In recent years, companies like Huawei and LG have used MWC to launch their new spring flagship smartphones. With Samsung usually holding off until later, MWC announcements gave these companies an opportunity to grab the spotlight and try to get a sales jump on Samsung. With Samsung moving their release schedule up for 2018, both LG and Huawei are bowing out of MWC 2018 in terms of flagship smartphones either out of a concern with going head-to-head against Samsung or due to their own internal strife.
As has been pretty well noted already, Samsung is poised to use MWC 2018 to launch the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9 Plus smartphones. Sources are now indicating Samsung will move quickly to hit the market with the devices. Pre-orders may start as soon as March 1st and units could start shipping by March 16th.
Meanwhile, sources say LG has decided to not launch the LG G7 at MWC 2018 and will instead look for something later in the year. At least part of the delay on LG’s side could be the result of internal uncertainty regarding the future of the smartphone business unit. That unit has performed poorly from a financial perspective despite LG enjoying a decent reputation in the smartphone market. LG is completely re-assessing their programs with at least one option being a re-branding of the G series of phones and another option being a move away from semi-annual flagship launches. To try to salvage some interest at MWC 2018, LG may have a new variant of the LG V30 smartphone on hand.
Over at Huawei, things were looking good for the company heading into CES 2018 on an anticipated deal with AT&T to carry a high end device, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. The rug was pulled out from under Huawei at the last minute. That blow to a U.S. market entry appears to have combined with some supply-chain issues to throw the release schedule for the Huawei P20 off track. Huawei won’t confirm potential schedules for release of that device, but it will not be at MWC 2018 according to sources.