• A known leaker says the Galaxy S21 series release date has already been decided, and the phone will launch as early as late January 2021.
  • Samsung will reportedly unveil the Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra on January 14th and lunch them in stores a couple of weeks later.
  • The Galaxy S announcement usually takes place in mid-February, with sales starting a few weeks later.

It happens almost every year around this time: rumors about the next Galaxy S series claim that Samsung is considering an earlier than expected to fend off the latest iPhone threat. But 2020 is not your regular year. As a result, the Galaxy S21 might be the first Samsung flagship actually to hit stores several weeks earlier than supposed to. The year of the novel coronavirus pandemic impacted the global economy, and that includes smartphone sales. Against that backdrop, Apple launched its most important iPhone update in years. The iPhone 12 already saw better than expected sales, with the more expensive iPhone 12 Pro selling out quickly during preorders. Two more iPhone 12 versions are supposed to launch later this week. In stark contrast, Samsung struggled to make the Galaxy S20 interesting to buyers, a phone with no budget-friendly version until a few months ago. The plastic Galaxy Note 20 was also a $999 phone that people aren’t exactly thrilled to buy. Considering all that, Samsung might want to have the Galaxy S21 in stores as early as possible. And a leaker says the phone will be unveiled in mid-January 2021 and hit stores by the end of the month.

Samsung did launch the Galaxy S10 and S20 in mid-February 2019 and 2020, respectively. That happened to be just a few days or weeks before that year’s MWC edition. The Barcelona-based event was the unofficial home of the Galaxy S for several years before that, until Samsung decided it wanted to distance itself from the crowd of Android announcements coming at the show. A mid-January announcement would give the Galaxy S21 an even bigger edge on anything coming in February and March.

The novel coronavirus pandemic might not be contained by early 2021, even if vaccines become available. CES 2021, the first major tech event of the year, will be a virtual one, and MWC 2021 should take place in late June rather than late February. Android handset makers would probably hold independent announcements in the first months of the year, which further explains why Samsung wants to start Galaxy S21 sales as early as possible.

Samsung won’t reveal the Galaxy S21 announcement until a few weeks before the event, so we won’t get any confirmation about the January 14th date that Jon Prosser is proposing. However, the leaker has been accurate with various predictions so far, including Galaxy S20 information in early 2020.

Prosser says that Samsung will have three Galaxy S21 versions in stores on January 29th, including the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra. There’s no talk of a Galaxy S21 FE edition, which could be the equivalent of the cheaper Galaxy S20 FE that Samsung launched recently.

Prosser doesn’t mention any pricing details for the three handsets but says the phones will be available for preorder on the same day of the announcement. The phones should launch in six colors, including black, white, grey, silver, violet, and pink.

Prosser hasn’t revealed any details about the specs and design of the Galaxy S21, but we already saw the first renders from a different leaker a few weeks ago. As for the hardware, well-known Samsung insider Ice Universe said on Twitter that Samsung is looking to turn its foldable phones into the year’s main flagships, suggesting Samsung will make some compromises for the previous flagships like the Galaxy S and Note lines. That’s a somewhat troubling rumor, but we have no specifics at this point.

Considering that Samsung has never been able to keep Galaxy S or Galaxy Note secrets, we expect to learn everything about the Galaxy S21 in the coming weeks and see more reports that would validate Prosser’s leak.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.