Samsung Galaxy Note 21 is the latest victim of the global semiconductor shortage

The Samsung Galaxy Note 21 has been hitting headlines for all the wrong reasons over the last few months. A new development seemingly confirms that it will not be launched in 2021.

At the 52nd regular shareholders' meeting in South Korea today, Samsung co-CEO DJ Koh talked about the imbalance between the demand and supply of semiconductors globally — becoming the largest consumer tech company to publicly talk about the shortage. Samsung, which is also a chipset manufacturer itself, expects the disparity to affect its business in the next quarter. 

“It is not that we do not release new products. The timing may vary, but next year we are preparing to continue to do so.”

DJ Koh

Further, he explained that it will be difficult to release the S-Pen toting Galaxy Note 21 in the second half of this year, as developing and offering two high-end devices can be a “burden”, referring to the Samsung Galaxy S21 from earlier in the year. The spokesperson went on record to mention that the Note series has not been discontinued, but only delayed for now, and expects the new flagship to be ready by next year.

CEO Ko said, “The disparity between the supply of parts and demand in the information technology (IT) side is severe. We are checking the parts supply problem every morning. It is difficult to say that it is 100% resolved. It is a bit of a problem in the second quarter. We will report as a result so that there is no business disruption.”

Samsung isn’t the only company struggling to source components. Even iPhone 13 is expected to be delayed to the fourth quarter of 2021, as Apple’s primary chipset supplier TSMC is facing similar challenges in matching the demand. While the scenario is expected to improve in the coming months, higher-end chipsets are likely to take longer to stabilize owing to the complexity of their design and a lack of prior experience and expertise. In the worst case, we will see a surge in the prices of products across the consumer electronics industry.

It remains to be seen how this decision will affect the launch of Samsung’s upcoming lineup of foldables, such as the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which is rumoured to be unveiled in Q2 or Q3 with a similar flagship processor inside. A delay would not be far-fetched. It is expected to support the S-Pen too.

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