Samsung Galaxy S21 release date leak hints at radically early unveiling

Samsung Galaxy S20
(Image credit: Future)

Another Samsung Galaxy S21 leak has pointed to a mid-January release date for the  Samsung S21 line of phones – which would be novel, since the S-series of phones have launched in February for several years.

Also novel is the source of the leak – Jon Prosser, known far more for his Apple predictions. He states that the Galaxy S21 will be announced alongside the Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra on January 14, 2021 with a launch (and presumably, release date) on January 29.

The tweet also noted six Samsung Galaxy S21 colors the phone line will come in: black, white, grey, silver, violet, and pink. Keep in mind that not all hues may be available in all phones, as the higher-end models may have the more demure and ‘professional’ colors like black, white, grey, and silver.

And while Prosser may have less of a track record with Samsung leaks, his tweeted claim seems to have been supported by another noted leaker, Max Weinbach, who reaffirmed the January launch window in a reply message.

Samsung's S-series have never debuted in January

The Samsung Galaxy S20 series was announced in late February 2020 with a release in the first week of March. While S-series handsets have ranged in release dates from March to June, their launches have gotten earlier and earlier until their current February window timed to coincide with Mobile World Congress, the annual phones show in Barcelona.

MWC 2020 was the first big technology show to be cancelled due to concerns of the coronavirus outbreak, and nearly every subsequent tech event followed suit through the rest of the year. Now that phonemakers have adapted to put on their own individual digital launches, there’s less reason to schedule releases during an MWC 2021, should it be held next year in some format. 

In other words, without a big show to schedule around, Samsung has little reason to hold off on launching the Galaxy S21 line until February. The company had revealed its Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite mid-range phones during CES 2020, so perhaps they’ll just use that window to show off their new flagship handsets and beat everyone else to the punch as the first big phone to land right after CES 2021.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.