Science & Technology

Galaxy Tab S8 could be delayed by new COVID-19 cases

Samsung has, until recently, been doing quite well despite and in spite of two major global events that have affected lives and industries for the past two years. While the tech industry continues to struggle with the ongoing semiconductor supply shortage, the situation with the COVID-19 coronavirus has been alleviated a bit thanks to vaccines. It hasn’t completely disappeared, though, and a rather unfortunate new incident at Samsung’s HQ just proved that to be the case and could affect at least one upcoming product line.

A former Samsung employee revealed that about 11 employees at Samsung’s headquarters at Suwon, South Korea, have tested positive for the virus. While the cases were apparently limited to just the R5 Tower, that facility alone accommodated 10,000 of the 36,000 people that Samsung Digital City could house. Of course, Samsung had to take immediate action, which could affect some of its launch schedules in the coming months.

According to LetsGoDigital, Samsung is cutting the number of people that can come to the office down to 30%. The rest will have to work from, just like they were doing last year at the height of the pandemic. These measures, however, will apparently be in effect for the next six weeks, which means this reduced workforce will last until the end of the year. This, in turn, will definitely have an impact on Samsung’s operations, but the company will also strive to minimize the adverse effects.

For example, it definitely can’t take away resources from its upcoming Galaxy S22 series and probably can’t further delay the Galaxy S21 FE either. Surprisingly, the Galaxy Tab A8 2022 is reportedly still on track, most likely because it’s too late to pause it at this point. The entry-level tablet is already scheduled to start its production next month.

The casualty, it seems, will be the Galaxy Tab S8 series, though even the report isn’t completely certain of that. It won’t be canceled, mind, but it could be delayed to a much later date. As with any product launch, missing a target window will affect everyone’s revenues for a certain quarter, including Samsung’s suppliers and retail partners.

The delay would definitely paint Samsung’s tablets in a less positive light, especially since there was no flagship Galaxy Tab S device launched this year. There has been some interest and even excitement about a Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra with a large 14.6-inch screen, competing against Windows-powered tablet PCs and laptops. We’ll still see these devices eventually, but it also remains to be seen if they will miss a window of opportunity to make a good first impression in the market.

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