The wait is finally over for the Samsung Galaxy S4 on Verizon Wireless; the network has officially made the smartphone available in stores and online.
Verizon was recently rated No. 1 in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and it appears that the carrier is living up to the accolade. After having bumped its release date for the Galaxy S4 up from May 30 to Thursday, Verizon was able to deliver the device right on time, while many other carriers such as T-Mobile and Sprint faced inventory delays during their late April launches. Verizon is known for deferring its launch of popular smartphones, which many consider could be to avoid delays due to inventory shortages.
As shipments of the Galaxy S4 approach 10 million units just one month after its international release, the Korean manufacturer has said it will ship another 10 million S4 handsets in the month following the device’s launch, of which Verizon is likely now taking advantage.
Verizon is offering the 16GB S4 for $199.99 with a two-year contract, after a $50 rebate. Off-contract, the S4 will cost $649.99. The carrier is also offering an accessory bundle, which includes a silicone cover, a display protector and a car charger for $49.99.
Those who don’t want to get their S4 handsets directly from Verizon can take advantage of some small discounts and deals already being offered by a number of retailers. Amazon and Wirefly are both offering the Verizon-powered S4 for $179.99 with a two-year contract.
Customers can also buy their Verizon S4 handsets from Radio Shack for $249.99 and take advantage of the retailer’s trade-in program that offers up to $300 back on eligible phones. In addition, Radio Shack is offering a deal until June 1, where customers spending $30 or more in a single transaction will receive a $10 credit for future purchases.
Now that the S4 is available on the big four major U.S. carriers, it has a bit of an advantage against the HTC One, which has yet to be released on Verizon. HTC’s Senior Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon recently told Tech Radar that the manufacturer currently has no plans to release its 2013 flagship smartphone on Verizon, which is good news for Samsung, even with the S4 having sold twice as many handsets in half the time.
Tech-savvy Verizon customers will also soon be able to bypass the S4’s locked bootloader thanks to developer Dan Rosenberg who has already booted a custom recovery onto the Verizon variant and said a bootloader unlocking tool will soon be available.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.