Samsung is facing some difficulties in getting its newest flagship phone into the hands of its U.S. customers. T-Mobile and Sprint have both reported that they will need to push back retail and online availability of the device. T-Mobile will now begin selling the phone on April 29th via its website, though the company has not confirmed when it will be available in stores. Here's the carrier's full statement:
We know customers are really looking forward to getting their new Samsung Galaxy S 4 soon. However, due to an unexpected delay with inventory deliveries, the Galaxy S 4 will not be available on www.T-Mobile.com as planned on Wednesday, April 24. Instead, online availability is expected to begin on Monday, April 29. We apologize for any inconvenience and are working with Samsung to deliver the device to T-Mobile customers as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Sprint will offer online availability a bit sooner, starting on the 27th of this month, which is just two days earlier than T-Mobile. It will get around to selling it in stores when it gets stock. Here's the statement given to us by a Sprint rep:
Sprint is excited to launch the new Samsung Galaxy 4. We had planned to launch this next generation of the award-winning Samsung Galaxy line-up on Saturday, April 27. Unfortunately, due to unexpected inventory challenges from Samsung, we will be slightly delayed with our full product launch. Sprint is one of Samsung’s largest partners and we are working closely with them to launch in all Sprint channels as soon as possible. We expect to make Galaxy S 4 available at www.sprint.com and Telesales (1-800-SPRINT1) as planned on Saturday with Sprint retail stores and other channels receiving devices as inventory becomes available.
While AT&T has not reported any official delays or supply shortages, the availability date listed on its website has repeatedly shifted, now promising delivery by April 30th. Verizon, meanwhile, won't begin carrying the device until May 30th, a full month after the other carriers.
Samsung has acknowledged the delays, stating that it's dealing with "overwhelming demand":
"Due to overwhelming global demand of Galaxy S4, the initial supply may be limited. We expect to fulfill inventory to meet demands in the coming weeks."
It doesn't sound like the delays will keep anyone away from the device for too long, but early reviews haven't given Samsung the clear and obvious advantage over the competition that the manufacturer might have liked. The less time consumers have to second guess their decisions, the better it is for Samsung.