You may have already heard whispers about a shortage of semiconductors affecting the technology and automotive sectors, but it looks like the worst is yet to come. According to Samsung CEO DJ Koh, this "serious imbalance in supply" could lead to some tough decisions in the next business quarter. Chief among those is the call to scrap this year's Galaxy Note flagship.
As reported by Bloomberg, Samsung's recent shareholder meeting was all doom and gloom on the subject. The company is working with partners to mitigate against the shortfall, but it was already contemplating the future of the Note lineup and this could represent a good opportunity to experiment with its release cycle. There's apparently no current plan to ditch the Note series altogether, but there's every chance that decision could be taken at a later date. As things stand, a Note for 2022 is still on the cards, but a future with just one major Samsung flagship series looks more realistic than ever. Good job Samsung added S Pen support to the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
A separate report from SamMobile suggests that we can still expect the Galaxy Z Flip2 and Galaxy Z Fold3 in Q3 this year, along with some new wearables, and the Galaxy S21 FE is still planned for later in the year. At one point, the Note was the crown jewel in Samsung's lineup, but it looks like it's time to make way for the new kids on the block.
While Samsung's own silicon business is part of the problem, Taiwanese rival TSMC is also feeling the squeeze, which in turn affects the availability of Qualcomm chips. Flagship Samsung phones tend to use either in-house Exynos or Snapdragon processors, depending on the market, but with both supply lines suffering, there's nowhere else to turn.
It's not often you see a company as large as Samsung being so open about supply constraints so that in itself tells us how serious the current predicament is. We can expect some of the turmoil to spread across various other tech product lines too, including TVs, PCs, and more. With component shortages also come price hikes, but all we can hope is that these aren't passed on to consumers before the situation is resolved.