It’s one thing to be in an on-again, off-again relationship but we weren’t expecting to feel that way about Samsung‘s Galaxy S21 FE smartphone. The always-expected handset turned up online earlier this year but that pesky chip shortage put paid to its launch in 2021. Or so we thought.
There was a bright moment where, briefly, we thought that production of the S21 FE had resumed. All was right with the world of semi-affordable flagship clones — but no, reports from South Korea indicate that Samsung might have other plans for the bits that would have made up its Fan Edition smartphone for 2021.
Read more: Hands-on with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3
So no more Galaxy S21 FE?
Samsung cancelled its original reveal of the S21 FE, pushing back it to a mid-October launch thanks to the ongoing chip shortage. It appears that a reveal next month is now in doubt, thanks to a) the chip shortage and b) better-than-expected performance of Galaxy Z Flip 3 sales.
Samsung executives are reportedly facing a choice — what to do with its stock of Snapdragon 888 processors. The Galaxy S21 FE is supposed to feature the chipset but the currently well-selling Galaxy Z Flip 3 also uses the processor, and that’s the handset that’ll make Samsung more money.
It’s an unusual situation: normally there’d be enough chips at this particular party for everyone but when there’s a shortage, some folks are bound to be left out. This time around, it might just be the afforda-phone folks, at least until Samsung can replenish its stocks. Don’t take it personally, though — it’s just business.