Verizon Galaxy S III Launch is a Mess

The Samsung Galaxy S III launch on Verizon is a mess, simple as that.

While other carriers have had their difficulties getting the Samsung Galaxy S III to shelves here in the United States, none of them have botched the launch of the device as bad as Verizon has for its customers.

And given its track record with the HTC ThunderBolt, Samsung Droid Charge, Motorola Droid Bionic and HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE, this should come as no surprise.

Before Verizon even announced that it would be carrying the Samsung Galaxy S III there were signs of trouble and now, just as the phone is supposed to arrive on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the mess that is the Galaxy S III launch has gotten even worse.

The Verizon Galaxy S III launch has been a mess.

Launched After Shared Data Went Into Effect

When Samsung announced that the phone would be launching in the U.S. in June, we smelled trouble. That’s because June was the month that Verizon was going to be launching its Shared Everything data plans effectively killing unlimited data.

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So, instead of launching the phone in the middle of June like a T-Mobile or a Sprint, Verizon decided to launch the phone in July. Maybe it had to do with supply issues, maybe it had to do with a planned schedule, who knows. Either way, the launch forces those who couldn’t or didn’t want to pre-order the device into getting a Shared Data plan.

Read: Everything You Need to Know About Verizon Share Everything Plans.

No good for those who wanted to keep an unlimited data plan and pay a subsidized price and no good for those that don’t like the shared data plans that Verizon is offering.

Unclear Release Date

Verizon also decided to keep its Galaxy S III release date a secret up until last week leaving customers in the dark as to when the device would be hitting shelves. Unlike the other carriers which were in direct communication with interested Galaxy S III customers, Verizon remained mum on the subject.

The carrier even remained silent as the shipping dates on pre-orders kept moving backwards.

With the Galaxy S III launch being as big as it is, one would think that Verizon would have kept its customers in the loop as far as a probable release date was concerned.

Pre-Orders Delayed

Unfortunately, we sit a day out from the launch of the Galaxy S III and the release date of the device remains unclear, at least for some of those that pre-ordered and those looking to snag it online.

It would appear that some pre-orders shipping dates have moved to July 19th for unknown reasons. The shipping dates on Verizon’s website also indicated that the carrier is expecting to ship the Galaxy S III out by July 19th.

This shouldn’t affect in-store sales tomorrow but those looking to snag it online should be weary.

It doesn’t help that Verizon hasn’t said a word about the July 19th date.

Locked Bootloader

And then, last but not least, owners of Verizon’s Galaxy S III were welcomed with a locked bootloader. While all other versions of the device have launched with an unlocked bootloader, something that allows owners to fully customize their device, Verizon’s Galaxy S III has a locked bootloader.

According to a statement Verizon gave to The Verge, this was a necessary move:

Verizon Wireless has established a standard of excellence in customer experience with our branded devices and customer service. There is an expectation that if a customer has a question, they can call Verizon Wireless for answers that help them maximize their enjoyment and use of their wireless phone. Depending on the device, an open boot loader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. It is always a delicate balance for any company to manage the technology choices we make for our branded devices and the requests of a few who may want a different device experience. We always review our technology choices to ensure that we provide the best solution for as many customers as possible.

This should have been expected considering how tightly Verizon regulates its devices but it’s certainly not something that Verizon Galaxy S III owners wanted to find out, especially after learning that the device did not come with an encrypted bootloader on carriers like AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Hopefully, sometime down the road, Verizon gets wise and decides to unlock it. Until then though, its device is at a severe disadvantage.

  

Comments

  1. Nostromo says

    Knowing all of this cited in the article I am amazed that my Verizon Droid RAZR MAXX, running ICS now, actually can initiate and receive phone calls.

  2. Nostromo says

    One other thing; Verizon’s Johnny-on-the-spot in applying my payment as it is submitted by me each month. No malingering there.

  3. Kevin says

    “With the Galaxy S III launch being as big as it is, one would think that Verizon would have kept its customers in the loop as far as a probable release date was concerned.”

    LOL!!! When has Verizon kept it’s customer in the loop on ANYTHING??

  4. Wes says

    Verizon launching the Galaxy S3 AFTER the shared data ripoff plans were launched was purely a strategic move to get people to move over to the new plan. It forces Verizon customers at the end of current contracts to switch plans. Newcomers of course have no choice but to be on the new plan. Better yet it forces them to switch carriers. That’s what I’ll be doing! Whatever advantage Verizon has as far as coverage and LTE is negated by their expensive, conservative data plans.

  5. Johnny says

    I’ve already decided to leave Verizon following the release of their shared ripoff plans but this just reinforces how far Verizon has fallen. Ya their 4g at one time had no equal and was the god standard, but i could really give a shit if they have the most coverage aroudn the country. The other carrier’s 4g have caught up, and some exceeded in NYC. Time to leave to sprint after the contract is done.

  6. Mr. H. says

    I am going to spend 120k on a sports car, I don’t give 2 dimes who the heck the car dealer is. The same is true when it goes to a top of the line smart phone. For Verizon to sit there and call the Galaxy S3 , “their” branded device is like a car dealer calling a Porsche “their” car.

    When people think of the iPhone, they don’t think of AT&T or Verizon. They think of the phone – that’s the only brand they really want.

    I would think Samsung and other large smart phone OEMs need to do 2 things.

    Start selling their phones directly to the public. Control the experience an end user gets when they buy a phone, much like how apple has done in the past.

    The second they need to do, not as easy of a task, but one I’m sure could be achieved with some effort, is make smart phones, that can work on any carrier. A phone could have all their wireless chips built in, or could have a removable device that can be added specifically for any carrier that would have the wireless chips needed to work with any specific carrier’s network. With enough effort, these devices could still be extremely slim keeping phones as thin as they are now. By doing this, end users could finally be free to take their phones they bought with their hard earned cash and give the middle finger to a carrier if they don’t like them and move to any other carrier of their choice without feeling “locked” in. If this were to happen, not only would OEMs be more in charge of the customers “sales” experience, but would begin to force carriers in the USA to really compete for your business, instead of sitting behind a phone you paid for which they still control and lock you in to a contract – because once they have in you in a contract, there’s little else they need to do to work for your business.

  7. Jerry says

    Verizon’s new data share plan will only work if people sign up for it. A small number of individuals switching companies want have a dramatic effect. I would have bought the Galaxy S III but I was concerned about keeping my unlimited data plan. Although I was eligible for an upgrade, my contract was due to expire in November. Once the Bionic went “free”, I upgraded to keep my unlimited data. My game plan was to keep my Fascinate till November and then re-explore carriers, and whether it was worth it for me to keep a smartphone. Based on dollar value for 2 GB’s of data (or whatever the new plans are now), I can’t see paying $30/month. This is where I don’t see the value in a smartphone. I’m locked in for two years so we’ll have to see how everything plays out. Let’s face it, there are limited choices and they all come with pros and cons. Still, the only way these companies will succeed is with their customer base. If there are still enough people willing to pay for a bucket of data, they will continue to grow and succeed. The next two years will be a deciding factor for me.

  8. jeff says

    I’m no big fan of any cell company, but this article is a bit crazy. I wanted the S3 and to keep my unlimited data. Verizon said no problem and I ordered prior to the 28th of June. They only charged my account when the phone shipped. They told me day one I would have it by July 12th and it came today, the 10th. Same story with a couple friends. So what is with this article calling the s3 launch a big mess?… simply ck the author’s bio and all will become clear.

    • Mr.H. says

      Surely you can’t expect one successful story, or a small percentage when compared to the whole a successful story.

  9. Mobile Accessories says

    I¡¯m still learning from you, while I¡¯m trying to reach my goals. I absolutely liked reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the stories coming. I liked it!

  10. Jess says

    Everyone is talking about jumping ship. No need to leave Vzw. If this plan works… Everyone else will follow. Trust! Secondly, Vzw sells service, and has the least amount of control over the devices. You the launch was a mess, but only one person who commented has the damn phone. Guess what? That one person got it on time. The demand I’n the Cellphone industry is so high, noone can keep up cheaply. I’m still trying to comprehend the mess… This is complete slander. Noone has an easy release of devices. I have had every carrier except AT&T. They all have the same problems.

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