You may have already heard rumors of a semiconductor shortage affecting technology and the automotive sector, but it looks like the worst is yet to come. This “severe supply imbalance” could lead to some tough decisions in the next business quarter, according to Samsung CEO DJ Koch. Chief among them is a call to abandon the flagship Galaxy Note this year.
As reported BloombergSamsung’s recent shareholder meeting was a complete flop on this issue. The company is working with partners to reduce the shortage, but it has already thought about the future of the Note line, and this could be a good opportunity to experiment with its release cycle. There does not appear to be a plan to ditch the Note series entirely at this time, but there is every chance that a decision could be made at a later date. Currently, the Note for 2022 is still on the table, but the future with just one major flagship series from Samsung looks more realistic than ever. It’s good that Samsung has added S Pen support to the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Separate report from SamMobile suggests we can still expect the Galaxy Z Flip2 and Galaxy Z Fold3 in the third quarter of this year, as well as some new wearables, with the Galaxy S21 FE still slated for release later this year. The Note was a jewel in Samsung’s lineup at one point, but it looks like it’s time to make way for new kids.
While Samsung’s own chip business is part of the problem, Taiwanese rival TSMC is also feeling pressure, which in turn is affecting Qualcomm’s chip availability. Samsung’s flagship phones tend to use their own Exynos or Snapdragon processors, depending on the market, but since both supply lines suffer, there’s nowhere else to turn to.
It’s rare to see a company as large as Samsung so open about supply constraints, which in itself tells us the severity of the current predicament. We can expect some of the turmoil to spill over to various other tech product lines, including TVs, PCs, and more. The lack of components is also driving up prices, but all we can hope is that they will not be passed on to consumers until the situation is resolved.