On days like today you really have to spare a thought for those poor souls working in mobile phone shops. All those carefully curated Samsung Galaxy S8 displays: destroyed. Those big glossy S8 promotional posters: pulped. The spiel on just how much better than the S7 the S8 is: long forgotten. A new big kahuna walked into town today – it goes by the name of the Galaxy S9, and it's demanding the best spot on the smartphone store shelves.
Yep, Galaxy S9 deals are officially available from today as the pre-order period draws to a welcome close. And of course it's tempting to walk into your nearest Carphone Warehouse, slap your £739 on the counter and ask politely for your new S9. But if you're super-keen to grab a new S9 contract plan, your bank balance would benefit significantly from you taking a few deep breaths and holding back until the first drizzle of mid-summer.
And this isn't idle speculation on the part of The Big Deal. We've crunched the numbers, done the math(s) and even produced a colourful graph to show you just how much you can save if you're happy just to wait a few weeks for your Galaxy S9 smartphone.
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Crunching the numbers
To see how much new mobile phone deals devalue in the first few months on the market, we took a look back in the archives at the best prices of the major smartphone releases of the last couple of years. In particular, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, iPhone X and iPhone 8.
If you're desperate to grab the new Galaxy, we're guessing that you're not going to delay for more than half a year, so we tracked the price peaks and troughs of those handsets from pre-order to six months after release.
And to make sure it was a fair fight, we used the lowest price on O2 (from any retailer) as the barometer. O2 invariably has the cheapest overall two-year price for new contracts with at least 3GB of monthly data allowance. So we compared those O2 phone tariffs with an upfront spend of £150 or less for the handset and no less than 3GB data.
Of course it's no surprise to see mobile phone prices heading southwards following their release, but the extent to which they fall perhaps is:
It's probably worth considering the S9's immediate predecessor as the first case in point. After a couple of months, Galaxy S8 contracts actually held their value really well, dropping off by less than 5%. But as we reached four months after release, you could get it on O2 for £134 less over the two year term than you could during the pre-order period.
With a starting RRP much more aligned to the iPhone 8 than the Galaxy S8, it may be more telling to compare the S9 to its closest Apple device. iPhone 8 deals saw a colossal drop off after just two months, dropping from £1,086 for the two years to £958 – that's a fall of more than 10% in around only eight weeks. And by the six-month mark it had fallen by almost £250 in total.
Sign of things to come
By taking the average percentage price fall across the handsets, we've been able to project what Galaxy S9 prices should look like as spring turns into summer, and plot them on the graph above.
The average fall after two months is 7.5%, meaning that the tariff will be around £80 cheaper after just two months. It will be as early as June before contract prices will have fallen by £100 by our projection, and over £200 by the time you're turning your calendar to September.
Of course this is a microcosm of the myriad S9 contracts and plans on offer across the UK's phone retailers, and should be taken as a mere estimate. If you're tempted by the Galaxy S9 however, but the price tag gives you the shivers, then there should be (much) cheaper times ahead.
Hurry up and wait
Now The Big Deal isn't trying to claim that we're uncovering some kind of Watergate-level scandal here. We're not sure that 'Galaxy S9 in price reduction over time SHOCKER!' headlines are going to fool anybody (although do get in touch if you want to discuss film rights).
But now that so much fervour surrounds the release of the latest technology, it's worth taking a step back and recognising that to get caught up in the excitement can be a costly endeavour.
To the surprise of nobody, waiting until the dust settles on the S9 launch to buy one will save you a pretty penny. So if you've just come to the end of the contract and were thinking of upgrading, we'd strongly recommend grabbing a cheap SIM only deal until the summer to tide you over, and then getting your S9 in a few months.
Or just go right ahead and grab the cheapest Galaxy S9 deal you can lay your hands on right this second... we're not your mother.
If you want to discuss, debate or deliberate any phone deals news and views with The Big Deal, then head over to our @TRDeals twitter feed – you'll also find the latest offers on phones, TVs, consoles, broadband and more tech.