Samsung confirms limited supply of Galaxy S4, cites 'overwhelming global demand'

T-Mobile announces possible five-day delay; Sprint earlier announced slight delay

Overwhelming global demand may limit initial supplies of the Galaxy S4 smartphone, Samsung said Wednesday, while both Sprint and T-Mobile USA confirmed there would be delays.

T-Mobile said the GS4 was scheduled to go on sale online at its website www.T-Mobile.com on Wednesday, but that online sales will be delayed for possibly five days, and are expected to begin Monday, April 29. The carrier cited an "unexpected delay with inventory deliveries."

Earlier Wednesday, Sprint said its full launch on Saturday of the latest Galaxy S smartphone will be "slightly delayed."

Sprint also cited "unexpected inventory challenges from Samsung" as the cause, but didn't say when in-store sales would begin.

The nation's two largest carriers, AT&T and Verizon, appeared unaffected by the delays. AT&T on Wednesday said it is "on track" for launch of the GS4 in its stores on Saturday.

Verizon Wireless said its GS4s will still be available on May 30 for $199.99 after rebate and a two-year contract.

In a statement issued via email, Samsung said: "Due to overwhelming global demand of the Galaxy S4, the initial supply may be limited. We expect to fulfill inventory to meet demands in the coming weeks." Samsung didn't indicate which carriers are affected.

Sprint is offering the GS4 for $249.99 with a two-year contract, while AT&T is selling it for $199.99 and a two-year contract.

T-Mobile was expected to begin sales of the GS4 on Wednesday online, and lists it on its web site for a down payment of $149.99 plus 24 monthly payments of $20 each, for a total of $629.99.

In its statement, T-Mobile apologized to customers for the delay and said it is "working with Samsung to deliver the device to T-Mobile customers as soon as possible." It also said that "online availability is expected to begin on Monday, April 29."

U.S. Cellular also has the device listed as a pre-order only on its site for $199.99 and a two-year contract, with no delivery date.

Other smaller U.S. carriers that will carry the device could not be reached for comment on whether they face supply-related delays.

The GS4 has a 5-in. Super AMOLED display with 441 pixels per inch, well above other smartphones. It runs Android version 4.2.2 and uses a 1.9 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor in the U.S. model. It also has a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front camera, a 2,600 mAh battery, NFC and 4G LTE for carriers that support LTE.

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 mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

FREE Computerworld Insider Guide: IT Certification Study Tips
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies