It's only the third month of the year, but Samsung is gearing up for its second big product launch of 2021. The company on Tuesday sent invitations for an Unpacked event set for 7 a.m. PT on March 17, where the company is expected to show off its affordable Galaxy A series of smartphones. Samsung said that at the event, it'll explain how it's "bringing Awesome to everyone."
In mid-January, Samsung unveiled its flagship phones for the year, the, during an online event. All came with 5G, and the devices . Though Samsung cut the price, in part because of the current environment, $800 may still be too expensive for the millions of people out of work during . That's .
Samsung has offered its Galaxy A phones internationally for a long time, but last year marked the first time it introduced a full lineup in the US. A year ago, it unveiled four 4G LTE phones that ranged from $110 for the Galaxy A10 to $400 for the Galaxy A51 and two 5G models, the $500 Galaxy A51 5G and the $600 Galaxy A71 5G. At the time, the A51 and A71 were two of the cheapest 5G phones in the US, but they've since handed the title of most affordable 5G phone to vendors like and OnePlus with its $300 . The Galaxy A devices helped Samsung gain buyers at a time when its pricier Galaxy S20 phones struggled.
It's likely Samsung's new Galaxy A lineup will see lower prices than last year's 5G models. The move to introduce less expensive devices is a reversal from a few years ago, when Apple and Samsung . At first, some people accepted the hike, though plenty of others . Many held onto their older phones longer than before -- about three years in the US -- or sought out budget versions of and Galaxy phones. When 5G and more advanced materials were added to the devices, the companies again found it easier to justify the prices. Having the latest and greatest innovations isn't cheap.
But some of those innovations have now been on the market long enough that Samsung and other companies can lower their base prices. We're also in the midst of a pandemic and recession that's resulted in millions of people sick and out of work. COVID-19 has infected more than 117 million people and has killed about 2.6 million.
Tune back to CNET for full coverage from Samsung's Unpacked.