The price of the Samsung Galaxy S9 will be another £100 more expensive than last year's Galaxy S8. That's according to a TechRadar source in the UK mobile phone deals industry.
Given that last year's Galaxy S8 launched at £689, that would mean you'll need to fork out £789 for this year's phone – a price that will be hard for many to stomach given that only 24 months ago the flagship Galaxy S7 launched for just £569.
If you assume the US price will be inflated by the same amount, that means the US S9 price will be around $850.
"You can expect the S9 to cost £100 more than the Galaxy S8 when it was released last year," said our exclusive source. "The truth is that last year's massively inflated smartphone prices on handsets like the S8, Note 8 and iPhone X have shown that there are plenty of people out there willing to pay these higher prices."
S9 price revealed
In truth we're not massively surprised by this news. This year's flagship phones were always going to be a bit more expensive but £100 more is asking a lot, and pretty much guarantees that this year's iPhone X follow-up will be the first mainstream phone to land well north of the £1,000 / $1,000 barrier.
"It's a disappointing trend and likely the result of an industry that's changing quite quickly," says TechRadar's editor in chief for eCommerce, James Rivington.
"With handsets these days lasting longer, more people are holding onto their phones and opting to go SIM only as a cheaper option. Instead of making phones cheaper to incentivise upgrades, the trend is to simply make flagship phones more pricey. So if you bought a new phone in the last year, you effectively paid a tax on behalf of everyone else who didn't. The upshot of this is that Apple and Samsung's profits are at record breaking highs, despite the fact that total handset sales are down – such is their dominance of the smartphone industry."
- Register your interest in the Galaxy S9 at Carphone Warehouse (UK only)
- Register your interest in the Galaxy S9 at Mobiles.co.uk (UK only)
So given sky high SIM-free prices, how much can you expect to pay for the Samsung Galaxy S9 on contract? We've been doing this for a few years now so we think we can make an educated guess in terms of what to expect when Samsung Galaxy S9 deals go live to pre-order on contract later in the month.
TechRadar has built its own price comparison tools so you can easily find your way to the very best phone deals. We aggregate all of the best value deals from all of the UK's biggest networks and resellers – to check out our price comparison tools, take a look at some of our deals pages:
When can I buy the Samsung Galaxy S9?
Unlike the shroud of mystery that always surrounds iPhone launches (the iPhone X and 8 unveiling from last September being a case in point), Samsung has already told us when to expect the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S9 – we'll get our first glimpse in Barcelona at the MWC 2018 event on Sunday February 25.
Unless Samsung throws us a curveball, pre-orders will be available to snap up immediately afterwards. The company tends to leave a few weeks in between launch and release dates and likes to stock the shelves on a Friday, so our best guess at the moment is that you could be clutching your brand new Samsung on or around March 16 2018.
Samsung Galaxy S9: how much will it cost?
In case you missed our big reveal above, we've been told that the Galaxy S9 will cost around £100 more than the S8 did when it launched in 2017. That means you should expect to pay £789 if you want to get the handset immediately.
That makes sense in the context of other Galaxy handsets over the last 12 months. It's pretty much slap bang in the middle between the starting cost of Galaxy S8 deals last year and the £869 RRP of the Galaxy Note 8 when it became available in the autumn.
Over the last year, the most cost-effective way of purchasing a newly launched phone has been to buy it outright and then combine it with a cheap SIM only deal. You can get 3.5GB for £8pm at the moment, for example. Combine it for 24 months with the assumed £789 purchase price and the total (£981) shaves some cash off what we're expecting to see from contract deals – but only just.
Check out our Galaxy S9 rumour round-up video below
TechRadar predicts the best Galaxy S9 deal on contract
Ok, so let's get down to some serious business. Of course there are going to be some people who have the best part of a grand to splash on a new unlocked Galaxy S9 SIM-free handset, but most of you will want to know how much contract deals are likely to cost.
Based on the information we've had about the standalone SIM-free handset cost, we reckon that contract deals will be equidistant between the tariffs we saw when the S8 and Note 8 were put on pre-order. On that basis, expect the most affordable contract to look something like this:
If the above is accurate, then the Galaxy S9 will cost around the same price as Apple iPhone 8 deals when they launched in September last year. That only reinforces our confidence that we're bang on the money (so to speak).
For people who need more than 3GB of data a month, you should expect to pay a couple of quid extra per month to take things up to the 8GB-10GB realm and in excess of £40 monthly payments for 20GB+ worth of streaming, surfing and downloading every 30 days.