Samsung's expected upcoming Galaxy Fold 2 and Z Flip 5G will arrive late and be in limited supply into 2021. That's according to a series of recent tweets, beginning with one from Max Weinbach noting that neither gadget has entered BLv1 yet. For clarity, that's the first version of the bootloader build for those handsets.
That's not entirely unexpected since the devices aren't expected to be announced until August. But Mr. Weinbach's tweet did garner the attention of supply chain consultant Ross Young. And Mr. Young's response, indicating that the launch will be even further out than expected, seems to shed some light on matters.
According to Mr. Young, the bootloader hasn't been updated to version 1 yet because there's no production going on. While production typically starts before launch, that doesn't appear to be the case here. Instead, the consultant notes that production won't start in July either. It's being pushed back, he speculates, and the launch is too. That'll be as far back as late August or September if Mr. Young is correct.
The Galaxy Z Flip will launch later than the Fold 2 too
The underlying problem for this cycle, according to the supply chain consultant, is the supply chain. He points out that "UTG volumes" will be "constrained" and that may continue to 2021. In fact, estimates suggest that the supply chain is constrained enough that both devices won't be able to launch simultaneously.
Instead, Samsung may launch its Galaxy Z Flip 5G later than the Galaxy Fold 2 due to limited support from suppliers on the screen technology. The two devices won't be available in the same volumes either, he continues. Instead, potential buyers should count on it being more difficult to obtain a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G. With the Galaxy Fold 2 expected to launch first, that device is likely going to absorb more of Samsung's incoming inventory to keep up with orders.
Regardless, Mr. Young indicates that current estimates that both devices are going to be comparably difficult to find at retail or online. And, as a result, he suggests that fans of the brand and devices should buy early on when they do launch.
Supply chains aren't just disrupting Samsung or even just these Samsungs
Samsung isn't alone when it comes to supply chain issues if the reported information is accurate. Huawei is another company that's presently being plagued by similar, albeit more complicated, supply chain problems. Representing the top two brands for premium Android smartphones, the shortages paint a bleak picture for the immediate future of the industry.
That should begin to be straightened out heading into 2021 if global health concerns begin to wane and the supply chain returns to normal.
In the interim, Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 20 series could suffer a similar fate. At the very least, Mr. Young has also indicated that the Galaxy Note 20 Plus or Ultra handsets could be pushed back by 'a little'. That's the case, he indicates, because the top-tier devices in the series will pack a power-efficient, dynamic refresh rate 120Hz LTPO display. That will make the Samsung flagships more energy-savvy but could potentially cause further supply chain disruptions nonetheless.
The limited run of Samsung's Galaxy Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip 5G should be present for the Note series, however.
Production really not starting till August. Almost none in July. Gonna be a late August or September launch. UTG volumes constrained until 2021, so order either early.
— Ross Young (@DSCCRoss) June 16, 2020Advertisement