Samsung Galaxy S21 release date could be early in order to spite the iPhone 12

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

One of the most curious Samsung Galaxy S21 rumors we've heard is that it could launch a month earlier than we expected - but why? What could Samsung be thinking by dropping its new flagship so soon after Christmas? Well, a new rumor backs up the former one and gives us an interesting possibility as to why.

This news comes from South Korean news site Maeil Business, supposedly from information via industry insiders, which posits a January date for Samsung Unpacked (where the S21 would be announced), with a release date around a month and a half earlier than the Galaxy S20 launched in 2020.

That's a few months out, so it might not end up being accurate: even if Samsung has decided on that date for now, mitigating circumstances might cause it to get shifted. But for now, it's looking more and more likely that we'll see the Galaxy S21 in January.

So that's the first rumor corroborated, but what about the reason? Well, according to Maeil, it seems the iPhone 12 is to blame.

Taking the fight to the iPhone

The Maeil Business article states "The goal is to quickly gain the No. 1 spot in the smartphone market by checking Apple's 'iPhone 12". This is machine translated, so it might not totally reflect the original sentence, but the meaning is clear - Samsung apparently thinks that, with an earlier Galaxy S21 release, it could pose some competition to the iPhone 12.

Samsung is possibly correct there - with the iPhone 12 launch being pushed back late compared to other years, the time between iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phone launches is shorter than it usually is, and iPhones usually sell well for months after they're launched. Perhaps Samsung thinks it can cut this sales tail short by releasing its Galaxy phone early.

Saying that, Galaxy handsets and iPhones tend to have different audiences, so it's not clear if this strategy will be very effective. On top of that, people tend to have less money just after Christmas, and might not be too willing to buy a super-expensive phone so early in the year.

Either way, we'll have to see what Samsung decides to do with its Galaxy S21 line, and whether it effectively steals some sales from Apple, towards the beginning of 2021. Leaks and rumors about Samsung's new phones keep pouring in, so stay tuned to TechRadar for all the latest.

Via Android Authority

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.