The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will essentially be refined versions of their predecessors instead of devices seeking to innovate Samsung's existing Android flagship formula, BusinessKorea reported Sunday, citing industry sources with knowledge of the upcoming handsets. The report corresponds to previous rumors on the matter, with most insiders agreeing that the Galaxy S9 lineup will be similar to the Galaxy S8 one and focus on improved usability while retaining the overall aesthetic of the last two mobile devices. The Infinity Display-based design is still said to be part of the package, coupled with minimal bezels that will be nearly identical to the one found on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus.
Huawei, LG, and Sony are also believed to follow suit and focus on refining their smartphone offerings instead of pushing the boundaries of consumer electronics with innovative features, at least as far as their next premium smartphones are concerned, as per the same report. Sony is the only major phone maker that's yet to adopt a bezel-free aesthetic but is expected to do so come early 2018 with what was rumored to be called a "Mirai" design language. Such a move will be a novelty for Sony but generally isn't described as innovative due to the fact that bezel-less displays already became a hallmark of Android flagships over the course of this year. All of the aforementioned original equipment manufacturers are said to be unveiling new mobile products at the upcoming iteration of Mobile World Congress scheduled to start in late February. According to one source, OEMs remain reluctant to attempt to innovate with functionalities like foldable screens and in-display fingerprint sensors due to the fact that such additions are expected to increase the prices of their products. As premium handsets already became more expensive in recent times, additional price hikes might hurt sales, the same source speculates.
Samsung is still expected to announce a foldable smartphone in the form of the Galaxy X next year but that particular device is likely to be positioned as a niche offering. While foldable handsets may be the future of the industry, most insiders agree they aren't likely to establish a significant foothold in the global market until 2020. Samsung's Galaxy S9 lineup is said to be the first series of Android flagships released in 2018, whereas Huawei, Sony, and LG should release their premium mobile offerings by mid-spring.