- A new leak tells us that Samsung’s Galaxy S21 will copy one of the iPhone 12’s most controversial feature.
- Brazilian telecom regulator Anatel approved the three Galaxy S21 handsets ahead of the mid-January launch, revealing several details about them.
- The documentation says the phones will ship without free chargers and earphones, just like the iPhone 12.
The best thing Samsung ever did to conquer the mobile market was to blatantly copy the iPhone. It’s what allowed its Android phones to grow in popularity in the first years when Galaxy S devices looked and felt like iPhone lookalikes. The lawsuits that followed forced Samsung to refine smartphone design and software further and find its own voice. But by the time it happened, Samsung was already at the top of the mobile industry. Even so, Samsung did not take any big risks to push the industry forward. The Galaxy Note is one exception, and the Galaxy Fold another. But these novelties in the mobile business appeared many years apart.
Samsung kept improving the Galaxy S and Note every year but kept following Apple’s lead rather than setting the tone in the mobile industry. And Samsung kept criticizing Apple’s more controversial moves, only to copy them later. The best example is the headphone jack, which Samsung kept in place several years after Apple unveiled the iPhone 7, the first iPhone not to feature a 3.5mm audio port. Samsung mocked Apple in online commercials, which it then had to delete from the web once the first Galaxy phones without headphone jacks arrived. Samsung is now ready to copy the iPhone 12’s most controversial move, and this time around, it won’t wait years to do it.
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During the iPhone 12 press conference, Apple announced that the new devices would not ship with free chargers and earphones, as it was customary. That’s what rumors said before the event, and Apple confirmed it all. Apple said it’s all about reducing carbon emissions, but the move also reduces manufacturing costs. Apple still sells chargers and EarPods online and in stores in case iPhone users still need them.
Samsung promptly mocked Apple on social media, reminding buyers that its phones will still come with free accessories in the box. But the mockery did not last long. In late October, a report said that Samsung was already considering a similar move for the Galaxy S21 series. That was just weeks after the iPhone 12 reveal event. Fast forward to mid-December, and Brazilian-language blog Tecnoblog found evidence that proves Samsung is about to copy Apple again.
Brazilian regulator Anatel has approved the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra about a month ahead of their expected launch. Reports say Samsung will announce the new trio of phones in mid-January. The documentation reveals the model numbers for the three devices and confirms battery capacities. We’re looking at 4,000 mAh, 4,800 mAh, and 5,000 mAh battery packs for the three handsets, respectively.
All phones will feature 5G connectivity and ultra-wideband support, according to the paperwork. The latter is also something that Apple brought to the iPhone first.
The Anatel documents also say that the three devices will not be sold with chargers in the box, and buyers won’t get free earphones either. It’s unlikely that Samsung would have pulled the same move without Apple doing it first. But just like Apple, Samsung’s decision will not hurt most people. Current Android handset users already own chargers that will work with the phones, and most people have wired or wireless headsets. Those who will want new accessories, or chargers capable of faster charging speeds, would have to purchase them separately.
Samsung does have one advantage over Apple in the earphones department. The company usually offers buyers who preorder its devices gift cards that are good towards accessories, including versions of its Galaxy Buds wireless earphones.
Samsung is yet to confirm any of these details, but it’s not like the Korean giant kept any big Galaxy S or Note secrets in the past.
It’s unclear whether Samsung will remove accessories from all of its Galaxy phones. All of the iPhones still in stock at Apple ship without chargers and earphones, not just the iPhone 12.