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Samsung Galaxy S21 FE release date in limbo as company responds to new report

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE renders
(Image credit: Evan Blass / Twitter)

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has been one of the most eagerly anticipated Android phones, but a new report out of Korea now suggests the handset's production could be suspended.

Samsung has responded to this report with a non-committal response, saying "nothing has been determined."

ET News reports that Samsung began to cancel orders of parts destined for S21 FE handsets on June 11. The reasoning appears to be the ongoing chip shortage, which is impacting everything from PS5 restocks to the best electric cars. However, it's important to note that this report has since been deleted.

“I know that Samsung has allocated Qualcomm APs to foldable phones and suspected the FE model because there is not enough semiconductors,” an industry official familiar with the situation is quoted as saying (Google Translated text, so subtleties may be lost.) “After getting approval for mass production, each company started production, but there was an unprecedented issue of stopping.”

Samsung responded by issuing the following statement, which has been reported by Bloomberg

“While we cannot discuss details of the unreleased product, nothing has been determined regarding the alleged production suspension."

This is not exactly a denial. Earlier this year Google refuted a similar report over the possible cancellation of the Pixel 5a. At the time, Google said: “Pixel 5a 5G is not cancelled. It will be available later this year in the U.S. and Japan and announced in line with when last year’s a-series phone was introduced.” 

Leaker Ice Universe offered a slightly different explanation to ET News’ story, tweeting: “As far as I know, the sudden shutdown of S21 FE is not due to the chip, but to the fact that some other part cannot be supplied normally, most likely the battery.”

In a follow-up tweet, the leaker added that it’s not a supply issue as such. “It's that the parts required by FE's new technology are not up to standard, and this part may be related to the battery. This does not affect other models.”

ET News’ report is keen to call the move a suspension rather than a cancellation, adding that it may resume in future, if the site’s sources are correct.

It would be a shame if the Galaxy S21 FE were delayed or cancelled. Alleged Geekbench benchmarks showed the phone packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with 6GB RAM, and leaker Evan Blass’ renders showcased a stylish handset available in an array of colors. The best part? The Galaxy S21 FE is rumored to be cheaper than last year’s model, too. 

We will keep you posted should Samsung provide any more details on the Galaxy S21 FE's fate. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.