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Will supply side issue affect Galaxy S22 launch?

A view of Samsung Mobile Store in Seoul. (Yonhap)
A view of Samsung Mobile Store in Seoul. (Yonhap)
With Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Unpacked event just a week to go, all eyes are on whether the launch of flagship Galaxy S22 smartphones would be affected by the supply chain bottlenecks.

Recent rumors suggested that the smartphones succeeding the S21 lineups -- Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra -- might be subject to supply side issues, which could delay shipments following the Unpacked event.

The marketing materials distributed to mobile carriers in the United States for the S22 and S22 Plus were pulled back, suggesting they might not be available until March 11, according to technology blogger Jon Prosser. The S22 Ultra would be available from Feb. 25, he said.

“The S22 lineup had a bit of a snag due to a supply chain issue,” Prosser said in a video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech Tuesday. “Now the actual shipment and the availability have been staggered a little bit.”

The forecast for the new products’ pricing is also mixed. Prosser said prices for the S22 would start at $799, same as its predecessor, S21, but another blogger who goes by the username TechInsider indicated a $100 price hike for S22.

These are among the rumors surrounding the new smartphone, alongside which mobile processor the phones would house -- Samsung’s Exynos or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon.

Samsung has yet to confirm whether the Unpacked event, scheduled at midnight on Feb. 10, would feature the announcement on S22, but its head of smartphones division, Roh Tae-moon, hinted at the launch of the “most noteworthy S series device,” that is likely equipped with an S Pen, in a note in January.

The smartphones follow the Galaxy S21 FE 5G, a low-cost S21 variant unveiled during the Consumer Electronics Show 2022 held in January.

There are also expectations that the Unpacked event will also feature other gadgets such as the Galaxy Tab S8. Samsung has been taking preorders for both the next Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone brand with nearly 20 percent of the market share by sales, is gravitating toward premium smartphone lineups amid stagnant growth in its smartphone sell-through.

Through 2021, Samsung’s global smartphone sales grew 0.9 percent compared to a year prior, while its competitors, Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo logged a two-digit growth in sales, according to an estimate by market consultancy Counterpoint Research.

By shipments, Samsung’s smartphones grew 6 percent to 271 million, beating Apple’s 238 million, a Counterpoint Research estimate showed.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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