Although the Samsung Galaxy S23 series is still likely nine months away from launch, we’ve already heard a (very) early report that suggests there could be some trouble brewing in heaven.
A Korean site called Business Post has written a report detailing the delays in mass production of Samsung’s 3nm chipset, suggesting the company is struggling to manufacture enough of this ultra-small new chip.
The reason for the delays and problems creating enough chips has not been clarified. However, many parts of Asia are still suffering from Covid-19 lockdowns, which could have an impact.
Samsung makes Exynos chipsets, which it uses in some of its own phones and also sells to other brands like Vivo. For the Galaxy S22 series, phones sold in Europe or Asia received Exynos chips while those intended for buyers in the United States received ones made by Qualcomm.
Business Post doesn’t mention the Galaxy S23 series by name, but suggests that 2023 is the year we’ll likely see Apple using 3nm chipsets for iPhones as well. However, the Galaxy S23 phones will likely launch around nine months before the iPhones, giving Apple plenty of time to build up a supply of components.
Analysis: some alternatives
If Samsung struggles to manufacture enough of its upcoming Exynos chipset, it could make the Galaxy S23 series hard to buy in some regions, including Europe.
We saw it for many technologies during the silicon shortage in 2020 and 2021, when people waited ages to buy new iPads or smartphones.
That’s not to say it’s set in stone, as Samsung might try to come up with an alternative measure to ensure there are enough Galaxy S23 units on store shelves.
An obvious choice is to change the chipset division for phones, which fans have been asking for, since Exynos processors aren’t usually as powerful as the Qualcomm-built Snapdragon ones used in the US.
Maybe Samsung could use Snapdragon chips in more of its upcoming S-series phones, or at least employ some of the manufacturers that make them to create more Exynos chips.
It’s also worth pointing out that we can’t be sure if this upcoming 3nm chipset is for the Galaxy S23 series – Samsung might save it for the Galaxy S24 series in 2024.
We’ll have to see what happens, but we’re still a long way off, so a lot could change.