The Galaxy S10 series won't be Samsung's first lineup of 5G-ready phones, the company's mobile chief DJ Koh told Korean journalists shortly following last week's announcement of the Galaxy Note 9. The industry veteran didn't elaborate on the matter, making it unclear whether the Galaxy S10 lineup will be capable of communicating with the fifth generation of mobile networks at all, something that many industry watchers already assumed was a given. Mr. Koh's remarks leave room for three possibilities, assuming the company's first 5G device will be a high-end offering, which is believed to be the case.
The 5G-ready handset in question may end up being Samsung's first foldable phone the company is expected to debut in the first half of 2019, possibly as early as Consumer Electronics Show in January. Given how the bendable device is already expected to go for around $1,500, 5G capabilities would be a major selling point that would likely allow Samsung to move more units in spite of the high price tag. Alternatively, the company may wait until the Galaxy Note 10 to commercialize 5G in the second half of 2019, which would be later than expected but still too soon for most consumers to benefit from the next generation of connectivity given how 5G infrastructure isn't expected to become widespread prior to 2020. The final possibility is that Samsung's first 5G handset won't be associated with any of its known high-end offerings planned to be released next year, though that scenario appears to be the least likely as no credible reports suggesting such a development have yet emerged.
The Galaxy S10 line itself is said to consist of three devices in total, with at least one of them featuring a triple-camera setup and an in-display fingerprint reader, whereas all should debut with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 or Samsung's Exynos 9820 chip, depending on the market. This year's Galaxy S9 series has been selling below expectations so far, with numerous industry trackers predicting it to become the worst-performing Galaxy S lineup since the Galaxy S3 family launched in mid-2012.