While many other carriers are currently facing release delays for the Samsung Galaxy S4 due to limited availability, Verizon Wireless has officially set the release date of the handset for May 30.
Verizon PR representative Ken Muche tweeted on Wednesday that the network will begin accepting preorders for its Galaxy S4 handset on Thursday, prior to its in-store release on May 30. Verizon will sell the fourth-generation Galaxy S smartphone for $199.99 with a two-year contract, after a $50 rebate. Off-contract, the Galaxy S4 will cost $649.99.
Verizon is known for releasing its smartphones well after other carriers, which may be a source of annoyance to customers, but intentionally deferring its launch of the Galaxy S4 may actually be a good strategy. Samsung says it plans to ship 10 million Galaxy S4 handsets in the month after its initial launch, which means Verizon will likely not be affected by any of the inventory issues other carriers are currently experiencing.
While AT&T seems to be on track with its Saturday release, with some customers who preordered early are expecting to receive their handsets on Thursday, T-Mobile and Sprint have both been forced to push back their release dates due to shipping and inventory issues.
T-Mobile, which was previously expected to release the Galaxy S4 online on Wednesday and in stores on May 1, will now launch the Galaxy S4 smartphone online on Monday and in select stores starting May 8 -- the company promises "national availability" on May 15. Sprint was set to release its Galaxy S4 both online and in stores on Saturday, but its in-store launch has been delayed with no new date currently designated. The carrier still expects to begin offering the phone online and by phone on Saturday.
Verizon customers should be aware that handsets pre-ordered online will ship on May 30, meaning they will likely begin to arrive on June 1 or June 2 with two-day shipping. The May 30 release date was first proposed from a leaked document from Staples, which is now confirmed.
Verizon is also expected to make a “special announcement” at CTIA one week prior, on May 22. Now that the Galaxy S4’s release date is known, we expect that the network may announce that it will introduce an off-contract plan, an idea it has been flirting with since T-Mobile brought that structure to its network.