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Report suggests lack of Galaxy Note 21 didn't help Galaxy S21 sales

Even without a 2021 Galaxy Note smartphone, the Galaxy S21 series didn't move huge units.
By
January 14, 2022
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra back cameras semi macro
David Imel / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • A South Korean report contends Samsung Galaxy S21 sales were at “mid-20 million units” in 2021.
  • That’s about the same as what we saw for the Galaxy S20 series in 2020.
  • It appears Samsung’s strategy of skipping a Note phone in 2021 didn’t result in a sales boost for the Galaxy S series.

We saw plenty of great smartphones in 2021, but one name was conspicuously missing. Unlike every year prior a decade back, we did not see a Samsung Galaxy Note phone.

See also: A history of the Samsung Galaxy Note series

All signs point to this being a calculated strategy by Samsung to help boost Galaxy S21 sales. In other words, the company likely thought consumers would buy more Galaxy S21 phones if a Galaxy Note 21 series wasn’t around.

Well, according to a report from the South Korean outlet The Elec, this strategy might not have paid off in the end. The report contends Samsung sold about the same number of smartphones as it sold in 2020 with the Galaxy S20 series. That’s in the range of “mid-20 million units.”

When you factor in the COVID-19 pandemic’s more dramatic effect on the mobile industry in 2020 as compared to 2021, it would appear Galaxy S21 sales are under expectations.

Samsung Galaxy S21 sales: No help from lack of a Note

Samsung’s apparent abandonment of the Galaxy Note series was a calculated risk. The company had to weigh whether designing and producing a Galaxy Note 21 would be worth it. With the ongoing global chip shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing a new smartphone isn’t as simple as it once was.

In fact, the report from The Elec contends that Samsung blames the low Galaxy S21 sales last year on production difficulties. The company suggests it could have possibly sold more phones if its Vietnam-based factories didn’t face the issues they faced. With that in mind, Samsung probably made the right call in not creating a Galaxy Note 21. Even if it did make it, who knows how difficult it would have been to buy.

Related: The best Samsung phones you can get

However, Samsung likely hoped that a silver lining to skipping the Note would have been better Galaxy S21 sales. Unfortunately, it seems that didn’t pan out. This data heavily suggests folks who would have bought a Galaxy Note 21 didn’t jump ship and buy a Galaxy S21 instead.

It will be interesting to see this year how Samsung’s newest strategy will work. All evidence suggests the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will just be a Galaxy Note 22 with a different name. Will that crossover help the Galaxy S22 series sell?