An early Galaxy S21 launch is all but official. Multiple rumors and reports have indicated that Samsung may unveil the Galaxy S21 series early in January next year, followed by a market release later that month. The Korean company previously launched its Galaxy S flagships in February before bringing them to the market in March. Now, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters the reason behind this shift.
Samsung apparently wants to bring its new phones to the market early in a bid to steal some market share from Huawei. The Chinese giant is not the same player it was a year ago because of the tightening US sanctions. It is essentially in survival mode and is not expected to sell many phones next year.
The company has lost access to its chip suppliers and its stockpiles could run out in a few months from now. This paves way for other OEMs to grab some market share and Samsung wouldn't want to miss out on the opportunity. Chinese rivals like Xiaomi and Oppo are also in the race. Even Nokia has big ambitions in the smartphone industry.
The Korean tech juggernaut is also concerned that the incoming US administration, led by newly-elected President Joe Biden, may ease some of the restrictions on Huawei. If not for those restrictions, Samsung was struggling to fend off the competition from the Chinese phone maker.
It even lost the No. 1 position in the global smartphone market to Huawei earlier this year. However, once the US restrictions started showing its effects, the Chinese company quickly fell down and Samsung regained the crown.
Samsung also wants to fend off competition from Apple
While Huawei has been Samsung's main rival in the smartphone market in recent years, the company also wants to take the fight to Apple by bringing the Galaxy S21 series to the market early. Apple launched the iPhone 12 series in October, about a month later than the usual schedule. Samsung hopes to take some shine off of them with its Galaxy S21 series.
The company managed to outsell Apple in the US for the first time in many years in Q3 2020. It'd be hopeful of more of the same with an early Galaxy S21 launch.
Samsung still has to officially confirm the rumored changes to its annual flagship release schedule. However, a company spokesperson recently stated "the market is constantly changing, and that none of the established product launch traditions are safe."
This pretty much confirms what we've been hearing for weeks now. A recent leak has even claimed launch dates for the new Galaxy S flagships. Samsung could unveil the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra on January 14, with sales beginning on January 29.