Galaxy S8
Samsung Electronics is rumored to be launching its Galaxy S8 successor in January of next year. Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

Samsung may have just introduced the Galaxy Note 8 phablet, but it is now believed to be preparing for an earlier launch event for its next Galaxy S-branded installment. If a new report fresh from the company’s home country is to be believed, the tech giant could be launching the Galaxy S9 in January of next year.

On Thursday, The Investor learned from Korean-language publication The Bell that Samsung Electronics is highly likely to debut its Galaxy S8 successor in January 2018. If so, it would mean that Samsung has changed its timetable in order for it to launch a new flagship device at the beginning of the following year.

The Bell noted that Samsung Display is currently poised to start shipping OLED panels for Samsung’s next flagship phone in November, which is two months in advance than the usual schedule. For the Galaxy S8, shipments begun in January of this year. Samsung then took the wraps off of the handset two months later in March.

It would make sense for the Galaxy S9 to debut in January if OLED shipments do commence in November of this year. Display panels are typically the first components to be shipped. Then, once the screen panels arrive, it would take about two to three months before the manufacturer can assemble the phones provided all of the other components are already in.

When Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 on March 29, it was already three months after the OLED panels for the device arrived. The handset officially hit the market on April 21. If the same pacing applies, Samsung could be debuting the S9 at the later part of January. Then, consumers can expect the smartphone to be officially released in mid-February.

The competition in the smartphone industry has become tougher in the recent years, with Samsung and Apple going head-to-head most of the time. Because of this, Samsung is looking to have an early launch for its next flagship handset to ensure that its sales won’t be affected by its greatest rival’s iPhone 8.

Unfortunately, an earlier launch date would mean some sacrifices. For instance, the Galaxy S9 won’t feature a display-embedded fingerprint sensor because KGI Securities analyst and notorious leaker Ming-Chi Kou has predicted that the advanced technology won’t be available by then. Kuo predicted early this month that the Galaxy S9 will be the new addition to Samsung’s flagships that come with rear-mounted fingerprint readers.

Other news about the Galaxy S9 suggest that the phone will probably run Qualcomm’s new SoC, the Snapdragon 845. There are also rumors claiming the S9 would look nothing like the S8, for it would come with a modular design. Tech informant Eldar Murtazin has even suggested that the upcoming phone could have multiple accessories, such as projectors, extended batteries and a 360-degree camera.

There’s also been a report about Samsung using a different type of component technology for the S9. What this new technology will do is help Samsung ensure that the handset will have more room to accommodate a bigger battery. A larger battery would then help see to it that owners get long hours of use in just a single full charge.