In recent years Samsung has established the tradition of announcing its latest Galaxy S flagship smartphones in February, just as it did with the S20 in 2020 and the S10 in 2019.
But for 2021 and the Galaxy S21 (if Samsung sticks to that naming structure), things could be different. Prolific technology leaker Jon Prosser claimed this week, embedded below, that Samsung will announce its new handsets on January 14 and put them up for pre-order the same day; he claims the phones will go on sale on January 29.
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This shift to mid-January would see Samsung move to the smartphone launch schedule once held by Apple, when new models of iPhone would be announced at the now-defunct MacWorld conference.
Although Samsung hasn't explicitly confirmed the move to January, it told ZDNet Korea this week: "Because the market environment is changing rapidly, it is true that we cannot guarantee whether the unpack schedule we have been doing will continue as it is."
Samsung is referring here to its Unpacked events, of which it holds a couple each year and where it reveals new products like smartphones, tablets, earphones and watches.
With social distancing measures likely still in place through early 2021, Samsung's next Unpacked event is expected to be online only, like those held during the second half of 2020.
As for the Galaxy S21 itself, which could also be called the S30, reports claim production has already begun. It is claimed Samsung will follow a similar pattern as with the S20, by announcing a regular S21, a more powerful S21 Plus, and a larger flagship called the S21 Ultra.
These will go up against the iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max respectively, although at this stage it doesn't look like Samsung will have a smaller rival to the iPhone 12 Mini, which opens for pre-order today, November 6. The S21 Ultra is said to have a large 6.8-inch display, slightly larger than the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The phone is also claimed to have a huge 108-megapixel rear camera, a 40-megapixel selfie camera, and naturally it will run Android 11 with all of the usual Samsung garnish on top. Elsewhere, we expect to see the usual incremental improvements to performance, small changes to design, and plenty of new software features that may or may not prove popular, such is often the Samsung way.
Finally for color options, Prosser believes the Galaxy S21 will be offered in black, white, gray, silver, violet and pink.