Samsung may launch flagship phone early - sources

Hoping to grab market share from Huawei and fend off competition from Apple, Samsung is reportedly planning an early launch of its flagship Galaxy S smartphones.

Three sources familiar with the matter said the release would come more than a month earlier than expected.

Huawei has challenged Samsung for top position in the global smartphone market.

In fact the South Korean firm lost its No.1 position to Huawei in the second quarter, but regained the crown in the third.

Now though the Chinese company is in survival mode with U.S. restrictions choking off its supplies of chips.

Officials hope Joe Biden's presidency will ease some of those restrictions.

But that's far from certain, as they also expect the incoming U.S. administration to maintain a tough stance on China.

The sources said Samsung is preparing to launch its new Galaxy S21 as early as late January.

Samsung declined to comment.

The South Korean company shipped 59% fewer Galaxy S20 5G series handsets to the U.S. in the second quarter compared to a year earlier.

Apple though shipped 15% more of its flagship iPhone 11 than last year's best-seller, the iPhone XR.

Samsung also faces intensifying competition from Chinese rivals like Xiaomi and Oppo.

They too are expected to take advantage of Huawei’s struggle to retain market share.