Samsung Confirms It May Skip The Galaxy Note 21 This Year, Here's Why

samsung galaxy note 20 ultra
In recent months, there have been plenty of signs that Samsung might not launch a new generation of Galaxy Note devices for the first time since the original launched in 2011. The rumors picked up considerable steam when the Galaxy S21 Ultra debuted with optional S Pen support (Samsung even indicated that additional future Galaxy smartphones would gain S Pen support).

Now, we're hearing straight from the horse's mouth that the next-generation Galaxy Note might be skipped this year. "Note series is positioned as a high-end model in our business portfolio," said Samsung Mobile co-CEO Koh Dong-Kin. "It could be a burden to unveil two flagship models in a year so it might be difficult to release Note model in 2H. The timing of Note model launch can be changed but we seek to release a Note model next year."

Two things are fueling at least a temporary bump in the road for the Galaxy Note series. On the one hand, we have the cannibalization mentioned above of the Galaxy Note's one true "exclusive" feature in the family: the S Pen. The second is that Samsung is facing a shortage of SoCs from Qualcomm. Last week, it was explicitly mentioned that the flagship Snapdragon 888 has been in short supply, which would affect the company's current Galaxy S21 family. Introducing the popular Galaxy Note 21 and Galaxy Note 21 Ultra this year during a shortage would only exacerbate the problem.

"There's a serious imbalance in supply and demand of chips in the IT sector globally," added Koh, according to Bloomberg. "Despite the difficult environment, our business leaders are meeting partners overseas to solve these problems. It's hard to say the shortage issue has been solved 100%."

However, it might not just be the Galaxy Note family that is affected this year. Samsung is also reportedly developing third-generation folding smartphones that would use the Snapdragon 888 or some high-end variant -- potentially the Snapdragon 888+ -- during the second half of 2021. These smartphones are even more niche than the Galaxy Note, but it's something to consider as the chip shortage continues to plague multiple industries worldwide.