With everything from the general Galaxy Note 8 design language to the specific placement of the phone’s fingerprint reader, storage options, RAM count and battery capacity seemingly etched in stone, all we need to clear up now is Samsung’s release timeline.

A late September commercial rollout following a late August formal announcement sounded like a plausible theory and extremely reasonable schedule. Just think back to the rushed Note 7 production fiasco of last year.

But the inescapable hypothesis of an early launch is still on the table, as Apple’s game-changing iPhone 8 looms large, and the Galaxy S8 duo has reportedly begun to lose steam.

According to certain market researchers, the S8 and S8+ may have only racked up a combined 9.8 million unit shipments during their first two months in stores, compared to a 12 million total for the S7 and S7 Edge at an equivalent point in their commercial run.

That’s despite a strong start, apparently, and it’s probably connected in no small measure to a surprising iPhone 7 popularity resurgence stateside.

Samsung therefore cannot afford to wait until very close to the iPhone 8 debut, especially with its Galaxy Note 8 looking similar to the GS8 Plus. Then again, Cupertino is merely tipped to ramp up mass-manufacturing of its “anniversary edition” handset in November.

Still, Korean press reckons it’s not out of the question for Samsung’s “next big thing” to kick off sales around early September or even in the second or third week of August. But is that a risk worth taking with a production schedule described as “tight” by parts suppliers?

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