The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S3 is finally out in Europe, but with pre-orders topping 9 million, customers are facing distribution delays.
Reports from Samsung and phone carriers warn of shortages of the new pebble blue version of the phone.
In order to meet the highest internal quality standards and to provide the best quality Galaxy SIII to customers, a short supply of Pebble Blue versions is expected in some regions in the next 2-3 weeks, Samsung said in a statement.
The company told ZDnet that the delay was due to a manufacturing holdup of the newly invented blue color, which uses a special hyper glaze material.
People who pre-ordered the white model of the phone will be receiving it between May 29 and June 30, but the blue version is only available in extremely limited numbers, an O2 spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph.
The phone hit stores in 28 European and Middle Eastern countries on Tuesday. In Frankfurt, most customers who queued overnight managed to get their hands on the S3, but some Samsung enthusiasts in Paris who queued up for the phone were turned away, with some stores uncertain about when their stock would come in, the Financial Post reported.
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Another Bite Out of Apple
Regardless of the delays, Samsung fans and have critics have been raving about the phone, calling it light years ahead of Apple's current iPhone.
The phone's predecessor, the Galaxy s2, was heralded one of the top phones of last year. The Galaxy S3 is a real challenger to the upcoming iPhone, Francisco Jeronimo, an IDC analyst based in London told the Daily Mail. This is likely to be one of the most sold smartphones this year, though the real test will come when the next iPhone is launched.
Samsung sold 44.5 million smartphones in January to March - equal to nearly 21,000 every hour - giving it 30.6 percent market share, according to the Daily Mail. Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones, taking 24.1 percent market share.
There is no official date for the U.S launch date for the Samsung S3, but Samsung has said it will be released this summer.
The phone is also available internationally through Amazon's pre-order pages, however, U.S Galaxy S3 fans have been advised to wait for the phone's summer release as the international model of the phone does not support 4G LTE connectivity.
An ad featured on Mobile Syrup last week suggests the S3 will be released in Canada on June 20. Samsung is yet to officially confirm the information on the advertisement, but if it is legitimate, that will mean that the phone is available on Canada's main four networks: Rogers, Bell, Telus and Virgin mobile.
The S3 heralds a 4.8-inch screen, 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, voice control and face recognition. The new Super AMOLED display is 22 percent larger than its predecessor, bringing the phone into the Galaxy Note's phone/tablet hybrid category.
Samsung has launched a face recognition feature on its latest phone in an effort to the make the smartphone experience more natural. The phone uses its front camera to identify the user's eye movement and ensures it never goes dark or switches off, while the user is looking at the phone.
Samsung has also improved its voice control feature with a sophisticated, Siri-like voice recognition system dubbed S voice. The service allows users to make verbal demands to control their phone. Texts and emails can be dictated and photographs can be taken through voice commands using the feature.
The S3 also includes an NFC chip, which enables content sharing -- including video -- through tapping two phones together. The chip can also be used to make mobile payments.
The new Pop up Play feature on the phone enables multitasking, allowing users to open a video in a window on screen, and then use other apps with the rest of the screen.
Screen size: 4.8 inch
Processor: 1.4 Ghz quad-core
Memory size: Up to 32gb (+64gb with card)
Operating system: Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Camera: Eight megapixelWeight: 133 grams
Dimensions: Height - 136mm Width - 70mm Depth - 8.5mm