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Samsung might shelve Galaxy Note due to chip shortages

The firm has warned of a "serious imbalance" in supply and demand of semiconductors

The Samsung Note 20 with its stylus pen

Samsung’s next Galaxy Note could be delayed until 2022 as the tech industry struggles with the effects of a “serious imbalance” in global semiconductor shortages.

Late last year, it was rumoured that the Korean tech giant was planning to discontinue its Galaxy Note series in 2021 as demand for its premium smartphones weakened. 

However, it now appears that the main reason for this decision is the major shortage of semiconductors that has been plaguing the global tech and automotive industries.

At a shareholder meeting in Seoul, Samsung co-CEO Koh Dong-jin, who leads the company's IT and mobile communications division, warned of a “serious imbalance in supply and demand of chips in the IT sector globally”, Bloomberg reports.

Koh added that, although Samsung’s “business leaders are meeting partners overseas to solve these problems”, they haven’t been “solved 100%” yet.

The most noticeable consequence of these issues could be the lack of a new Samsung Galaxy Note in 2021.

Koh said that although the “Note series is positioned as a high-end model in [Samsung’s] business portfolio (...) it might be difficult to release [a] Note model in 2H”.

“It could be a burden to unveil two flagship models in a year,” he added, referring to January’s launch of the Galaxy S21. Instead, Samsung would be aiming to “release a Note model next year”.

In December, Ben Wood, Chief of Research at CCS Insight, told IT Pro that Samsung is also likely finding it “increasingly difficult” to differentiate between its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note ranges.

“Given the diminished differentiation between the Galaxy and Note ranges, we believe there is increasing logic in Samsung converging these product platforms in the future,” he said. “At a time when consumers are holding onto their phones for at least three years, we question the strategy of having two major flagship launches per year. In our view, this could even erode the longevity of other devices in the company's line-up."

Although the semiconductor shortage has been felt by the industry since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 has been exceptionally difficult for Samsung. Last month, the tech giant was forced to shut down production at two factories in Austin, Texas, due to a winter storm that affected 25 states in the US. According to Bloomberg, Samsung hasn’t resumed full production since.

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