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The Galaxy S21 may be the latest victim of the global chip shortage

Samsung Galaxy S21
Samsung Galaxy S21 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Qualcomm is reportedly unable to meet the demand for its chips due to the global shortage.
  • Samsung's mid-range smartphones are reportedly affected by the shortage.
  • The Snapdragon 888 may also be experiencing a shortage, affecting flagship phones like the Galaxy S21.

One of the main reasons why it's so hard to get hold of a Playstation 5 is the global ship shortage affecting chipmakers like AMD. It's affected multiple industries, from automobiles to gaming consoles, and now smartphones may start to feel the weight of the shortage. According to a report from Reuters, Qualcomm is feeling the weight of the shortage, and demand for chips like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 is exceeding the chipmaker's ability to supply them for phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21.

Sources close to Samsung told Reuters that Qualcomm is particularly having trouble supplying chips to some of the best cheap Android phones from the OEM. And while the sources didn't specifically mention flagship phones like the Galaxy S21, they did say that there is a shortage of Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 888. Given that Samsung is the world's largest smartphone manufacturer, it's safe to say that the shortage is being felt throughout its lineup.

Part of the reasoning for the higher-than-expected increase in demand for Qualcomm's chips is due to U.S. sanctions on Huawei forcing customers to seek other options for flagship phones. As other OEMs try to keep up with demand, Qualcomm essentially becomes the de-facto supplier for most higher-end smartphones, with MediaTek taking up the rest.

It doesn't help that Qualcomm reportedly has a few more chips in the works, in addition to powering new and upcoming flagship smartphones like the OPPO Find X3 Pro and the OnePlus 9. Samsung is also preparing to launch the successor to its popular Samsung Galaxy A51, which was the highest-selling Android smartphone of 2020.

It's unclear if Samsung's own Exynos 2100 also feels the effects of the shortage since the chip is used to power Galaxy S21 smartphones in many regions outside the United States.

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

4 Comments
  • Well I'm now into week three of waiting for my Samsung S21 ordered from Samsung UK.
  • They said to me that S21 Ultra 512mb will be available around June :(
  • Amazon stock of the S21 seems to be low now too. Seeing 1-2 months for various configurations.
  • Not a problem for consumers. People will keep their old phones longer. New phones are outrageously expensive anyway. Changing phone on an annual basis is no longer a consumer habit. Good luck to all the money grubbing OEMs out there.