Galaxy S4 preorders open, carrier availability and pricing revealed

By on April 17, 2013, 3:30 PM

With more than a month having passed since the Galaxy S4's grand unveiling, Samsung and its partners are gearing up for the device's availability next week by sharing launch information for the US. By the end of next month, the Galaxy S3's successor should be available through all four major US carriers -- AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile -- as well as smaller outfits including US Cellular, Cricket and C Spire.

In addition to being peddled through cellular providers, Samsung's latest flagship smartphone will hit shelves at major retail locations including Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile, Costco, Radio Shack, Walmart, Sam's Club, Staples, and Target. If you're desperate enough to fondle the device, you probably don't care where you buy it, but it's worth noting that availability and pricing will vary between locations.

AT&T, for instance, has already begun taking preorders for a 16GB model, which is going for $200 if you'll sign up for a two-year contract or $640 if you won't and will begin shipping to customers on April 30. Sprint, conversely, won't kick off its S4 preorders until tomorrow and it's going to charge $250 with a contract, though you can chop that down to $150 if you're willing to switch your number to the carrier.

Further down the line, T-Mobile will start letting people buy the handset next Wednesday, April 24 and it'll ship to eager souls on May 1. In keeping with its recent "uncarrier" initiative, T-Mobile will only charge $150 upfront with no service commitments, but you'll have to pay $20 a month for 24 months or a total of $630 to cover the cost of the phone -- an attractive option if you don't want to be tied down.

We haven't seen any announcements about Verizon's launch plans, though a purportedly leaked Staples memo suggests that the carrier is planning on a May 30 release. Similarly, Cricket and C Spire haven't shared much yet, while US Cellular plans to sell the device for $200 on contract and $750 unsubsidized. Preorders will ship four weeks from being placed and include a free S View flip cover.




User Comments: 13

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veLa veLa said:

Verizon, the big dog is always late to the game for some reason. Remember when the didn't want the S2 and it turned out to be a big mistake?

JC713 JC713 said:

I wonder if Samsung is losing money selling the S4 at 200 bucks. Doesnt it cost them more to make it?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I wonder if Samsung is losing money selling the S4 at 200 bucks. Doesnt it cost them more to make it?

$200 on contract and $750 unsubsidized

JC713 JC713 said:

$200 on contract and $750 unsubsidized

I guess they will make their money from the unlocked versions lol.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I guess they will make their money from the unlocked versions lol.

Nope, Samsung will get the same amount either way, but the Mobile company's will make the most by forcing the contract on you to have it at $200.

Example:

In the UK, you can get a brand new iPhone4s 16GB for £80 on T-Mobile

you can only get it at this price if you sign up to a contract of £30 a month for 24 months (2years)

It is unlimited everything (fair usage policy applies of course).

This works out at £800 including the phone, you just pay it over 24 months.

to buy the phone outright - £450

Pay-As-Go GiffGaff all you can eat internet (albeit, limited to 200 minutes of talk time) £12 a month and your not tied to anything and the phone is fully unlocked to go to any carrier you so wish.

http://giffgaff.com/index/offer

so that makes buying the phone outright and getting a different plan much much cheaper.

24 month of giffgaff - £288 + £450 = £738 (not much of a saving but your not tied to anything).

1 person liked this | veLa veLa said:

I just don't get how a 7 inch tablet costs $200 flat out, but a 5 inch phone costs $750.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I just don't get how a 7 inch tablet costs $200 flat out, but a 5 inch phone costs $750.

That's the million Dollar Question

Raveel Raveel said:

I just don't get how a 7 inch tablet costs $200 flat out, but a 5 inch phone costs $750.

I'd think there are several factors. One, the display densities on most, if not all, 7 inch tablets are aby0smal. Constructing 300+ ppi screens must be an expensive manufacturing process with high rate of loss (ala processor chips).

Two, connectivity radios such as LTE are considerably more expensive right now and the Nexus 7 doesn't ship with LTE at the $200 price point for this matter.

Three, smaller parts are more expensive, making a device what is both powerful and small at the same time takes a lot of engineering prowess.

Four, phones are a good way to make money these days, especially smartphones which are the latest craze. As good a reason as any.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I just don't get how a 7 inch tablet costs $200 flat out, but a 5 inch phone costs $750.

Well, just like everything else, the price isn't based off the cost to make it, it's based off the cost people will pay. The price is where the supply equals the demand, not the cost of materials plus some percentage. Bluray DVDs probably cost less than their packaging and we pay $20 - $30 for them.

Those tear-down gadget websites price out high end phones at around $220 each to build (but we obviously have no idea the design cost of it). Tablets are probably only a little less. But people won't spend $500 on a 7 inch tablet... most people won't spend it on a phone either, the carriers help us afford them.

That's one reason the phone market is so competitive... it has huge margins. I think even Blackberry was able to make some money when they came out with their new phone.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Verizon, the big dog is always late to the game for some reason. Remember when the didn't want the S2 and it turned out to be a big mistake?

Verizon isn't even going to offer the HTC One. I think I heard it was because HTC allows their users to easily unlock the bootloader (I.e. 'root' from HTC's own website and Verizon doesn't like that.

indiangamer said:

I am liking my xperia z :-P

Guest said:

Also don't forget that cell phones uses radio waves which are regulated by the government. Therefore companies and carriers have to pay to use those radio bands. Those don't come cheap.

Guest said:

I use a GS3 now and have no intention getting another, I dont like the large screen but I do find it to big for carrying in pockets, and with the horrible placement of the power button it even makes it harder to put in your pockets, without it always turning on.(Leaving your battery dead when you need it most)

Pass for me even if it was free.

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