The Samsung Galaxy S 4 will be available from seven carriers and several retailers this month, Samsung announced April 17, suggesting that the supply issues that plagued the Galaxy S III have been reconciled.
Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Cricket and C Spire will sell the smartphone, along with Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, Costco, Radio Shack, Sam's Club, Staples, Target and Walmart. Clearly, Samsung is sticking with its more-is-more strategy.
"The Galaxy S line of smartphones has achieved momentous success with 100 million in unit sales worldwide in less than three years. This validates that we are addressing what consumers want from a smartphone," Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Telecommunications America, said in a statement.
Sprint confirmed that it will begin accepting preorders for the Galaxy S 4 April 18 and begin selling it April 27 for $249.99 with a new line or eligible upgrade and new two-year service agreement.
T-Mobile, after executives originally threw out May 1 as an availability date and $99 down as a price, adjusted both to April 24 and $149.99 down, plus monthly payments, but no contract.
U.S. Cellular is now accepting preorders for the smartphone, which it's selling for $199.99 with a two-year contract (though it adds that pricing varies by location).
Samsung introduced its newest flagship device March 14 in New York City. The S 4 builds on all the features of the S III, and then some.
It has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera that can add sound to photos, has a Dual Camera mode, so that during video chats the person on the other end can see both the user and what the user is seeing.
It also features what Samsung calls an "effortless experience," based on advancements to the sensor technology debuted in its predecessor. While the S III knew when not to dim its display, the S 4 knows when to scroll or turn a page for a user, by noting where her eyes are on the display.
The S 4 also "enhances your TV watching experience," says Samsung, with both a WatchON services that simplifies searches and makes personalized programming recommendations for TV shows, movies and sporting events.
Like the S III, the S 4 is a Samsung Approved for Enterprise (SAFE) device, but it's also the first phone to include Samsung's KNOX solution, which provides mobile security at both the hardware and software levels.
Something of an answer to BlackBerry's Balance, KNOX enables users to separate personal and business content.
"IT managers can now access and manage the passcode-protected work container without disturbing the content within an individual's personal space on the device so consumer content, including photos, emails, music files and social network data remain intact on the device when an employee separates from a company," said Samsung.
The S 4, which is thinner and lighter than the S III, though basically the same width and height, features a 5-inch full-high-definition Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) display, runs Android 4.2.2, features near-field communication (NFC) technology, comes in 16 and 32GB options with expandable memory up to 64GB, and from select carriers will come in White Frost or Black Mist.
Included in a long list of available accessories is a Samsung S View Flip Cover that has a little window through which users can see the date and time, the battery status, read a text and accept or reject calls. It sells for $59.99.
The more traditional Flip Cover (pictured here) sells for $39.99.
Saying that the S builds on a "tradition of excellence," Sohn said, "We believe this device will be a true companion to all aspects of a consumer's life from work to travel and even watching TV."