Samsung could be accelerating its timetable for the Galaxy S9 to combat the iPhone 8.
Samsung usually unveils its Galaxy S flagships at Mobile World Congress, which takes place at the end of February. That wasn’t the case this year, with the company delaying the launch of the Galaxy S8 to roll out additional safety measures following the Note 7 debacle.
If a report out of South Korea’s The Bell is to be believed, Samsung is looking to launch the Galaxy S9 earlier than usual, possibly even in the month of January. The publication says that the unveil will be followed by a global launch sometime in mid-February.
The Bell is basing its hypothesis on display shipments — display panels are usually shipped out two to three months before a phone’s launch, and Samsung Display is set to kick off shipments of OLED panels for the Galaxy S9 in November. For the Galaxy S8, the panels started shipping out in January.
Samsung sold over 20 million units of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ globally, with the company seeing a 15% uptick in flagship sales from the previous year. An accelerated launch window allows Samsung to make the Galaxy S9 available in stores by the end of February, giving it a decent headstart over the competition. Not that Samsung needs it, judging by the sales figures.
The upcoming iPhone launch, however, could have influenced Samsung’s decision to move up the launch of the Galaxy S9. The iPhone 8 is expected to sport a bezel-less screen, and while Samsung has a flagship that’s set to become available later this year in the Galaxy Note 8, it looks like the company wants the Galaxy S9 to join the fight as soon as possible.
Not much is known about the Galaxy S9 at this point, but the phone is rumored to sport a similar dual-camera setup as the Note 8.