After a lot of fanfare, rumors, leaks and what not, Samsung finally unveiled their 2013 flagship Galaxy S smartphone – the Galaxy S4 last month at an Unpacked Event in New York City. While the launch event showed off various new features, hardware wise as well as software induced, details of pricing and availability were held back, to be revealed at a later date. And yesterday, a month later, Samsung has confirmed carrier-based availability as well as a few pricing details for the U.S market.
Samsung announced additional information yesterday, stating that the Galaxy S4 would be available across seven U.S carriers, which is pretty much every major carrier out there. So if you’ve been waiting with fingers crossed, hoping that your carrier carries it, you should be able to breathe easy now. Carrier availability includes AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, as well as U.S. Cellular, Cricket and C Spire, starting April, which is likely to be towards the fag end of the month.
In addition to getting the phone direct from the carriers, customers would also be able to purchase the device at seven official retailers including Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile, Radio Shack, Costco, Staples, Sam’s Club, Walmart and Target – which again covers pretty much most of the popular retail chains out there. It’s clear that Samsung wants to go all out and leave no stone unturned as far as availability of the Galaxy S4 is concerned. The mantra is simple – If it’s available and visible, people WILL buy it.
Samsung has not revealed any carrier specific launch dates and pricing details, but did mention that their partners would share those specifics closer to the launch dates, which should be pretty much any day now. AT&T has already announced their pre-order program for the SGS4 with a pricing of $639 outright for the 16GB model, OR $199 with a standard 2-year contract. The other GSM biggies in the States – T-Mobile has also announced their 16GB version of the same device at an outright pricing of $629 OR a down payment of $149 with the rest equated in 24 installments of $20 each. Sprint’s pre-order program was to be launched today, with the device being made available starting April 27th priced at $249 with a 2-year contract. pricing or pre-order details from Verizon, U.S Cellular, Cricket and C Spire have not been announced yet.
With the kind of following that Samsung’s Galaxy S line of smartphones have gathered over the years, starting with the original Galaxy S I9000, there is absolutely not a shred of doubt that the Galaxy S4, despite what many may have to say about it, will go on to become a best selling device of this year. There are speculations that customers may be confused between which one to get – the SGS4 or the HTC One. But then again, every Galaxy S phone released till date, has always faced that threat from some or the other high-end flagship device, be it from HTC, Sony or any other OEM. And each time, it has prevailed and gone on to become a best seller, be it on a retail basis, or directly from the carrier. And that applies even to the international GSM unlocked version.
As a matter of fact, it would be more interesting to see how well the HTC One does once the SGS4 is out. HTC’s 2013 flagship is an impressive device, but has been plagued by release delays, causing HTC to lose precious headway time that it could have gained over Samsung, had the device been released as scheduled originally towards the end of March.