We are coming into the time of year (through fall and winter) where smartphone flagships arrive at a rapid rate. While MWC in Barcelona at the start of the year is big, there are huge launches towards the end of the year too. Smartphone season will start earlier this year with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in just two weeks.
The South Korean smartphone market leader is dropping its latest phablet flagship at an event in New York on August 9. This date represents the earliest Samsung has ever launched a Galaxy Note device.
We have seen the company announce its productivity-minded handset early each year. The main reason for this has been to avoid the all-encompassing nature of an Apple iPhone launch cycle. Cupertino launches its iPhones in September.
By landing in August, the Galaxy Note 9 will have a month with the smartphone hype all to itself. New reports suggest the company won't hang around in releasing the phone either. Indeed, it seems the Galaxy Note 9 will almost certainly be available to buy before the end of next month.
While avoiding Apple is obviously a factor, there is another reason at play. Galaxy S9 and S9 + sales have been dropping in recent months so Samsung wants to refresh interest in its brand. In a way, this is the price the company pays for launching two flagships each year.
Customers will flock to a knew model through the first two months of release but will then cool interest as they know a newer and better device is just around the corner. Of course, some will argue that the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note smartphones are different enough to avoid this. I would argue they are not.
Reports coming out of Chine suggest Samsung may be concerned by Apple's output this year. The company is said to have ordered 30 million Note 9 shipping units for launch. A huge sum no doubt, but actually the lowest amount since the Galaxy S III.