Flagships are all about cutting-edge specifications, but the most popular feature to look for next year could be 5G support rather than an upgraded chipset or multi-camera setup.
In a report from the Korea Herald, LG and Samsung are named as two companies seeking to include more advanced connectivity on their 2019 flagships. Both the G8 and the Galaxy S10 might use 5G support while other flagships remain on 4G. As for their global debuts, the duo will reportedly arrive at MWC 2019 in late February.
The trade show, which takes place in Barcelona on an annual basis, would serve as an excellent launching pad for these two flagships. Samsung gets attention anywhere it goes, but LG could take advantage of MWC as a central location for media outlets from around the world.
When MWC concludes, LG and Samsung can roll out their flagships sometime in March. LG needs to ensure its distribution works efficiently, though. Previously, it had a long gap between announcements and releases. Samsung always gets its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note products out within weeks of going official.
In recent months, major U.S. carriers already confirmed they're working with Samsung on a 5G-enabled smartphone. LG, meanwhile, announced a partnership with Sprint earlier this year. Both companies are determined to include 5G support on their next flagships, but ultimately it's the wireless partners who need their next-generation networks to be activated.
5G networks won't be as reliable as its predecessor until late 2019 or early 2020. As a result, all mobile devices will need modems falling back on 4G networks as well. It could take several years for 5G to match 4G in terms of coverage.
We'll see how the mobile and wireless industries tackled 5G over the next few months. It could be a total marketing play for a bit, and then maybe consumers will pick up on actual benefits. Regardless, companies like Samsung and LG are set on pushing 5G to generate sales in an oversaturated category.