The Galaxy S23 series is set to launch on February 1 with a few key upgrades, but it seems those will come at a cost. New pricing details we’ve heard suggest that Samsung is preparing for a significant price hike on the Galaxy S23.

Over the past few years, Samsung’s pricing structure for flagship phones has changed a few times. 2019’s Galaxy S10 series started at $899, while the Galaxy S20 series stepped it up again to $999. However, the exceedingly poor sales performance of the Galaxy S20 lineup combined with the much stronger performance of the Galaxy S20 FE led Samsung to drop the price of the Galaxy S21 considerably.

When it launched in early 2021, the Galaxy S21 family saw a price cut of $200 across the board. The Galaxy S21 launched at $799, with S21+ at $999 and S21 Ultra at $1,199. The Galaxy S22 series, despite some notable camera upgrades on the S22 and S22+ as well as the Note-ification of the S22 Ultra, stuck with identical price tags. The Galaxy S22 Ultra turned out to be a big hit for the company, too.

For the Galaxy S23, it sounds like Samsung may be reverting those price drops to some extent.

Pricing information from Australia for the Galaxy S23 series seen by 9to5Google suggests that the base Galaxy S23 in its 128GB variant will cost AUS $1,350. The 256GB model would then cost $1,450, with Galaxy S23+ starting at $1,650, and Galaxy S23 Ultra at $1,950. By comparison, the Galaxy S22 series cost $1,249, $1,549, and $1,849.

From that, we can gather that Samsung will likely be raising Galaxy S23 launch pricing by at least $100.

Converting those prices to US, we get base pricing of roughly $940 for the Galaxy S23 (assuming a 128GB model is sold in the US, which seems unlikely), $1,149 for the Galaxy S23+, and $1,358 for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Direct price conversions like these never tell the whole story, but it seems reasonably possible that some markets could see a $200 price jump. That seems especially likely in the US, as the Australian pricing we’re seeing is for devices that lack mmWave 5G, which is a carrier requirement for devices in the US, and notorious for raising prices.

Of course, the one thing to keep in mind here is that, in most cases, Samsung is also doubling the base storage of these smartphones to 256GB. On the Galaxy S22 series, a memory upgrade costs $100 extra in the US.

samsung galaxy s23 series

Reservations (with no commitment) for the Galaxy S23 series are open now with up to $100 in extra credit, which might take some of the potential sting of a price hike.

9to5Google’s Take

If Samsung is to raise pricing on the Galaxy S23 series, it couldn’t come at a worse time.

The Galaxy S23 series, at least based on the leaks we’ve seen thus far, appear to be marginal upgrades at best. A new chip, new camera for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and satellite connectivity is just about it, and it’s hard to argue that any of those are worth $100 more.

For another point, this situation mirrors what happened in 2020 to some extent. Much of the world is currently concerned about the state of the economy, with many customers opting to hold back on unnecessary expensive purchases.

With a Galaxy S23 possibly costing more than its predecessor with very few additions to show for it, it’s a tough pitch – especially seeing as Samsung keeps boosting software update policies, making buying last year’s phone all the more attractive. Even with a boost in storage, a higher cost of entry may hurt Samsung’s latest and greatest.

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Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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