Samsung Galaxy S22 and S21 FE release date chaos: has Samsung lost the plot?

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is reportedly delayed again — maybe it’s time to throw in the towel

Samsung Galaxy S22
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung’s ongoing will-it-won’t-it saga with the S21 FE is in danger of drawing focus away from the Samsung Galaxy S22.

A little while back T3 reported that Samsung was going to cancel the S21 FE in order to funnel chips to its foldables, such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G.

Then the S21 FE was back on again, appearing in small print on Samsung’s sites and even on the company’s Instagram account before it was reportedly cancelled all over again.

And now the latest report, from SamMobile, says that it’s now back on for a third time with a January release pencilled in. The site speculates that this will push the Galaxy S22’s launch back a month or two.

Honestly, at this point, my view is that this is the sunk cost fallacy in action, and Samsung would be better off cutting its losses and focusing on the S22 instead.

Time to cut losses and focus on the Galaxy S22 

I’ve always found the “FE” — or “Fan Edition” — branding a bit strange. Is a slightly inferior version of the original product really one for the “fans” who, presumably, already have the original?

But semantics aside, the S21 will be a year old by the time the FE comes out, if SamMobile is correct, and it’s looking like a less and less appealing proposition by the day. By January, Qualcomm will likely have a brand new Snapdragon chip out, and the S21 FE will look a touch dated before it even emerges.

True, it will inevitably be at a far lower price than the all-powerful S22 and Samsung’s other foldables, with its predecessor, the S20 FE, arriving at a tempting £599. But even if Samsung maintains that price for a second generation — far from a foregone conclusion, given the global chip shortage — that’s still not hugely appealing.

A quick search on Amazon for the current S21 shows that “like new” pre-owned  models are available for as little as £529, and that’s only going to sink further as the S22’s release date gets closer. Unlike iPhones, Samsung Galaxy handsets simply don’t keep their value for that long, and the assumption that people will pay £599 or more for the S21 FE feels shaky at best. Surely those wanting the best handset around will wait for the S22, and ‘price sensitive consumers’ will be tempted by the plummeting cost of a regular S21.

If I were in charge of Samsung — and I’m open to offers, guys — I would double down on the delays, and push the S21 FE all the way back to October 2022. Only then I’d call it the S22 FE, given the S21 and S22 reportedly look pretty similar. Let the Galaxy S22 have the spotlight, and accept that the window for the S21 FE has been and gone.