Weak sales of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus may prompt Samsung to release the Galaxy Note 9 earlier than expected, The Korea Herald's Investor reported Thursday, citing industry sources. Samsung Display will reportedly begin mass-manufacturing OLED display modules for the Galaxy Note 9 next month, two months earlier than usual, and if the rest of component suppliers for the upcoming phablet follow suit, the Android flagship may be released as early as July, insiders claim. Previous reports also indicated Samsung started firmware development for the Galaxy Note 9 approximately two weeks earlier than it usually does, having supposedly done so last week.
The design of the device will only be finalized by the end of this month, whereas previous entries in the Galaxy Note series had their layouts locked down at least five months prior to flow production, sources recently said, having attributed the development to Samsung's insistence to attempt equipping the Galaxy Note 9 with an in-display fingerprint reader despite numerous technical difficulties to doing so it's still facing. Samsung Display reportedly came up with three or four alternatives for implementing an in-screen fingerprint sensor into the Galaxy Note 9, with the final decision on the matter being expected to be reached by the end of the week, provided it hasn't already been made.
The Galaxy Note 9 is said to sport a 6.38-inch Super AMOLED display panel that's slightly larger than the 6.32-inch screen found on the Galaxy Note 8. Besides poor Galaxy S9 sales, Samsung is also targeting an early release due to the likely September launch of the new iPhone, as per recent reports. While the iPhone X was only unveiled last November due to manufacturing issues with its 3D camera technologies, Apple is expected to return to its usual September product keynotes this year. Samsung hasn't shared any details on the commercial performance of the Galaxy S9 series but the lineup is understood to have performed worse than last year's Galaxy S8 family during its advanced order period. Last spring, Samsung has been sharing updates on the number of Galaxy S8 pre-orders every several days, whereas it hasn't disclosed any such figures for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus this year.