If I told you there was a specific Samsung phone re-release, what would you think I was talking about? The compact Galaxy S10e? The first Galaxy Fold? A Galaxy Note phone? Well, you’d be wrong, wrong, and wrong again – the correct answer, surprisingly, is the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.
This mid-range 2020 smartphone had its 5G version relaunched in South Korea in early 2022 and we thought that was a brief variance, but turns out Samsung really re-launched this phone for the global market brings to market. We say that because Samsung Mexico has now also started selling this device.
This handset, which Samsung is calling the Galaxy S20 FE 2022, is based on the 5G version of the original phone – there was a 4G option for that too, but apparently Samsung is ditching the 4G version in the past. The new handset is identical to the older one except in two key respects: it comes with newer software and has a 256GB storage option.
In Mexico, the new Samsung Galaxy S20 FE (2022) isn’t cheaper than the launch price of its 2020 predecessor, which is quite a surprise, although it costs less than the newer Galaxy S21 FE – so it’s possible Samsung is using the older fan Edition phone as a cheaper alternative to the newer one.
We asked Samsung why it’s releasing this nearly two-year-old phone and if more regions might see it, but the company didn’t immediately respond. We will update this article when we receive feedback.
Analysis: a growing trend
This actually isn’t the first time a company has re-launched an older smartphone – even Samsung is no stranger to the habit, having launched the S20 FE in some regions in 2021.
The biggest culprit for this business practice is Xiaomi, which has re-released many of its budget Redmi devices, including the Redmi Note 8 – these newer versions don’t always bring upgrades, even though the Note 8 used a newer chipset and has newer software.
So what is the reason for brands to relaunch their old phones instead of just releasing new ones? Well, the companies haven’t commented, but we’d bet it’s based on name recognition – if a particular model has proven popular, the company would rather use the same name on a newer phone rather than launch a device bring that may not prove itself just as successfully.
For an extreme version of that, the Huawei P30 Pro saw a “remake” over a year after its initial debut. This had no other specs but came crucially with Google Apps not using Huawei phones since the P30 series due to political issues.
Also, companies can use leftover parts or have them made in their factories instead of tweaking production like they would have to for a new phone.
So there’s nothing new about phone re-releases, although we’re a little surprised the S20 FE gets the treatment, given that it’s not quite as famous as some of the brand’s other phones. But it’s coming – potentially, depending on where you live – and we’ll let you know when it rolls out to more regions.
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