AT&T customers who have already preordered their Samsung Galaxy S4 handsets may receive a surprise in the mail as early as Friday as the network appears to have changed its shipping date to Tuesday.

Since AT&T began accepting preorders for the fourth-generation Galaxy S smartphone last Tuesday, the device’s shipping date has been designated as April 30; however, the network inconspicuously bumped its shipping date to Tuesday this past weekend.

Customers were expecting to receive their brand new Galaxy S4s by May 3 with two-day shipping. If the same rules apply, handsets should start arriving by Friday.

This release date shift may allow anxious enthusiasts to breathe a sigh of relief as many were curious as to why the major U.S. carrier had such a late launch date for the Galaxy S4, which had been originally announced for “late April.”

Other networks that will carry the Galaxy S4 will more or less adhere to this directive. Sprint will begin offering the phone in-store staring Saturday, and customers who preordered can also expect to receive their handsets on the same date. RadioShack is also expected to carry the phone under Sprint starting on Saturday.  

T-Mobile will begin offering the phone online on Wednesday with in-store availability starting May 1, though T-Mobile is considered more of a discount carrier as opposed to major carrier like AT&T and Sprint.

AT&T’s in-store launch date remains unknown. Prior to this development, Gotta Me Mobile spoke with sales representatives on AT&T’s website and was told that Galaxy S4 in-store availability would begin May 3. We consider this change in the preorder shipping date alludes to a Friday in-store launch. Not only was Friday the general day proposed for the launch of the Galaxy S4, but Staples is also expected to begin carrying the smartphone on AT&T on that day.

Do you plan on buying a Galaxy S4? Let us know in the comments section below.