For several years now Samsung has been using a sales strategy of releasing at least two different versions of their flagship smartphones to help broaden the appeal and therefore the potential number of buyers. This means it should come as no surprise that early information regarding firmware development for the next update to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S line indicates a pair of devices are in the works. It is a strategy that has worked for Samsung in the past, so we should expect a Galaxy S9 and a Galaxy S9+ to launch in 2018.
Sources familiar with the firmware development being undertaken say there are two versions – G960FXXU0AQI5 and G965FXXU0AQI5. Based on what Samsung has done in the past with model numbers and firmware numbers, this indicates the upcoming devices will likely be the Galaxy S9 with model number SM-G960 and the Galaxy S9+ with model number SM-G965. For comparison, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ model numbers are SM-G950 and SM-G955 respectively.
Sources have noted that development of firmware for the new Galaxy S9 device started about two weeks earlier than work on last year’s Galaxy S8. That will likely fuel speculation about the potential release date. However, this could just be an example of Samsung having a better handle on projected lead times needed so as to not end up in a crunch. This past spring Samsung took the wraps off the Galaxy S8 on March 29th and released the handset on April 21. Samsung could also be building in some cushion in their timeline to be able to adjust the release date based on what competitors may be doing.