Skip to main content

T-Mobile VP calls Samsung out for its smartphone supply issues

A T-Mobile store sign
A T-Mobile store sign (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • T-Mobile Executive VP and CFO Peter Osvaldik criticized Samsung's issues providing enough smartphones to meet global demands during a recent Bank of America investors meeting.
  • He hinted that Galaxy S21 supply has been inadequate to satisfy T-Mobile customers, while other carriers with Apple-loving customers were less affected.
  • T-Mobile customers reportedly resent the absence of a new Galaxy Note phone.

While some company executives stick to corporate speak and toe the company line, others are more likely to let their true feelings fly. Case in point, a T-Mobile executive openly complained about Samsung's recent supply chain issues during a Bank of America Securities webcast (opens in new tab) on September 14.

Fierce Wireless listened to the private event and quotes T-Mobile CFO Peter Osvaldik as saying that "Samsung has really fallen behind the eight ball relative to other OEMs," especially Apple. Allegedly, T-Mobile customers wanted to buy more Samsung phones this year but couldn't find them.

According to Osvaldik, "a lot of our customer base are also very significant Samsung lovers," but T-Mobile hasn't been able to meet demand. He particularly criticized Samsung for discontinuing the Galaxy Note series, which "many of our customers just loved." Presumably, these customers aren't turning to the Note-esque Galaxy Z Fold 3 instead.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Review

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

As for T-Mobile units of the Galaxy S21 series, they are reportedly in "very short supply." We heard months ago that the Galaxy S21 fell victim to the global chip shortage, so this claim isn't too surprising.

Those supply issues haven't gone away, either. The upcoming Galaxy S21 FE may launch in just the US and Europe due to the ongoing chip shortage, and in limited quantities. We can't imagine this will make Osvaldik or T-Mobile happy.

Carriers have a unique perspective on which of the best Android phones their customers prefer. We wonder if Samsung has gotten similar feedback about the death of the Note series and if this will contribute to a 2022 Note revival.

Otherwise, Osvaldik's public criticism of another company seems a bit like casting stones in glass houses right now. We're not far removed from the recent T-Mobile data breach that exposed the data of hundreds of millions of customers. Samsung's supply shortages stem from global shortages and lack of supply from Qualcomm, so it's unclear what Osvaldik wants the company to do differently here.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.

13 Comments
  • I 'm calling of T-Mobile for always promoting the iPhone and trying to get everyone to buy an iPhone. T-Mobile you need to promote Android as well. Not everyone wants an iPhone.
  • He literally said more people wanted Samsung and Samsung is not providing inventory. That is 100% on Samsung. I work the Frontline in wireless for Tmobile you cannot find s21 anywhere and that is Samsung fault period. Call it how it is
  • There is a phrase that applies here, its called "******* into the wind" T-Mobile can throw tantrums publicly and air grievances with business partners if they want. Many companies could do the same thing to T-Mobile in return and therefore this is always a losing game. It's always a bad idea to air your dirty laundry in public, particularly when the issues are far bigger than Samsung or any other single company. There is a reason this sort of behavior is viewed as unacceptable in any industry, and it really shows lack of professionalism on the part of T-Mobile.
  • Can confirm. I had to quickly replace my G7 last week, and had decided on an S21. Nowhere to be found, I unexpectedly ended up with a T-Mobile Flip 3 for $700 from Best Buy. Happy accident.
  • Maybe their new phones make them more so they are trying to get people to buy those.
  • Correct about the S21. I called about 30 T-Mobile stores in 3 states just 2 weeks ago trying to find one for my son. Only 3 stores had just the S21 Ultra in stock which was out of my price range.
  • I am glad an executive from somewhere spoke up about Samsung. I am not a T-Mobile person, but I did hold off this year because I want the New Note also. I really think Samsung is just jerking chains, they could have come up with some new Notes this year, they just did not want too because they were hoping more people would buy a fold. Not me...
  • It's not just the Fold 3. They added pen support to the S21 as well. Not saying it's an exact replacement, but it's close. Maybe it'll keep getting closer for both device lines.
  • Ditto. Until the Fold matches the Note's features and convenience, it's a hard pass from me. I find it odd that Samsung sends me daily emails with offers to buy one of their foldables. Considering they're in such high demand, and they can't keep up with demand, such groveling is puzzling.
  • I wonder what Samsung's take on this is. AT&T says they can deliver any of the ones they carry in a week or less. Verizon has some of the same phones backordered. Did they run into allocation problems, or just misjudge or mistime their order/delivery schedule? My only experience with T-Mobile was several years ago. Trying to get a phone to work, and their customer service rep flat out lied to me. Needless to say I have not even thought of doing business with them again.
  • Samsung's S21 Ultra stock has been abysmal. I've only seen few 128GB versions in my local T-Mo stores and it's only been a few. I have no desire to get the Fold 3 so he's right that people want the Note-series.
  • I'm genuinely curious and not trying to troll but why the fervent loyalty to the Note line? The S21 Ultra and the Fold 3 have S Pen support which (to my non-Note owner eyes) was the main appeal of the Note. Granted, the S21U and the Fold 3 don't have a spot inside the phone for the S Pen (really dumb decision on Samsung's part), but I don't get why so many are bemoaning the loss of the Note line. To me, it seems kinda redundant now.
  • I'm so happy I bought my s21 ultra when I did. I needed the 12gb 256gb varient, and it was oos for weeks. As soon as it showed up, I pulled the trigger. So, so happy I did. It's an awesome device. Has anyone noticed that all that is new with the iPhone 13 are things we've had on Android for a little while?