Samsung delayed the launch of the Galaxy Note 9 over a last-minute design change, South Korean outlet The Bell reports, citing sources privy to the development. The redesign is said to be minor in nature and will only push back the Android flagship's debut by some two weeks, with the tech giant now supposedly working on making the 6.38-inch Super AMOLED panel meant to be featured on the phablet 0.5mm thinner. Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is said to have personally ordered the change after visiting China earlier this month, having reportedly concluded OPPO and Vivo-made handsets using Samsung Display's panels offered a better grip than existing Galaxy Note-series products.
Industry sources previously claimed Samsung started mass-producing Super AMOLED panels for the Galaxy Note 9 in April, two months ahead of schedule, with later reports suggesting the high-end handset may launch as early as July. Samsung is also said to have started Galaxy Note 9 firmware development ahead of schedule, in addition to unveiling the Galaxy S9 lineup eleven months after debuting the Galaxy S8 series. While last year's spring launch is understood to have been delayed due to additional Q&A investments Samsung made in the aftermath of the Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco, a number of sources believed the company will still accelerate the release of its 2018 Galaxy Note-series smartphone.
The Galaxy Note 9 is expected to be visually similar to its predecessor but debut with Bixby 2.0 and an improved S Pen stylus, whereas its most premium model may have as much as 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage space, as per recent reports. A new "Teddy Brown" color is also said to be in the works, together with Android 8.1 Oreo-based Samsung Experience. It's still unclear whether the alleged delay will push the announcement of the handset back to mid-August or if the Galaxy Note 9 ends up launching in late summer at IFA, the same Berlin-based trade show that hosted the debut of the Galaxy Note 8. If previous rumors of an accelerated release were incorrect, the Galaxy Note 9 may be introduced as late as mid-September before hitting the market around the time Apple's next iOS flagships do.