The Galaxy S4 announcement was received with much fanfare and even more skepticism, and as we move toward and past original launch dates, some carriers in the United States have not even given a solid date for the release of the device after the original date was pushed back due to Samsung delays. What does this mean for the new Samsung flagship and it's carriers in the U.S.? Well, we don't really know at this point. Chances are that the phone will still sell like hotcakes to millions of people that will never be the wiser to any issues at all. As for us, we like to look a bit deeper into the issues that plague Android manufacturers be it in the supply chain or the devices themselves.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has not been the only device with supply issues. As you might remember, the HTC One was originally supposed to go on sale in March and we have just began to see it pop up on store shelves in the past couple of days. I myself have only been able to get my hands on one of the Ones through a prominent AT&T store in the Denver Metro.
The Big Four and The S4
AT&T also looks to be the first store that will be able to stock the shelves with the Galaxy S4 as the device "should" be in-store as of April 27 with some lucky pre-orderers being shipped their device on the 25th. Others that were late to jump on the S4 bandwagon or just delayed their pre-order may have to wait until as late as the 30th of this month for their device to ship. This is only the beginning as AT&T looks to be the most promising of the big four carriers to be associated with if you are in hopes of getting an S4 before all of your friends.
T-Mobile originally had on their website that the Galaxy S4 would be available on the 24th of this month and later pushed that date back to the 29th. Now it is unclear if T-Mobile even knows when their version of the Galaxy flagship of 2013 will be shipping, much less appearing on their store shelves. They had originally been the first carrier to offer a solid release date which was May 1st, and here's to hoping that that will still ring true for online orders at the least.
Sprint was also one that seemed to have their head in the right place with their Galaxy S4 announcement with a concrete release date of April 27, and even a pre-order. Soon things began to turn south for them as well as had been going for the other United States carriers. Fast-forward to today when Sprint announced their own supply problems and changed that release date of the 27th to an unspecified release date. Sprint does still hope to be shipping out those pre-orders on the 27th and are also hoping to maybe even have more stock to sell via their on-line channels.
Verizon has been by far the most confusing carrier to buy an S4 from, well maybe not even confusing as Verizon had not released many details at all on their launch of the device prior to today. Today Big Red announced that their version of the handset will be available for pre-order starting tomorrow, with devices going on sale in stores on May 30th.
The Winner is… D) None of the above
That is all for the big carriers, and none of the smaller ones have made a peep about availability of their versions of the Galaxy S4. That is except for U.S. Cellular, which may be the best choice out there if you want a solid release date as of right now. U.S. Cellular offered a pre-order earlier in the month blind of any concrete release date, but have since said that those will be shipping out on the 26th of this month with further online availability through the carrier on April 26th as well. U.S. Cellular customers can expect to be able to walk into a carrier store on April 30th to pick one up.
If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes
What does this all mean? Well, all we can say conclusively is that even the top-tiered manufacturers and carriers are all having problems getting these new top of the line devices out for sale. This issue is assumably mostly due to supply problems with these brand new state-of-the-art innards and displays that these hot new devices are depending on for sales. It is likely that we will see these issues continue as the mobile device market continues to shove forward the state of the industry. As we beg for better and better components, manufacturers are going to have to get their orders in early to compete with one another for parts, and as we have seen with HTC already, if you are not part of the highest priority tier, your orders will be put on the back-burner. As for Samsung and the U.S. carriers, there is really no excuse not to hit the targets. After all they are targets that were set by themselves.
What is your take on all of this? Let us know in the comments below.