Although the Galaxy S21 FE is expected to be launched soon-ish, getting your hands on one could be a bit of a challenge. Industry insider Max Jambor says that Samsung has manufactured a little over 10,000 Galaxy S21 FE units so far. That number is pitiful and won't even satiate the needs of one region, let alone all the markets where it will be launched. Max adds that the high Galaxy Z Flip 3 demand could also be a reason for the alleged shortage. He rounds things off by stating that Samsung could ramp up production in the coming weeks.
We know for sure that the Galaxy S21 FE will be available in both Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100 flavours. Some of the manufacturing issues could be driven by the fact that the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 already use the Snapdragon 888. It is unlikely that Samsung has enough of them to go around due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage.
Ideally, a shortage of Snapdragon chips shouldn't affect the Exynos side of things. Things are a bit different this time around, though. Both chipsets are manufactured on Samsung LSI's 5nm node. Hence a component shortage will affect both SKUs equally. Samsung is unable to keep up with demand for its smartphones as it is, and the Galaxy S21 FE will only add to that burden.
Even Samsung is pessimistic about the Galaxy S21 FE's sales prospects. Furthermore, the vanilla Galaxy S21 can be had for a relatively affordable price with carrier offers and discounts, so there is very little incentive for customers to buy an under-specced Galaxy S21 FE for more or less the same price. Lastly, the Galaxy S22 launch isn't too far off, either, so a lot of people would prefer waiting for the next generation of Samsung devices.
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Samsung didn't really produce a lot units of the S21 FE (R9) this month. Roughly 10.000 units only. Considering the launch is happening a month from now it is not really thaaaaaaat much – but this COULD change by later this week or next week.
— Max Jambor (@MaxJmb) September 21, 2021