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Samsung Galaxy S21 release date getting pushed up to fight iPhone 12

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
(Image credit: OnLeaks)

Everything we’ve heard about the Samsung Galaxy S21 suggests it’ll be launching earlier than normal, and word is Samsung is gearing up for a January launch instead of the typical late-February window.

There’s been a lot of speculation about why Samsung is moving up its launch plans, but the latest report claims it’s all because of Apple and the iPhone 12.

While Samsung has adopted a more flexible release schedule to account for poor sales in the past, this time the focus is on Apple rather than the performance of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 range. The gist of it is that Samsung wants to try and steal Apple’s thunder, and cut short the hype surrounding the iPhone 12 range.

According to Korean media site Maekyung, Samsung saw a unique opportunity in the late launch of the iPhone 12. Because the iPhone 12 didn’t launch until October, almost a month later than normal, and two phones are still unreleased, Samsung sees it as a chance to steal Apple’s spotlight.

Past reports also claim Samsung is attempting to fill the void left by Huawei, which is unable to offer users access to Google Play services, and critically the apps on the Play Store. 

It’s a big risk on Samsung’s part, especially since the rumous we’ve heard about the Galaxy S21 range don’t suggest we’ll be getting very many upgrades this time around. The S21 Ultra is the one getting the most attention right now, and the most exciting thing we've heard is that it could have two telephoto lenses (3x and 10x) while the iPhone 12 Pro makes due with 2x and the Pro Max with 2.5x.

Previous rumors of an under-display cameras for the S21 lineup have been shot down, and the same thing goes with super fast 65W charging. Launching the S21 early could pay off for Samsung, but considering how popular the iPhone 12 has proven to be so far, that won’t be an easy task.

Here's hoping Samsung has a killer feature waiting on the sidelines for the S21 that we haven't yet discovered. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.