Some experts say whether the rumors that Samsung might cancel the Galaxy S22 FE model are true or not, if it did release a model it might be too late now because it would be overshadowed by older phones that are just as good . But even if it doesn’t launch an FE phone this year, they agree it wouldn’t make sense for Samsung to scrap the line entirely.
Rumors circulated last month that Samsung decided to cancel the S22 FE phone, suggesting the company is no longer working on it. The company has rebranded its Galaxy Lite phones over the past two years and released two Fan Edition phones. In a statement at the time, Samsung said it had “nothing to share” about the rumours.
Earlier this year, the Galaxy S21 FE impressed many, proving to be a solid alternative to the tiny Galaxy S22 and pricey S22+. In fact, the S21 FE faced rumors that it too would be canceled late last year due to chip shortages, but Samsung decided to delay and sell the phone just a month before the S22 series.
Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC’s global device tracker, says he wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung canceled the S22 FE, citing Samsung’s recent decision to cut 2022 phone production estimates by 30 million.
“Samsung is currently having an issue building up inventory in its phone portfolio, and the FE series isn’t very different from the rest of the range,” he says.
He also doesn’t necessarily think chip shortages are a reason why Samsung wants to cancel the FE line.
“Chip shortages in mobile phones tend to be at the lower end of the spectrum, and FE is far from that,” he says.
Samsung’s pricing issue could affect S22 FE release
Ubrani notes that Samsung probably made the mistake of taking too long to release the latest FE, “because by the time the FE launched, the regular S series was already discounted enough to be comparable to the FE, but it offered better specifications.”
“Samsung shouldn’t make the same mistake again, and if they release a new FE, it would be wise to launch it shortly after the S series,” he says.
Anshel Sag, a senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, agrees, adding that the S21 FE has done well based on the value delivered and that he “could see the same thing again this year, just if Samsung doesn’t find a way to do it.” the S22 generally more affordable.”
Sag doesn’t necessarily think Samsung will decide to cancel the FE line, and if they did, “it would only be because they were worried it would oversell the S22.” [line] whenever it would potentially start.”
Avi Greengart, President and Lead Analyst at Techsponentialk, says the S20 FE was Samsung’s answer to the pandemic and that “Samsung’s high starting price for the S20 launched in Spring 2020.”
“In the fall of 2020, the Galaxy S20 FE fitted perfectly into the premium spot in Samsung’s premium range and sold exceptionally well. With the subsequent Galaxy S21 and S22 phones, Samsung lowered the entry point back to $800, making less room for the Galaxy S21 FE. In many markets, last year’s model is still available at a lower price, and Samsung could just make this official and replace the FE’s purpose and price point: great value by combining last year’s technology at a lower cost,” he says.
Additionally, Greengart also doesn’t believe that chip shortages are a valid reason to cancel a line.
“Chip shortages and supply chain management are good reasons for anyone to simplify their product line now, but when there’s a strong need for a product, do what you can to meet the demand,” he says.
No, Samsung isn’t taking a side from OnePlus in a strategic shift in its lineup
One might assume that if Samsung cancels its S22 FE, that could mean it’s getting rid of its FE range altogether. This move could be compared to OnePlus’ change in strategy when it comes to its phone lineups.
For a bit of perspective, Android Central last November looked at internal documents from OnePlus that showed the new breakdown of that company’s smartphone portfolio by series and region. For high-end phones, the company plans to launch a new flagship range of phones globally with the new R series. Android Central initially reported that OnePlus would ditch a T-series phone in late 2021 and instead release a phone called the OnePlus 9 RT in select regions.
Mid-range phones launched regionally include the Nord and Nord CE series. The Nord N series, which is one of the most affordable Android phones, will remain the only budget series sold in North America.
Sag says that while it’s possible Samsung is stealing a side from OnePlus with the FE series, given the success of the S21 FE, it might not want to ditch it just yet.
Ubrani, on the other hand, doesn’t think it’s fair to say that Samsung is taking its cues from OnePlus.
“The North American market generally doesn’t support an extremely wide variety of models and price points. From a price and feature perspective, there are many options from Samsung itself that are similar to the FE, so the FE really only appeals to those who must have an S series but don’t want to pay the price for the flagship versions,” he says.
Samsung will need to be strategic about rolling out the FE if it plans to do so
Whatever the case, if Samsung were to launch this phone, Sag believes it should do so around the holiday season for optimal sales.
“I think an FE usually makes the most sense before the holidays when people are looking for gifts for friends and family and are a little more budget conscious,” he says.
Sujeong Lim, a research analyst at Counterpoint Research, agrees, saying that “the optimal time to release the S22 FE is mid-October, a month after the new iPhone’s September release.”
“If so, it could be in demand in key markets during the holiday season and attract premium Android users ahead of the launch of the S23 series,” she says.
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