Galaxy S10 launch date confirmed: Feb. 20 at Samsung's Unpacked event in San Francisco

We interrupt CES 2019 to bring you this post-CES news.


Phones don't typically get a lot of love at CES, but Samsung managed to steal the spotlight by using the show to announce the launch date for its 10th anniversary Galaxy phone, widely expected to be called the Galaxy S10.

The event will take place Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. PT at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. CNET will be on the ground to cover the announcements live.

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Samsung's Unpacked events are always a tremendous affair, but this year the company's showing in 2019 matters more than perhaps ever before. Samsung is still hanging on as the world's largest seller of mobile phones, but Chinese rival Huawei is hot on Samsung's heels in the second slot (having booted out Apple), ramping up innovations in 2018 like triple rear cameras and flashy finishes that Samsung has been slow to match. 

While Huawei faces bracing challenges of its own, the entire industry is feeling the burn as sales slow. Even Apple, whose iPhones sales made it a trillion-dollar company in 2018, has taken a hit on its new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, citing flagging interest in China. It's against this backdrop of softening interest that Samsung is launching a slew of devices in 2019, including a foldable phone and 5G-ready devices.

The mobile giant kept its invitation short and sweet, noting just the date and time of the event, and the livestream URL just below a central image. It's that visual that contains all the clues to what we'll be seeing. A graphic of the number 10 looks like it's been knocked over to the side, then split horizontally into north and south parts. The top half of the digit depicts black ink on a blue and pink background, while the bottom half shows white lettering on a dark purple surface that fades to black. 

The 10 clearly represents Samsung's 10th anniversary phone, or the Galaxy S10. But the seam running down the middle of the phone suggests the edges of two curved devices sitting side by side. These could hint at multiple device colors, or even two separate phones. 

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In fact, we know that Samsung has numerous new phones planned for the year: the Galaxy S9 successor, a foldable phone that could be called the Galaxy X, and 5G devices for Verizon and AT&T. Galaxy S10 rumors suggest three separate S10 phones in their lineup: a standard Galaxy S10, a larger S10 Plus and the S10 Lite, or S10 E. 

Any of those would be plausible options, but I'm going to go ahead and speculate that the blue and pink device on top represents the foldable phone, with the sky blue stripe evoking boundless possibility. With a foldable phone, Samsung might be saying, the sky's the limit.

Launching two unique devices at the same event would be a risk for Samsung, since one could overshadow the other. A foldable "Galaxy X" phone, for example, would surely suck all the oxygen out of the relatively run-of-the-mill Galaxy S10. 

But we only glimpsed Samsung's foldable phone back in November, and only saw the prototype from afar for a few seconds. It's possible that Samsung could tease the device further without completely unveiling it, too. Mobile World Congress is around the corner, after all, and it's a favorite stage for Samsung unveilings. The company has also been known to host Unpacked events in New York after MWC.

What do you read into the Unpacked invitation for the Galaxy S10? Share your theories in the comments below. Catch up on all the Galaxy S10 rumors here, and about the Galaxy X foldable phone here.

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This story originally posted at 7 a.m. PT.

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