A new rumor is circulating that Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones will be entering mass production as early as next month. This is once again reinforcing previous reports that the Galaxy S9 might be released sometime before Samsung’s typical April/March timeframe.

The Samsung Galaxy S9’s December mass production schedule was first reported by a leaker on the Chinese social media website Weibo. Phone Arena noted this particular leaker has a good track record. The leaker also said the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will ship with same screen sizes that are found on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. For those who may have already forgotten, the Galaxy S8 arrived earlier this year with a 5.77-inch display, while the S9+ arrived with a 6.11-inch screen.

The same source also said the Galaxy S9’s back will “change a lot.” This may possibly hint that the upcoming Samsung flagship smartphone will arrive with a dual-camera setup. Samsung already placed dual cameras on the Galaxy Note 8 this year and it only makes sense that the company would try to do the same with the Galaxy S9 and S9+ next year.

Although the back of the Galaxy S9 is expected to have a different look, the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor might actually make a return. The Investor reports Samsung has allegedly scrapped plans for an in-display fingerprint scanner for the Galaxy S9. It was already reported earlier this year that Samsung had trouble adopting the in-display fingerprint scanner for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and decided in the last minute to place the scanner on the devices’ backs.

The placement of the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8 was negatively received since it was located right next to the camera module. Users complained that they would often mistake their camera for the fingerprint scanner, while others found it difficult to reach. The Galaxy S9 could have a better design by simply placing the fingerprint sensor beneath its camera module.

It seems as though Samsung is still facing some technical difficulties in adopting the in-display technology. However, this doesn’t mean that Samsung is giving up altogether. The report claimed that Samsung will try to adopt an in-display fingerprint scanner for the Galaxy Note 9, which might be announced sometime in August 2018.

Unlike Apple which ditched its Touch ID fingerprint sensor for its Face ID facial recognition technology for the iPhone X, Samsung has no plans of completely removing its biometric technology from its smartphones. “Samsung won’t get rid of fingerprint sensors in its handsets, as there [are] many services and platforms [that] run based on the technology,” an anonymous industry insider told The Investor.

There’s currently no word yet on whether the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will have a facial recognition feature that’s akin to Apple’s Face ID. Samsung’s no stranger to that type of technology, but the South Korean giant hasn’t tried 3D or depth-sensing cameras to make that feature work on its phones.

Samsung Galaxy S The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are expected to arrive with screen sizes similar to the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid