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Galaxy S22 release date rumored for January; Samsung misses 2021 sales targets

Samsung might be releasing the Galaxy S22 in January as opposed to March, when Mobile World Congress takes place. The company initially shifted its launch of the Galaxy S21 to January earlier this year, and now a new report from The Elec hints that this change might not be temporary.

The report claims that Samsung is already planning to ship the S22 in January, with a mass production ramp-up in November. Rumors around the S22 have already begun to trickle out, indicating a refined S21 more than a generational leap. The biggest change is reported to be Samsung fitting what is essentially the S21 Ultra’s zoom camera on all the S22 variants, a change that would give the entire S22-series one of the best Android camera phones on the market, rather than just the Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy A52 from the back.
The Galaxy A52-series has not performed as strongly as Samsung hoped. Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Other than the S22, Samsung is also reportedly continuing work on the Galaxy S21 Fan Editon (FE). The S21 FE appears to be a casualty of the current chip shortage, with the only information about it coming from leaked marketing material showing off the phone. According to the report, Samsung planned to launch the Galaxy S21 by now, but will instead be focusing on production starting in September. The new launch date is expected to be in the fourth quarter of the year. Samsung is reportedly targeting around 10 million units for the S21 FE, a drop from previous expectations due to the later launch period. It will also have to compete with the Apple iPhone 13, an issue the earlier launch date would have avoided.

The Elec’s report also highlights another issue for Samsung. Despite a strong start to the year, Samsung has fallen short of its shipment goals by about 40 million units. The company will see itself miss targets on all devices, from flagships to even the midrange Galaxy A50- and A70-series. It is not that these phones were particularly poor — the Galaxy A52 5G was reviewed well, and the company has already launched a sequel to address some pain points. Rather, competition from Xiaomi this year was particularly strong, while supply chain disruptions meant that Samsung couldn’t make as many products as it would have liked.

Samsung’s traditionalphones might not have done as well as expected, but the company may be finding better fortune with foldables. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 debuted to rave reviews, and Samsung expects to see sales of around 6 or 7 million. The company has recorded strong pre-order performance to date, so it’s only a matter of time till we see the bigger picture.

“We are thankful for the great customer response to our new Galaxy Z Fold3 and Galaxy Z Flip3. Interest in foldable smartphones is at an all-time high, with pre-order volume for Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 already outpacing total sales for Galaxy Z devices to date in 2021. We’re committed to providing the most innovative experiences to our consumers,” Samsung said in an emailed statement.

What strong sales for the foldable might mean for the future of the mainstay Galaxy S-series remains to be seen.

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