxy-daynote

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.

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