The Galaxy S21 flagship series will start shipping to customers by the end of the week. The first month on the market will be decisive for the new lineup, as it will give Samsung a more accurate idea of what kind of demand it should expect in the first quarter. But for the time being and until a more accurate prediction can be made, the company has reportedly set its expectations a bit lower than last year.
Samsung is reportedly estimating that it will ship a total of 26 million Galaxy S21 flagships by the end of 2021. It seems as though the company has adjusted its expectations according to the Galaxy S20 series’ market performance, the latter of which registered 26 million shipments in 2020, down from the estimated 35 million shipments. This year, the company is apparently expecting to ship 10 million base Galaxy S21 units, 8 million Galaxy S21+ units, and another 8 million Galaxy S21 Ultra units.
Shipments might be lower but sales figures don’t have to
Shipment and sales figures are two different things, even though they are interconnected. A company can ship a whole lot more products to retailers than it will actually sell — sometimes, but not always to its detriment — and it’s why shipment figures are usually viewed only as a rough estimate of a product’s true market performance.
As far as Samsung and the Galaxy S21 series goes, the company may have adjusted its shipment figures as a way to prevent overproduction and oversupply. Samsung might no longer afford to flood the market as it used to, and back in November we heard about Samsung wanting to follow demand more closely and gradually increase the Galaxy S21 production capacity as needed. This will inevitably lead to lower initial shipment figures compared to previous years, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that Samsung is expecting to sell fewer Galaxy S21 models overall.