Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra release date tipped — and it’s way early

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra concept
(Image credit: 4RMD)

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra could be set to arrive a full month earlier than we expected as a way to combat the launch of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. And, thanks to a new tip from leaker Ice Universe on Weibo (h/t to 9To5Google), Samsung may be targeting January 18 for the unveiling.

The usual release date for Samsung's flagship phones falls in February, around the time of the Mobile World Congress event in Spain. But this year the South Korean powerhouse seems a little troubled by the success of the iPhone 15. Apple's new devices have been selling pretty well, despite the economic downturn that’s affected the rest of the smartphone industry.

The news backs up prior leaks from @Tech_Reve over on Twitter, who claimed the Galaxy S24’s launch may be brought forward by “about a month” compared to the Galaxy S23.

If we look at the dates, January 18 seems like a good bet. It's unlikely Samsung would want to clash with CES 2024 — which kicks off on January 9.

@Tech_Reve claims that production on the Galaxy S24 will begin “mid-next month”, ready for that potential early launch. So it’s unlikely that the phone would be ready in time for the end of this year. You also have to wonder what Samsung would gain from bringing the launch of its phone forward as a response to the success of the iPhone 15.

For starters a month’s head start over the Galaxy S23 would still see the S24 release around three months after the iPhone 15. Not to mention the fact that Apple’s latest phones have already started selling in huge numbers, and will likely do so during the Black Friday and pre-Holiday sales period. 

Granted Samsung’s phone launches do seem to change quite a bit. Several years ago we used to see Galaxy S launches happen in March, only for Samsung to pull things back to mid-to-late January. We’ve seen a few slip to February, including the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S22, but otherwise Samsung has fully embraced launching pretty early on in the year.

It could be that this move to launch even earlier is just a continuation of that — rather than a bizarre, panic-stricken attempt to try and catch up with the iPhone. Considering Samsung would ever admit that it’s trying to catch up with Apple, we’re not likely to find out for sure. So we’re just going to have to wait and see how this all plays out.

In the meantime be sure to check out our Samsung Galaxy S24 and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hubs to get the lowdown on all the latest news and rumors about the upcoming flagships.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.