After what feels like an astonishing long wait time, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has finally started to ship out to customers in the United States, but not without a few issues. Back at the device’s launch event in New York City in April, Samsung announced that the device would be available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. No one was blown away by this part of the announcement. The company had done the same with the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III, so this was to be expected. Here’s the thing, though, the Galaxy S4 is not currently available in 32GB and 64GB variants here in the United States, despite the company’s orignal announcement. What gives, Samsung?
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For AT&T, the issue is even more confusing than for other carriers. When it first announced its Galaxy S4 variants, it said the device would cost $250 with a new 2-year contract. Given the lack of detail, we all assumed that price was for the 16GB base model. Later on, however, the carrier came out and said that the price was actually for the 32GB model. Then, launch day rolled around, and what was available? The 16GB model. The carrier said that it had no information on the higher capacity variants and that they would be “coming soon.”
While Sprint has also been mum on the availability of a 32GB or 64GB variant, at least it never promised to offer one, and then not follow through, The carrier has refused to comment on either of the missing variants, but it is worth noting that Sprint did offer the Galaxy S3 in a 32GB model.
T-Mobile’s whole Galaxy S4 launch has been pretty messy. The device has been plagued with delay after delay. The online ship date went from April 24th to April 29th, and the in-store availability date has gone from May 1st to May 8th and May 15th. T-Mobile has yet to even say what storage capacity its variant will carry, but seeing the $149.99 price tag that it has announced, we’re inclined to go with the 16GB model.
U.S. Cellular will be the first U.S. carrier to launch its Galaxy S4 variant, coming to stores on April 30th and online April 28th, but it too will only launch the 16GB model. The smaller carrier has been mum on its plans to launch higher-capacity variants, as well.
Verizon did offer the 32GB Galaxy S3, but discontinued it several months ago, a sign that doesn’t help people hoping to get a Galaxy S4 with a lot of storage space. Right now, Big Red is simple offering the 16GB Galaxy S4 for a whopping $249.99 on contract, and given the carrier’s history, we wouldn’t hold our breath for a larger variant.
So, this poses the “Why?” question. Why hasn’t Samsung or the carriers shed more light on the availability of larger-storage Galaxy S4 variants? I’m inclined to say that it’s because carriers want things to move to the cloud so people rack up a ton of data usage accessing their files. What do you think? Let us know down in the comments!