The ink is barely dry on the iPhone 12 announcement, and the Pixel 5 is not even obtainable in North America, however we’re already listening to rumblings of the following Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup coming sooner within the new 12 months than ever earlier than.
Samsung has had an fascinating 12 months; it introduced and launched the triple-play Galaxy S20 lineup proper because the pandemic hit — it was the final in-person launch occasion I attended — and although the reception was overwhelmingly optimistic, the gross sales numbers have been something however. With the most cost effective Galaxy S20 launching for $1,000 and the colossal S20 Ultra demanding an equally gargantuan $1,400, the telephones’ costs have been out of step with a shopping for public that was extra concerned with hoarding bathroom paper than amortizing a brand new pocket amortizing a brand new pocket laptop.
Nevertheless it soldiered on, filling its lineup with a bevy of similar-looking smartphones that ranged in price from $100 all the best way to $2,000. For those who want a Samsung phone, the corporate will meet you the place your price range is.
Supply: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
Maybe probably the most curious announcement got here only a few weeks in the past, when Samsung held a digital occasion for a $700 cellphone that, to some, forgave the pricing foibles from earlier within the 12 months, and to others represented a self-cannibalizing shift in technique that served to confuse greater than salve demand for its flagships. The Galaxy S20 FE is likely one of the best Android phones of the year, largely as a result of it preserves what makes the S20 lineup so good whereas lowering value to a palatable quantity.
However the S20 FE can even possible have the doubtful legacy of being the final cellphone Samsung releases earlier than it unveils the following spherical of Galaxy S flagships, at present dubbed the S21 (or Galaxy S30, relying on which leaker you communicate to). We have now seen renders of the S21 and S21 Extremely, and each seem like iterative updates to this 12 months’s telephones.
The S21 has a flat show and the S21 Extremely an enormous honking digital camera bump, and the primary visible replace over the S20 seems to be a digital camera module that wraps across the bezel. Whether or not there’s extra operate to this way stays to be seen.
We’re listening to the Galaxy S21 collection goes to be a fairly minor replace over the S20, however decrease costs and an earlier launch date could also be precisely what the market needs.
Maybe probably the most fascinating facet of those most recent Galaxy S21 leaks is not the telephones themselves, however the purported launch date: mid-January 2021, a full six weeks earlier than Samsung normally unveils its Galaxy S flagships.
Now there are a lot of causes the corporate would select to go down this path, however I have been giving it some thought, and this is what I’ve give you to this point.
Whereas mid-January is normally a product launch black gap — after CES, the place many merchandise are introduced however few are literally launched — it is proper after the vacations, which makes it a reasonably open schedule for any firm seeking to make a splash out there. If the announcement comes mid-January for a late-January launch, as we have heard it would, it will depart the sphere broad open for the corporate to market in opposition to a recently-released competitor, and its chief rival, the iPhone 12.
Pushing up the Galaxy S21 to January ensures that the brand new iPhones haven’t got that a lot time to breathe earlier than Samsung swoops in once more to steal the proverbial highlight, and it could (although this can be a stretch) trigger some individuals to delay their iPhone 12 purchases in the event that they know a brand new Galaxy S flagship is looming. Extra importantly, although, it provides Samsung extra time to cement its lead over the Android competitors in an more and more aggressive market.
A part of that lead will inevitably come from the truth that Samsung has, for the previous few years, been the primary Android producer to ship telephones with Qualcomm’s best-in-class Snapdragon 800-series platform. The chip designer is anticipated to unveil the Snapdragon 875 at its digital two-day tech summit in early December, with manufacturing at Samsung (and maybe TSMC) ramping up shortly afterwards. If Qualcomm can hit yields of its new 5nm chip at volumes Samsung wants for its new flagships, it might give each firms a fairly clear leg-up as they each attempt to compete with Apple of their separate methods — Samsung on cellphone gross sales, and Qualcomm within the Snapdragon 875’s comparisons to the brand new A14 Bionic.
The third and maybe most vital cause for transferring the Galaxy S21 collection launch as much as January is that it provides Samsung’s different cellphone strains area to face aside all year long. Whereas the corporate used to focus its efforts on two main Unpacked occasions, one in late February or early March for the Galaxy S and the opposite in August for the Galaxy Observe, its success with the Galaxy Z series of folding telephones might necessitate including a 3rd massive product launch to its annual cycle. And given that the majority of 2021 is anticipated to proceed this 12 months’s development of digital occasions, the overhead related to including one other one is decrease than it is ever been.
This can be the primary flagship designed solely for a pandemic viewers.
Samsung has not been the one firm to grapple with a downturn within the smartphone market, which has impacted individuals’s need to exchange their gadgets with costly $1,000+ flagships, and for a lot of, to exchange them in any respect. Launching the Galaxy S21 collection on the identical value factors because it did the S20 could be a nasty search for the largest smartphone maker on the earth, so coming into 2021 early with a extra cost-sensitive lineup of telephones would guarantee their success.
Supply: Hayato Huseman / Android Central
There isn’t any query that the corporate, like each smartphone maker, has been toiling away making an attempt to determine how finest to regulate to the instances we dwell in. Samsung already did its present cellphone house owners a giant service by promising three years of platform and safety updates, and has a cellphone for each price range.
However its Galaxy S lineup nonetheless receives probably the most consideration, and probably the most scrutiny, from the mainstream public, and launching three telephones with loads of energy, new options, and decrease costs could be precisely the form of transfer one ought to anticipate from an organization that has been pressured, 12 months after 12 months, to solve tough structural problems in little or no time.
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The Galaxy S20 FE is a implausible worth, offering lots of the identical specs as its flagship brethren, whereas reducing the fee in all the suitable areas.
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