While most will have assumed that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 was a support act to the Galaxy S22 at last week's Galaxy Unpacked event, pre-order demand for the tablet has apparently proven to be so strong that the company has temporarily blocked would-be buyers from placing orders.
If you visit Samsung’s online store today (February 13), you’ll see just one available pre-order option: the $1,100 128GB Galaxy Tab S8 Plus with 5G, and even then only in the graphite color scheme. The 11-inch Galaxy Tab S8 and 14.6-inch Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra are listed as unavailable as of this writing.
Samsung told XDA Developers that pre-orders have been temporarily paused due to “overwhelming demand in the last 48 hours.”
“We are working quickly to meet consumer excitement and demand,” the company added.
In the meantime, if you’re really desperate to get your hands on the Galaxy Tab S8, Best Buy still lists all three as available to purchase, with the same free keyboard cover as offered when buying directly from Samsung.
Huge demand or something more familiar?
It does, of course, make sense for Samsung to spin this pre-order pause as being due to “overwhelming demand.” It certainly suits Samsung for people to believe a product is so popular that they may not be able to get hold of one.
And while it’s perfectly possible that Samsung has hit upon an irresistible Android tablet formula, sometimes demand outstrips supply for more mundane reasons. We know that the global chip shortage continues to be a live problem, and given the Galaxy S22 and Tab S8 families both use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, it seems likely that Samsung would prioritize the former over the latter, which could lead to smaller-than-usual inventories for the tablet.
Prioritizing one device over another wouldn’t be without precedent: last year, it was reported that Samsung was considering cancelling the Galaxy S21 FE because of the desire to place its limited Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 inventory in its foldables. The phone ended up being released this year, of course, but it’s certainly plausible that the delay was to ensure the foldables had enough chips to keep up with demand. Similarly, Apple reportedly prioritized iPhone 13 production over new iPads so the in-demand phone would get first crack at shared components used by both devices.
That said, even if this is down to a smaller-than-usual inventory for the latest Galaxy tablet, we wouldn’t recommend hanging around if you’re after the flagship 14.6-inch Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, as one report has claimed that it will only be made in small quantities without long-term restocking plans. That report may not pan out, but given the scarcity of other similarly sized tablets, you may not want to take that chance.
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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.