Samsung may have set some lofty goals for its recently announced Galaxy S9 series, as an unspecified source claims Korea's perennial OEM intends to sell many as 43 million units during 2018. This might come as a surprise to some, given that recent reports have already been the bringer of bad news, suggesting underwhelming pre-sale numbers in several key markets. Perhaps even more surprising, last year's Galaxy S8 siblings allegedly had a sales target of "just" 41 million units, and said smartphones enjoyed the benefit of a total redesign from the Galaxy S7 units that came a year prior. Samsung is likely expecting that users on 2-year contracts around the world will be ready and eager to upgrade to the bezel-less Infinity Display.
Despite visual similarities to the Galaxy S8 series, this year's offerings do bring some key features to the table including a repositioned fingerprint sensor, Qualcomm's latest SoC, a new textured frame, refined colors, Android Oreo 8.0 on-board, and more. Even the bezels, which had already been dramatically reduced with the Galaxy S8, have been eroded ever so slightly to provide greater screen-to-body satisfaction. With respect to the larger Galaxy S9 Plus in particular, 6GB of RAM is now standard, and the phone also comes with a dual-camera setup akin to that featured on the Galaxy Note 8, but with some new tricks in tow.
Still, the fact remains that any given customer who walks into a carrier store will be confronted with a difficult choice: the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus will look essentially the same, have specs and features still considered to be top-tier, but come with significantly lower price tags, and will likely have aggressive campaigns attached in order to clear out inventory. There will always be those who want the latest and greatest, but this year's incremental upgrade element could potentially pan out to be similar to the Galaxy S5, which saw huge pre-order numbers from retailers but sales performance that fell dramatically below expectations and forced Samsung to reshuffle many executive-level officers. Given that the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus have yet to officially go on sale, it's impossible to say what will ultimately occur on the accounting books months down the road, but it's likely Samsung has its proverbial fingers crossed.