Update: June 13, 2021 (10:36 AM ET): Samsung has told Android Authority that it doesn’t comment on rumor and speculation after a now-deleted ETNews report alleged that the company has suspended production of the Galaxy S21 FE. The Korean news outlet claimed that production of the phone had been halted due to the global chip shortage.
However, Samsung has told Bloomberg in a separate response that no decision has been made regarding the upcoming phone:
“While we cannot discuss details of the unreleased product, nothing has been determined regarding the alleged production suspension.”
There’s no word on why the ETNews article was deleted, but the above statement issued to Bloomberg certainly leaves plenty of room for interpretation. For what it’s worth, frequent tipster Ice Universe has claimed that “something unexpected” has happened, citing a supply chain source.
Original article: June 13, 2021 (3:21 AM ET): We’ve been eagerly anticipating the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE for months now, with a mooted launch window of Q3 this year. Now, a new report out of Korea suggests that the affordable flagship might be seriously jeopardized by the global chip shortage.
ETNews reports (h/t: FrontTron) that Samsung has suspended production of the Galaxy S21 FE due to a lack of processors, citing industry sources. Samsung’s supply partners were apparently informed on Friday (June 11) that the manufacturer was suspending the production of S21 FE parts and cancelling orders for various materials. The partners reportedly believe that this decision therefore means a “withdrawal” of the Galaxy S21 FE launch.
Samsung was previously tipped to use the Snapdragon 888 chipset for the new smartphone, but it seems like there aren’t enough chips to go around.
“I know that Samsung has allocated Qualcomm APs [application processors – ed] to foldable phones and suspended the FE model because there is not enough semiconductors,” an industry source told ETNews. “After getting approval for mass production, each company started production, but there was an unprecedented issue of stopping.”
More reading: The global computer chip shortage explained
It’s theoretically possible that production will resume, but halting production of a major smartphone is no trivial matter and will likely result in a lengthy delay. That’s of course assuming that Samsung is able to address the chip shortage that’s apparently the reason for the stoppage in the first place. But Qualcomm previously said that the chip shortage could last until late 2021, while Intel says the shortfall could last for “a couple of years.”
The report nevertheless means you might not want to hold your breath for a Galaxy S21 FE launching in Q3 2021, if at all. We’ve asked Samsung for comment regarding the Galaxy S21 FE’s supposed production suspension and will update the article if/when they get back to us.