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Samsung Takes the Wraps Off Its New Galaxy S21 Phones

By Eric Volkman - Updated Jan 14, 2021 at 5:16PM

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They're priced to compete with the iPhone 12 lineup.

More or less keeping pace with U.S. rival Apple (AAPL -2.79%), Samsung unveiled its latest line of smartphones on Thursday. 

The Galaxy S21 suite of phones, which as usual is powered by Alphabet's Android operating system, consists of three models. In ascending order of price and feature set, these are the S21, the S21+, and the S21 Ultra. As with their predecessors in the S20 line, all operate on the 5G standard, which promises dramatically faster data transfer even if the bulk of carrier networks don't yet fully support it.

One notable aspect of Samsung's new lineup is the price reduction from the previous generation. The S21 starts at $799.99, the S21+ should sell for a minimum of $999.99, and the S21 Ultra will set a customer back at least $1,199.99. 

When Samsung rolled out the S20 line last year, the lowest-end model was priced at a minimum of $1,000.

A Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

A Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Image source: Samsung.

This latest pricing should also keep Samsung competitive with Apple, as it essentially mirrors the latter's iPhone 12 line (all of which are similarly 5G-ready). This might also help the Asian company maintain its lead as the world's king of smartphones; according to a recent analysis from IDC, it had a market share of nearly 23% in the third quarter of 2020.

All of the S21s are currently available for pre-order; they are to be formally released on Jan. 29.

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