THIS time last year, Samsung commenced work on the firmware development for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Reports indicate that the South Korean company has started work on the firmware for next year’s flagship models two weeks ago.
With two firmware numbers (reported as G960FXXU0AQI5 and G965FXXU0AQI5 by SamMobile) it’s also possible to extract the model numbers for the handsets. The SM-G960 will be the presumptively named Galaxy S9, while SM-G965 will be for the Galaxy S9+.
As for the two-week difference in start times, I suspect the answer to that lies in the Galaxy Note 7. At this time last year Samsung was investigating the battery fires in the ill-fated phablet. With no such concerns this year it’s back to the regular schedule.
And that regular schedule means that Galaxy fans can start thinking about the launch date. Last year the new S handsets were revealed on March 29th, with the first retail units going on sale in the US on April 21st. Samsung could stick to that later schedule in 2018, or it may return to announcing the handset just before MWC, in which case February 25th looks the likely launch date, with the hardware going on sale later in March 2018.