Mere days before the planned release of the Galaxy S10 range, Samsung appears to have hit some distribution roadblocks, encountering quite an unexpected problem for a multi-billion-dollar conglomerate whose products traditionally face consistent demand from reviewers, consumers, and even critics at this point of the year. It's presently unclear whether the Seoul-based technology juggernaut underestimated the demand for its new ultra-premium Android phablets or had logistical issues, though the current state of affairs is likely a result of both those problems working combined.
The company is going for a record number of flagships this year, with the new lineup consisting of three main models, a special-edition variant of the best one which acts as its own device in most respects, and countless memory configurations thereof. As a result, its manufacturing operations are apparently stretched thin, meaning achieving a consistent supply level of its high-end products will be much more dependent on planned production than usual, especially given how outsourcing in this phase is not a possibility due to a number of reasons, including Samsung's constant efforts aimed at protecting its many trade secrets.
An unlocked Ceramic White model of the Galaxy S10+ can't even be pre-ordered from Samsung's website any longer, whereas American consumers who did manage to put an order in are now being told their new Android flagship won't ship before March 22, full two weeks after the series is scheduled to be officially released. Sprint and U.S. Cellular appear to still have them in stock but Verizon and AT&T don't, or at least won't until the same date, though they're still accepting advanced orders. T-Mobile isn't even interested in doing that, possibly due to an overwhelming demand, and simply has the Ceramic White Galaxy S10+ model labeled as "sold out," adding that more units will be available "soon."
All other unlocked versions of the Galaxy S10+ with 128GB of flash memory ordered since last Wednesday or later also won't be shipping before March 15, according to the company's own estimates. T-Mobile customers weren't given the opportunity to pre-order the Flamingo Pink Galaxy S10+ at all and will only be able to do so starting with March 29.
A look at Samsung's U.S. pre-order page which continues to offer some extremely lucrative incentives also reveals the American branch of the firm won't be offering an abundance of memory configurations within individual color ranges. In other words, if you're digging something like the Flamingo Pink, Prism Blue, or Prism Black, you won't be able to combine it with a Galaxy S10+ unless you're going for the cheapest, 128GB-storage model.
Granted, "cheapest" still means a grand in this instance but the target audience of Samsung's top-end Android devices is also much more likely to go for something better than the most affordable alternative than buyers in other price brackets are. Samsung surely based its color and memory-configuration availability strategy on focus groups and other previous research but looking at the sheer number of Galaxy S10 variants that won't be shipping this week or can't even be ordered at the moment suggests it could have done its homework better.
On the bright side, a small subset of consumers who pre-ordered the new devices are actually receiving them early, so this year's launch of the new Galaxy S-branded Android flagship is shaping up to be quite a rollercoaster.