Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Will Cause New Problems For Apple, Google – Forbes

The 2020 smartphone launch calendar should be done and dusted, but a new report suggests Samsung might have other ideas. A story from Korean publication MTN, citing supply chain sources, claims that Samsung is bringing forward production of the next Galaxy flagship by six weeks. 

An earlier release date is in mind, with the report even claiming December 2020 as an option. The logic behind the move appears to be poor Samsung S20 sales and the Korean company seeking to “proactively respond to rapidly changing market conditions”, the story explains. SamMobile‘s own sources backed up the MTN report of an early release date with January 2021 apparently pencilled in for the Galaxy S21 launch. Whether it’s December 2020 or January 2021, it is looking likely that Samsung’s flagship will arrive earlier than normal. 

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An early launch of the Galaxy S21 is both a wild rumour and entirely feasible. I’d also be willing to bet on Samsung making some drastic pricing changes to go along with its new release date. This would be unusual, or even unlikely, in any other year but 2020 is a different beast. The intensifying battle for your money means OEMs have shocked us with unusual moves this year. Apple launched four iPhone 12 models to hit (almost) every price range, Google stepped away from making a top-tier flagship for the first time in years and Samsung released a surprise upper mid-range phone just ahead of Google’s and Apple’s releases. Release dates for almost all companies have shifted because of Covid-19 too.

The S20 FE is a good example of how aggressive the Korean company can be. Not only did it appear from nowhere, it was also surprisingly cheap for its specifications in the display, camera and processor department. Samsung also isn’t shy about going all out to pry customers away from Apple.

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Five years ago the Korean company briefly ran a high-profile promotion which let iPhone owners “test drive” the new Note 5 and Galaxy S6 for $1 for 30 days. Then there’s the company’s generous trade-in program, which happily overpays for iPhones, including $400 for the 2017 iPhone X and $350 for the iPhone 8 Plus. On promotions, the company is currently giving away three months free of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and the Moga XP5-X Plus controller with all Galaxy 2020 5G purchases (a total of $115 worth of free stuff). 

It’s not hard to make an argument that the company’s all-out strategy has a hint of desperation, which isn’t surprising considering the difficult economic times all OEMs find themselves in. So an early release of the Galaxy S21 doesn’t seem too far fetched.

I suspect Samsung will price the Galaxy S21 much more affordably than its predecessor. The Galaxy S20 landed before the worst of the economic fall out of Covid-19 hit. That eye-watering $1399 price tag for the S20 Plus Ultra won’t be repeated any time soon, not when almost all of the competition is cutting prices to stay afloat. 

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The MTN report also spectacularly claims that the top Galaxy S21 model will come with an S Pen, with the Note range being discontinued. In effect this would streamline Samsung’s bloated product library. We’ve heard rumours about Samsung merging the Galaxy S and Note lines before, but it makes a lot more sense in the current climate. 

The perfect combination of a new Galaxy S phone that adds the best of the Note range, priced more affordably, arriving far earlier than expected – alongside all of the generous trade-in and Xbox bundle deals – could well cause problems for rivals in a year when competition for your remaining disposable income is particularly fierce. 

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