Samsung’s success with the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 is so good that it is threatening Google’s grip on Android and the Nexus smartphones which once represented the best Android experience. Carriers clearly want to bring the Galaxy S4 to their shelves quickly.
In 2012 we saw the Galaxy S3 launch internationally months before the U.S. launch and a similar wait with the Galaxy Note 2, but this year it could be different. We are already seeing competitors like the HTC One arriving in the U.S. within weeks of the international launch.
Early rumors suggest that Samsung is planning a Galaxy S4 release date in April for the international market, but could delay the U.S. release date until May or even June. But the decision to take the launch to New York City could be a sign that carrier representatives will be on hand and Samsung will announce an earlier U.S. release date for the Galaxy S4.
Here are a few reasons a faster U.S. Galaxy S4 release makes sense.
Carriers Want the Galaxy S4
The major U.S. carriers are counting on the Galaxy S4 to lock in many shopper into a new two-year contract and with many customers at the end of their Galaxy S2, HTC Thunderbolt and Verizon iPhone 4 contracts, a flagship like the Galaxy S4 could help carriers bring in big Q2 sales.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of a few phones that should arrive on every major U.S. carrier, which offers a significant amount of combined access to the U.S. market. Something the Nexus 4 can’t touch and even HTC has trouble pulling off, though it looks like HTC is improving with the HTC One.
Analysts claim Samsung is planning to sell 10 million Galaxy S4 units per month with an overall goal of selling 100 million Galaxy S4 units. To do this, it would make sense to get the Samsung Galaxy S4 on U.S. shelves as fast as possible.
Samsung Wants to Beat Apple
Samsung is one of the biggest iPhone 5 competitors, and last quarter Samsung took a beating in estimated global sales, with the iPhone 5 selling nearly double the number of Galaxy S3 units. Estimates show Apple even sold more iPhone 4S units than Smasung sold of the Galaxy S3.
To hit a goal of 10 million Galaxy S4 units sold each month and to overtake the iPhone 5 in Q2, Samsung cannot delay a launch until June.
In addition to the obvious need to be selling the Galaxy S4, early rumors suggest Apple will launch the iPhone 5S in June. If Samsung delays the U.S. Galaxy S4 release date until June, there are some consumers who will wait the extra month or month-and-a-half to see the iPhone 5S, and Samsung could be looking at a repeat fo Q4 sales numbers.
It’s not all about being first, but anecdotal evidence suggest that while iPhone owners will wait for the next version faithfully, Android owners are more likely to jump ship to a phone that is available now. Diehard fans of a specific phone or brand will almost always wait for the next big thing. I’ve noticed a shift towards the average Android waiting for a specific new phone, but it is not to the same level I’ve observed with Apple devices.
If Samsung doesn’t move the release date up, at the very least expect that Samsung will announce U.S. carriers and release timing for the U.S. There is enough pressure on the Galaxy S4 launch that I would be surprised if Samsung and carriers like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint aren’t doing everything they can to get the Galaxy S4 ready for a U.S. release as fast as possible.
Rumors show the Samsung Galaxy S4 will feature a 4.99-inch 1080P HD display and a quad-core processor with an improved camera and a new design. Samsung may switch to a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and a new type of screen technology. The Galaxy S4 will likely run Android 4.2 with a custom Samsung skin.