While it's certainly not unusual to hear rumors about a next-gen flagship smartphone from a company like Samsung six or nine months ahead of its official announcement, the reason the Galaxy S21
family has been making so many headlines of late
may actually have something to do with the tech giant's secret plan of accelerating its traditional "mass production schedule."
Said secret is purportedly outed in a new Korean media report
) that claims Samsung is "in a hurry to release" the undoubtedly 5G-enabled Galaxy S21 trio, basing this seemingly wild assumption on inside information from the local supply chain.
Namely, "related parts makers" have allegedly confirmed they've been asked to start manufacturing components for Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S21-series devices as early as next month. Although that obviously doesn't mean the ultra-high-end handsets will be commercially released in November, history (and common sense) suggests the company's next big launch could take place much sooner than usual.
Will you be able to order a Galaxy S21 5G before Christmas?
In a normal economic climate, the clear answer to that question would be a resounding no. But amidst a global pandemic that essentially brought the mobile industry to its knees
earlier this year, maybe it's not that crazy to expect Samsung
to zig while everyone else zags and accelerate the Galaxy S21 release timeline shortly after Apple was forced to push the iPhone 12 lineup back.
Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra (left to right)
After all, the supply chain has returned to normal following the issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic starting this spring
and throughout the summer, with a major recovery in global smartphone demand also tipped for the holiday season.
Besides, multiple different reports have already painted an iterative upgrade picture
for the Galaxy S21 5G series
, so it shouldn't be too hard for Samsung to rehash and refine the Galaxy S20
family in time for Christmas. Still, even if this latest speculation proves reliable and the company is indeed around six weeks ahead of schedule with the S21 production compared to its predecessor, a January 2021 announcement feels far more likely.
S Pen integration is still on the cards
While this crazy new report is overall light on details regarding prospective Galaxy S21 5G specifications, the Korean publication's sources do reiterate the previously rumored "Palette" codename, as well as the existence of three sizes (and four colors), and most excitingly, S Pen support for the "top model."
A stylus-wielding Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
could lead to the discontinuation of the Note family, either immediately or following a Note 21
swan song next fall, but otherwise, the list of upgrades over the S20 Ultra 5G powerhouse might be short and relatively unimpressive.
Speaking of power, we obviously expect the S21 lineup to make the jump from Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 and Samsung's own Exynos 990 chipset to hot new and improved Snapdragon 875
and Exynos 1000
SoCs, which is actually one of the key reasons why we remain skeptical of a December 2020 release.
At least for the time being, we're not aware of any intentions to accelerate the production schedule of the two state-of-the-art processors, and if nothing changes in the coming weeks, January 2021 is still the best case scenario for a Galaxy S21
, and S21 Ultra commercial debut.
Of course, since the S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra went official in February ahead of a March US release this year, even an early February 2021 rollout sounds like a big deal for the S21 trio, possibly giving Samsung more time to extend its global sales lead over Huawei
before the non-Google-supported Huawei P50
lineup eventually sees daylight.