Samsung is likely to increase the starting price of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus by up to ten percent compared to the introductory pricing attached to the Galaxy S8 lineup, South Korean outlet ETNews reported Monday, citing industry sources. The 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 is hence expected to start between 950,000 to 999,000 won, i.e. $890 to $935, or up to $60 more than the Galaxy S8. The exact price range of the 6.2-inch model wasn't disclosed but the device is also said to be treated to a comparable price hike. The Galaxy S8 started at $750 in the United States, with its successor hence being likely to retail for around $800 in the country. The report is in line with recent rumors about the Android series that some insiders claim will entail Samsung's most expensive flagships to date and will even surpass the starting price of the Galaxy Note 8.
The sources cited by ETNews said Samsung isn't planning a major price hike so as to avoid "burdening" consumers looking to upgrade their handsets soon after the Galaxy S9 lineup is launched but it's still unclear whether the Seoul-based tech giant will attempt to explain the move and how it would prefer to go about doing so in that scenario. By most accounts, the smaller Galaxy S9 will only be an incremental upgrade over its predecessor, debuting a better system-on-chip and an improved camera relying on a lens with a variable aperture but otherwise being largely identical to the Galaxy S8. While a number of hikes in smartphone component prices increased the manufacturing costs of contemporary handsets over the course of 2017, that trend isn't expected to continue this year.
Samsung should have an easier job justifying a potential price increase of the larger Galaxy S9 Plus which is said to be a more direct upgrade over the Galaxy S8 Plus, boasting all of the improvements of its smaller counterpart while simultaneously featuring a dual-lens setup with a 12-megapixel, fixed-focus secondary camera and 6GB of RAM. The base model of the phablet is also expected to feature 128GB of internal storage space, according to recent reports. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will be officially unveiled on February 25th and should go on sale by mid-March. ETNews claims the pre-order period for the two devices will be relatively short in Korea and span only seven days ending March 8th.