Huawei has crossed Apple in volume of devices sold per quarter. Here is what the flagship product launch calender looks like

  1. Jan - None
  2. Feb - Samsung Galaxy S series
  3. March - Huawei P Series
  4. April - None
  5. May - OnePlus (budget)
  6. June - None
  7. July - None
  8. August - Samsung Note Series
  9. September - Apple iPhone
  10. October - Google Pixel, Huawei Mate Series
  11. November - OnePlus (budget) refreshed T version
  12. December - None

I am not aware of what calendar HTC, Sony and Motorola (Lenovo) follow for their flagships, however they are not part of top-5 vendors. I excluded the other top-5 OEMs Xiaomi and Oppo, but kept India relevant budget vendor OnePlus.

The two remaining flagships launches for 2018 are iPhone XS and Pixel 3XL. They will be relased on Sept 12 and Oct 9th respectively. These will be shipping with incremental hardware improvements, however with a number of software enhancements.

I wrote about buying a phone last year, and the thumb rule still remains the same. However there are new contenders in the cheaper flagship class of devices. I have used a few of these and my overall recommendation is to avoid this category. These devices look extremely promising on paper, however there is always a big-if hanging around the corner. Their durability, servicing and software support are questionable.

If you are looking to carry a usable device for at least two years, then spending a little extra for flagship’s would give better overall experience and ROI. For those unwilling to shell out obscene amount of cash for top-of-the-line flagship devices, there is always the option to wait for exchange offers and cashbacks, and pick the cheapest variant. Sometimes even last year’s flagship device is a good choice, especially when they are available at a deep discount.

In older devices, one may consider devices from Apple as well. Although repair costs are still prohibitively high, Apple wins hands down on durability and significantly longer software support. Their flagships command a significant premium over their competitors, however for gaining market share, they are willing to offer deep discounts on older generation devices. I know several people who continue to carry iPhone 5S as their primary device with no serious usability issues.

At the end of the day, whatever device you end up picking, there will be slight buyers remorse. It is normal.

Best, Umang