Samsung may have decided to fold on using CES as the launch platform for its flagship smartphone, but Las Vegas did see the story of the Galaxy S9 take a major step forward. Samsung has confirmed that the launch of the S9 family of handsets will happen at Mobile World Congress next month.
Speaking at CES (and reported by ZDnet’s Cho Mu-Hyun), Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh confirmed the launch date plans for the Galaxy S9:
"DJ Koh, president of Samsung’s mobile business, said its first flagship smartphone of the year will be unveiled at the [Mobile World Congress] trade show in February with the sales date also announced at the event, at a press conference at CES in Las Vegas."
Koh has acknowledged the Galaxy S9 is on its way, and by highlighting MWC as the launch event that bit of speculation has been controlled. For the record (and with no actual information) my money is on a press launch on Sunday 25th February at around 4pm in Barcelona. As for the retail release, that’s going to be territory-dependant, but I expect some countries to see supplies perhaps as early as Monday 5th March,
What it doesn’t address is the rest of the story. There is a huge amount of interest in the Galaxy S9 family and every scrap of information is being pounced on and written up across the digital front pages. If Samsung had decided to show off the Galaxy S9, even in a short ‘teaser’ video similar to the Hollywood blockbuster superhero movies, then the PR team would have been in a better position to sculpt and shape the story as it develops over the next few weeks.
Right now the only choice is a ‘wait until our Barcelona event’ response.
Samsung has decided to play it safe, and while I think there would be more reward in going with a teaser campaign here in Vegas, it is following the same rollout that has worked for the company’s bottom line over the last few years.
Given the iterative nature of the update from the S8 to the S9, slow and steady to win the race is entirely fitting with the Galaxy S9’s message. but past performance is not always a guide to future success.