While Samsung traditionally announces new additions to its Galaxy Note series in late August, this year's Galaxy Note 9 is launching almost a month earlier, with the changed timing being a direct consequence of weaker-than-expected sales of the Galaxy S9 lineup, DigiTimes reports, citing insiders close to the firm's Taiwanese mobile component suppliers. The South Korean technology giant released the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus in mid-March, with the two handsets experiencing lower second-quarter than first-quarter sales, thus becoming the first generation of the Galaxy S family to suffer from such a significant drop in commercial momentum.
Samsung hence feels forced to introduce the Galaxy Note 9 earlier than usual so as to attempt revitalizing consumer interest in its high-end Android products, sources claim. The launch timing change may also explain why the company managed to keep the Galaxy Note 9 largely under wraps until a few weeks ago; while its premium smartphones historically leaked in real-life images months before their official announcements, the Galaxy Note 9 only started appearing in numerous real-life images and renders earlier this month, several weeks prior to its August 9 launch. That phenomenon may be a direct consequence of the fact that Samsung only recently started mass-producing the device, meaning there were no prototypes to be leaked beforehand.
Previous rumors suggested Samsung will be releasing the Galaxy Note 9 globally on August 24, with the latest report corroborating those claims. Insiders believe the Galaxy S9 lineup will ship under 30 million units this year, hitting the lowest level of the product family's performance since 2012 and the release of the Galaxy S3 series which was also met with a lukewarm reception from the market relative to the intensity of Samsung's marketing efforts. The company's flagship offerings still account for a significant portion of its total shipments which reached 78 million devices in the first quarter and are believed to have fallen to 73 million units over the three-month period ending June 30. The Galaxy Note 9 should be Samsung's last high-end product released this year, with the next such offering being expected to debut early next year in the form of the Galaxy S10 line.