A new report has revealed the release dates for several of the most anticipated smartphones of 2018, including the Galaxy S9. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 from Samsung will undoubtedly be standout devices during the calendar year, while much is also expected of the LG G7, as the Korean rival of Samsung attempts to break into the mainstream.
Snapdragon 845 revealed
Now is the ideal time for release date information to seep out, as the Snapdragon 845 mobile platform was officially unveiled by Qualcomm earlier this month. This processor will play a major role in Android devices during the calendar year, providing a second-generation 10nm chipset platform that should result in improved performance.
And with this news in the bank, Chinese social media has once again proved to be a rich source of the latest whispers on mobile technology, with Weibo bearing fruit once more. The Chinese micro-blogging site has recently featured an intriguing leak which purports to display the full list of smartphones that will be powered by the Snapdragon 845, along with release dates and announcement timelines.
Firstly, it is indicated by the Weibo leak that Samsung will release both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus in February. This was largely anticipated to be the case, even though a few murmurings had suggested that the premium smartphone from the Korean corporation could arrive at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Instead, it seems that Samsung will follow previous policy, and unveil the Galaxy S9 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
LG G7 coming
It is also suggested that the LG G7 will land in February, with the LG G7 Plus also to be unveiled. This could be considered slightly surprising, as the mobile from LG will face serious competition from one of the major players in the smartphone marketplace. There hasn’t been a huge amount of information forthcoming on the LG G7, though, which will at least hand the phone the element of surprise.
But the list does suggest that the LG G7 may not benefit from the Snapdragon 845, underlining the possibility of an exclusivity deal for Samsung which has been reported previously.
In April, Xiaomi Mi 7 is expected to debut as China’s first Snapdragon 845 release, at least according to the Weibo leak. This innovative and interesting release will slot into the calendar neatly between some of the big hitters. Whether Xiaomi can really find a market in the West, so dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung, is debatable, but market trends are certainly tipping in favour of such manufacturers.
And HTC will follow its release schedule for 2017 next year as well, with the HTC U12 expected to land in May. This renowned producer of mobile technology is in something of a transitional period currently, after Google’s acquisition of large parts of the company. There has been speculation that this will lead to HTC becoming a supplier of mobile innovation rather than a producer of its own smartphones, but certainly there are still plans to release HTC devices for the time being.
June will be a massive month for smartphone releases, at least according to this latest Chinese social media leak. The document suggests that the OnePlus 6, ZTE Nubia Z18 and Sony Xperia XZ Pro-A smartphones will all arrive in the market, providing consumers with a wide range of choice at this time.
Interestingly, it is suggested that the flagship of Sony will actually be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in February, with the Japanese corporation attempting to whet appetites ahead of the June release date. Sony’s mobile phone division has certainly not performed in the manner that the corporation would have hoped, and there seems little chance that the Xperia XZ Pro-A will change this picture.
The last few months of the year will undoubtedly be the most exciting, though, with September particularly busy. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9, LG V40 and Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 are rumored for release in the ninth month of the year, while Apple will also probably reveal its iPhone range during this month as well.
And then in October, the Google Pixel 3, Pixel XL, ZTE Nubia Z18S, Sony Xperia XZ2 and HTC U12+ will follow. It is interesting that HTC intends to split up its U12 and U12+ releases, but this is actually fairly common in the mobile marketplace. For example, Samsung releases its flagship smartphone towards the beginning of the year, with its premium phablet arriving towards the end.
Motorola will seemingly debut the Moto Z 2019 flagship phone in November, with the OnePlus 6T and Samsung flip phone arriving in December. This last device is the rumored foldable smartphone that Samsung has been linked with for some years, with rumors intensifying over the last few months.
It is notable that the majority of release dates in this list are identical to the previous generation. Many have been sceptical about the authenticity of the micro-blogging leak, but such images have previously provided critical information on the biggest smartphone releases in the world.
There is no doubt that it will be a massive and a critical year for Android platforms in 2018, as Apple stole the thunder of Samsung in particular with its iPhone range this year. It is perhaps surprising that the Korean corporation is expected to release a Galaxy S9 with minimal design changes next year, and there would seem to be pressure on Samsung to respond to the extremely well-received iPhone X.
Nonetheless, it is widely expected that the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will be the most powerful phones on the market during the first half of 2018, meaning that Samsung can make a big splash in the mobile niche. The list leaked on Weibo is indicative of the number of smartphones now competing in this crowded marketplace, with others also available that are not even mentioned.
Apple and Samsung dominate
It perhaps speaks volumes of the quality of Apple and Samsung that they have been able to so dominate this market. Apple’s innovation and Samsung’s commitment to high specifications and general quality have clearly defined the mobile niche, and despite the wide variety of alternatives available to consumers, this is highly likely to continue in 2018.
Perhaps the biggest buzzword in the smartphone market next year will be 4K. Rumors abound that Samsung in particular will produce the first mainstream 4K resolution mobile during the calendar year, although it is more likely that this will be the Galaxy Note 9 than the S9.
Nonetheless, it all adds up to an exciting 12 months for Android devices, and we now have a good idea when the major players will be releasing their smartphones.