Sprint warned Wednesday that it will be "slightly delayed" with its full launch of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 on Saturday as planned.
Sprint said in an emailed statement that the problem stems from "unexpected inventory challenges from Samsung."
A Samsung representative referred questions about the inventory challenges to its carriers, and wouldn't elaborate on the inventory concern.
Verizon Wireless and AT&T were contacted on whether they face the same inventory problem as Sprint, and a Verizon spokeswoman said it was "not something we can confirm," adding that the GS4 will be available on Verizon on May 30. AT&T said it was "on track" for launch of the GS4 in stores on Saturday.
Sprint said it will have the Galaxy S4 available as planned on Saturday through its Web site and through phone sales at 1-800-sprint1. The Galaxy S4 will be sold in Sprint stores and other Sprint channels "as inventory becomes available," the carrier said.
Reviews of the Galaxy S 4 started appearing on Wednesday, including a hands-on by Computerworld blogger JR Raphael.
Samsung is the largest Android smartphone maker, producing about half of the Android smartphones on the market. The Android mobile operating system runs on nearly 70% of new smartphones globally, according to research firms IDG and Gartner.
The Galaxy S III was Samsung's top-selling smartphone after it launched last year, and its successor, the GS4, is expected to garner great interest, with a 5-in. Super AMOLED display and resolution of 441 pixels per inch, well above many other popular smartphones. It runs Android version 4.2.2 and has a 1.9 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor in the U.S. model.
Sprint will sell the device for $249.99 with a two-year agreement, and also will offer a $100 credit for switching to Sprint from another carrier. T-Mobile USA is offering it for a total price of $629.99 with no contract, or with a down payment of $149.99 and 24 equal payments of $20 per month. Other carriers are also selling the GS4, but haven't reported inventory delays.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.