Samsung likely isn't looking to release a rugged variant of the Galaxy S9, hence putting its Galaxy S Active series on hold for the first time since introducing it in mid-2013 with the Galaxy S4 Active (I9295). All previous members of the rugged smartphone family were announced in either late spring or early summer and while last year's Galaxy S8 Active was the latest of the lot to be made official, it leaked on numerous occasions prior to AT&T's confirmation of its existence. With no sightings of a potential Galaxy S9 Active being recorded to date and Samsung not certifying any devices that may fit its bill in recent months, the chances of such a device launching by the end of the year appear slim.
Rugged smartphones never managed to expand beyond a niche product category, though the Galaxy S Active series remains one of the most high-profile such lines to date. While Samsung may have opted to place the handset family on hold due to a lack of consumer interest, the company may have also ended up scrapping any Galaxy S9 Active plans due to technical challenges. While the Active lineup traditionally offered higher-capacity batteries than its non-rugged peers, it was also always based on the smaller member of the latest Galaxy S series. This year, Samsung already revealed the Galaxy S9 lacks the dual-camera setup of the Galaxy S9 Plus primarily because the company failed to find a viable way that would allow the handset to offer such a solution without its battery capacity falling below 3,000mAh.
Another explanation for the lack of the Galaxy S9 Active is that the Galaxy S9 lineup as a whole has been selling poorly so far, according to Samsung's own admission. With that state of affairs prompting the company to launch the Galaxy Note 9 earlier than expected, a return to the Galaxy S9 lineup appears unlikely. The Galaxy Note 9 itself will be released globally come August 24.