The new Samsung Note 9 phone is the biggest smartphone to date, with the longest lasting battery, most expandable storage and advanced camera specs ever on a digital device.

And it’s only August. If you like those specs, just wait a few weeks.

The Smartphone Wars will kick off in earnest, just after Labor Day, which also happens to be the unofficial kick off to tech’s selling season, the fourth quarter.

Apple hasn’t revealed its hand, but the world’s most valuable firm historically announces new iPhones just after the Labor Day holiday. (Last year, the date was Sept. 12; Sept. 7 in 2016, Sept. 9 in both 2015 and 2014.)

This year, we’re betting on Sept. 5, two days after Labor Day, and a week before the Jewish holidays.

The companies have been mum on their plans, but the fall will also bring us:

—A new and improved GoPro Hero.

—The third generation of the Google Pixel phones.

—A successor to the Mavic Pro and Mavic Air drones, the Mavic II, which is expected to have a removable camera.

—Updates to the Amazon Echo and Dot connected speakers, which historically get released every fall. Amazon currently has 8 different editions of the Echo line.

—Potential new iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TV and new editions of the Roku and Amazon Fire TV sticks.  



The most action will be with Apple and Amazon, which dominate sales. Apple traditionally sells over 75 million iPhones during the holiday quarter. Amazon has said it sold “tens of millions” of the speakers over the 4th quarter. 

Apple is expected to introduce three new editions of the iPhone, a larger successor to the iPhone X, which at 5.8 inches had been the biggest iPhone to date and two lower-priced and smaller models.

The question is how far consumers will be ready to stretch on buying the most expensive items. Apple has consistently said that the iPhone X, the most expensive iPhone ever at $1,000, has been its best selling model since the November release, but not everyone buys into the strategy. 

Paul Shirley, a former pro basketball player turned author and podcaster, told USA TODAY he’s happy with his $350 iPhone SE, the smallest and least expensive iPhone in the lineup. 

Former NBA pro is the host of the new podcast, Stories I Tell on Dates

Former NBA pro is the host of the new podcast, Stories I Tell on Dates (Photo: Jefferson Graham)