Latest Samsung Galaxy S21 FE rumor has bad news for availability

An unofficial render of four Samsung Galaxy S21 FE devices in the four available colors: black, light green, light purple and grey
(Image credit: Snoreyn/LetsGoDigital)

The Galaxy S21 FE saga continues, with release woes allegedly plaguing the device. A new report from South Korea says that Samsung has hit another wall with the affordable flagship, notably that very few carriers actually want the thing. Because of this, Samsung is supposedly planning to sell the S21 FE in Europe only through a handful of partners.

The South Korean publication Ddaily claims that Samsung's mobile chief, Roh Tae-moon, is dead-set on releasing the Galaxy S21 FE, despite a crumbling need for such a device. After all, the Galaxy S22 is right around the corner and the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy A series all start at affordable price points.

Ddaily further corroborates the reports we've heard about Samsung launching the Galaxy S21 FE at CES 2022, which is less than two months away, with the Galaxy S22's announcement coming a month later in early February. Some, including us, have expressed concern that the S21 FE's time has passed and that releasing it so close to Samsung's next flagship series could undermine S22 or Galaxy A sales. 

The Ddaily report claims that very few carriers are interested in selling the Galaxy S21 FE, likely due that cannibalization potential. Samsung's portfolio has gotten very crowded between the A, S, and Z families, and adding one more could likely further confuse customers. Plus, an S21 FE could directly harm the sales of the existing Galaxy S21 inventory. Carriers may not be too keen on that.

Samsung stubbornly steamrolling ahead looks like a bad idea from where I'm standing. I've made my opinion on the matter quite clear: we don't need a Galaxy S21 FE. From the excellent $599 Galaxy A52 to the $799 Galaxy S21, the S21 FE fails to merit its own existence by offering anything truly substantial. Samsung doesn't need a phone for every $100 price bracket, especially when sales and deals are so common on its products.

Regardless, Ddaily says the head of Samsung's mobile division has insisted that the Galaxy S21 FE come to market, despite media and alleged carrier partner misgivings. At that point, you have to wonder what the purpose even is — other than brash foolhardiness.

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.