Verizon customers waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be delighted to know the launch date has been pushed up by one week, to May 23, according to a tweet from Ken Muche, a Verizon representative in Southern California.
â€” Ken Muche (@VZWken) May 13, 2013
Verizon said last month that the latest Samsung smartphone would be available on its network starting May 30. We suspected Verizon deferred its launch of the smartphone to avoid inventory delays that plagued such carriers as Sprint and T-Mobile in late April. Verizon's network will likely benefit from the 10 million Galaxy S4 handsets that Samsung said would ship in the month following the smartphone’s international release.
Verizon will sell the 16GB Galaxy S4 smartphone for $199.99 with a two-year contract, after a $50 rebate. Off-contract, the Galaxy S4 will cost $649.99.
The company began accepting preorders on April 25 for the Galaxy S4, and we expect it will ship those orders earlier than expected; however, Verizon’s website still indicates a May 30 shipping date. Meanwhile, AT&T shipped preorders of the Galaxy S4 a few days before its in-store release, though it remains uncertain if Verizon will do the same.
There's also no indication if Verizon’s earlier-than-expected release date will carry over to retailers that are offering the device, which includes Staples, Best Buy, RadioShack and Wirefly. Customers should look out for additional announcements in the coming days. Many retailers are offering various deals with their Galaxy S4 handsets, such as price cuts to $179.99 on Staples and Wirefly, and a $10 credit with purchases over $30 at RadioShack.
Verizon’s Galaxy S4 will likely sell with a locked bootloader, which would make installation of custom ROMs or third-party software more difficult. AT&T customers recently discovered that the bootloader on the AT&T Galaxy S4 is locked. Renowned hacker Dan Rosenberg said that he has been able to bypass the bootloader on that Galaxy S4 model. Many expect that he will release a bootloader unlocking tool when the Verizon Galaxy S4 is released so that it will be compatible with all networks that carry bootloader locked Samsung Galaxy S4 handsets.
Some customers are holding out hope that Verizon will release a Samsung Galaxy S4 with 32GB of storage. While the carrier hasn't commented on its plans, it's unlikely Verizon would release a 32GB Galaxy S4 following disappointing sales of its discontinued version of a 32GB Samsung Galaxy S3.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.