Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release date may be way, way later than we expected

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (Image credit: Future)

We were expecting the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release date to be in August, alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, but according to a new report the phone will actually come out in October, and with very limited availability.

This news comes from Korean website FNNews, which cites sources in 'related industries' and Samsung's 'smartphone partners' - though thanks to machine translation, what this actually means is nebulous. 

According to FNNews, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release has been pushed due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage, which means Samsung is struggling to get the chipsets for the phon. A previous report from another outlet suggested that the S21 FE was cancelled for this same reason.

One of FNNewss sources makes a veiled reference to that earlier report, saying that Samsung actually did cancel the Galaxy S21 FE's production at one stage, only to recommence it.

Many reports coming out of China paint a dramatic picture of Samsung's fortunes in the wake of the chipset shortage, and persistent phone industry rumors suggest the Galaxy Note 21 series has been canceled for the same reason.

Hard to buy

The new report adds that, when the new Samsung phone comes out, it'll only be available to buy in Europe and the US - that's notable because it excludes huge markets like China and India, and Samsung's home country of South Korea.

This is supposedly because Samsung has failed to acquire enough parts to produce the phone on a large enough scale to cater for more countries. The report suggests production was only recommenced in the first place when Samsung decided on the limited availability of the phone.

If you live outside those regions, then, you might not be able to buy the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE in shops - you'll probably be able to import it if you want it badly, but that will increase its cost.

It's worth taking this report with a grain of salt, because it itself states that lots of the information is subject to change. Perhaps Samsung will be able to open availability up, or maybe the phone will get canceled again - only time will tell, and the whole situation seems very precarious.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.