The Galaxy Note 8 may be the hottest iPhone X alternative available in stores right now, but Samsung will reportedly start the work on the next best thing as soon as early 2018.

That’s hardly surprising, considering that similar reports said that the Galaxy S9 development started ahead of schedule earlier this year.

The Note 9 project is being developed under the codename “crown,” according to a report from The Investor, and the first prototype might be ready early next year.

“We will start providing components for a pilot production (of the Galaxy Note 9) in the first quarter next year,” an official at a parts supplier told The Bell.

Smartphone codenames are believed to be subtle indicators of Samsung’s plans. The Note 8 was known internally as “Baikal,” one of the world’s biggest lakes, a name that alluded at the size of the upcoming handset. The Galaxy S8 was known as “dream,” representing Samsung’s dream to beat Apple

“Crown,” meanwhile, may represent Samsung’s growing ambitions to rule the smartphone business, or at least the phablet business. At the same time, Samsung is terribly afraid of the iPhone X, its latest TV commercial suggests. So beating the iPhone with the Note 9 seems like a next to impossible kind of dream.

The report doesn’t offer any other details about the Note 9’s specs or signature features. We’d expect the phone to pack a large screen display, a dual camera on the back, and a 3D facial recognition system like the iPhone X. Some reports said the phone may come with a fingerprint sensor under the display. But now that Apple hasn’t done it, it’ll certainly be interesting to see whether Samsung will go forward with such plans.

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