With this year coming to a close, it stands to reason we take a look at what’s next in store for us on the smartphone front. 2020 hasn’t exactly been a triumphant year for Samsung’s mobile business, but on the bright side, that really got Samsung talking regarding the future. As it obviously wanted to ease investor concerns after recent headwinds.
Keeping that in mind, let’s read between the lines a bit and put out some sensible predictions for 2021:
Wi-Fi 6 support. Wi-Fi 6 support everywhere.
We’ll start with probably the safest prediction of the bunch – Samsung going all-in on Wi-Fi 6 support. As the company started embracing the new local wireless communication standard over a year ago, beginning with the Galaxy Note 10 series. Though the majority of its non-flagship products released throughout 2020 lacked compatibility with this new technical specification, also known by its “real” name – IEEE 802.11ax.
Whether this ends up being a big deal or not will largely depend on where exactly in the world you are located. Because so far, Wi-Fi 6 adoption has been about as slow to roll out as 5G networks. Still, if you are planning on buying a Wi-Fi 6 router at some point in 2021, you’ll be pleased to know that even the more value-oriented part of Samsung’s smartphone portfolio should be able to make full use of it.
At least one big new software partnership.
Another big new software partnership is on the cards because Samsung hasn’t been winding down all that mobile app investments for nothing over the course of this year. For clarity, we’re talking about something akin to the company’s decision to discontinue Samsung Cloud in favor of OneDrive.
Google is a likely candidate here, what with recent reports about it waving bags of money in front of Samsung as yet another attempt at forcing Google Assistant onto every flavor of Android there is. But don’t expect Bixby to get discontinued even in that scenario.
Still, 2021 will provide an ample opportunity for Samsung’s new mobile boss, Roh Tae-moon, to start showing some benefits of his decision to wind down the conglomerate’s in-house software initiatives. And as a result of that same strategic reshuffle, it’s dubious whether we’ll see another Samsung Developer Conference anytime soon.
Say hello to under-display cameras… they’re right over ther-no, no, to the right, yes, there, say hello.
Oh boy, we have been hearing about this tech for what feels like forever by now. But that, by itself, already speaks volumes regarding how long has Samsung been trying to commercialize it.
Moving into 2021, it would appear the company is finally ready to make invisible under-display cameras a mainstream reality. Just don’t expect that to include every single high-end range Samsung puts out over the course of the next 12 months. For that, we’ll probably have to wait until 2022.
Another foldable form factor.
Samsung’s foldable smartphone experiment is just getting started, so whatever the company cooks up on top of its existing Folds and Flips likely won’t be its last such innovation attempt. According to most recent reports, a stretchable Galaxy phone might be next in line for commercialization. But even if it’s not, something else is bound to take its place as Samsung’s obligatory what-even-is-this-thing entrant for 2021.
How the market responds to such a device is another matter entirely. As none of the concepts Samsung released so far have exactly made a lot of waves. It’s hard to imagine any kind of global success in that regard before Samsung is able to mass-produce foldable Galaxy devices in a much more cost-effective manner.
Galaxy Note dead yet!
At first, this prediction might seem like the bravest of the bunch. But that’s just because certain someones have been chasing some late-year tech readership targets in recent weeks with big reports based on even bigger leaps.
Let’s make one thing clear: Reuters is a credible media organization. One of the most credible of the bunch, actually. But that’s not due to their track record with tech reporting. And their aforementioned report about the possible demise of the Galaxy Note family indicates the overall lack of tech industry watchers on their roster more than it tells us anything new about Samsung’s 2021 mobile strategy.
In simpler terms: Samsung formally reevaluates every single one of its smartphone series on an annual basis. The Galaxy S range is the only possible exception to that practice, but regardless, Samsung won’t be killing its second-best-selling smartphone lineup after one underwhelming year. Especially when the main reason for that underperformance was quite clearly something outside of its control.
And there you have it, five easy predictions concerning next year’s Galaxy smartphones. Think we got any of them wrong? Have some of your own? Let us know in the comments!