T-Mobile's bid to be among the first of the major U.S. carriers to get Samsung's much-anticipated Galaxy S4 smartphone into the hands of consumers has hit a snag.
T-Mobile was scheduled to start selling the S4 Wednesday but had to put those plans on hold due to shortages in Samsung's distribution chain.
"Due to overwhelming global demand of Galaxy S4, the initial supply may be limited," a Samsung spokesperson explained in an email. "We expect to fulfill inventory to meet demands in the coming weeks."
Available online starting April 29
Online availability of the S4 at the T-Mobile website now is expected on April 29, a T-Mobile spokesperson said in an email. "We know customers are really looking forward to getting their new Samsung Galaxy S4 soon," she said.
"We apologize for any inconvenience and are working with Samsung to deliver the device to T-Mobile customers as soon as possible," she added.
The distribution problem will also affect another carrier aiming to rush the S4 to consumers, AT&T. It has been taking pre-orders for the handset since April 16 and planned to start shipping phones on Monday.
The carrier now says it will start shipping phones on April 30.
AT&T will sell the S4 for $199 with a two-year contract and $639.99 without a contract.
T-Mobile offers the smartphone with a no-contract plan for a down payment of $149.99 and 24 monthly installments of $20. If you cancel your service during the 24-month period, you have to pay the remaining balance on the phone based on a price of $629.99.
Sprint plans to start selling the S4 online on Saturday, Bloomberg reported.
Verizon isn't expected to start selling the Samsung handsets until the end of May.
The distribution problem could affect the arrival of the phone in retail stores and other channels, according to Bloomberg.
Last week, a putative internal document from Staples said the office superstore was expecting T-Mobile models of the S4 on May 1 and Verizon versions on May 30.
Reviews of the S4 have started appearing on the Net, and its notices appear to be mixed. TechHive's Armando Rodriguez said in his review: "For all of its innovations and cutting-edge specs, the Galaxy S4 has shortcomings that prevent it from being the ideal smartphone."
As with any electronics product, consumers will have the last word on the S4, and Samsung's expecting it to be a positive one. Initial forecasts say the company will ship 10 million units during its first month on the market and as many as 100 million by the end of the year.
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