Today AT&T amended its Samsung Galaxy S4 price and pre-order announcement to clarify the Samsung Galaxy S4 starting price, alerting shoppers to the $199 entry-level model.
Previously AT&T announced the Samsung Galaxy S4 price as $249.99 when pre-orders begin on April 16. Now the carrier says that price is for the 32GB model. The 16GB model of the Samsung Galaxy S4 will cost $199.99 on AT&T with a two-year contract. Presumably the 16GB model will also be available for pre-order on April 16.
AT&T made no mention of a 64GB model of the Galaxy S4, which Samsung announced during the phone’s launch event.
It’s likely that Sprint and Verizon will sell the 16GB Galaxy S4 for the same $199.99 on a two-year contract. T-Mobile, however, will only require a $99 down-payment for the phone under its new Value Plans.
The new $199.99 price point means the least expensive Samsung Galaxy S4 will cost the same as the base models for the HTC One and the iPhone 5. All phones start at $199, though each come with different storage capacities and features.
The $199.99 Samsung Galaxy S4 has the same 16GB of storage capacity as the $199 iPhone 5. The two phones are the biggest competitors in the U.S. smartphone market, so it makes sense that each would cost the same.
The 32GB model of the Galaxy S4 is cheaper than the 32GB iPhone 5, however. Apple charges $299 on a two-year contract for the 32GB iPhone 5. The 32GB Galaxy S4, however, is $50 cheaper at $249.99. The price difference gives Samsung a slight advantage, though in the long run $50 isn’t much compared to how much users will pay for the phones over the course of two years.
The HTC One offers 32GB for the introductory $199.99 price. For the price users get twice the storage space of both the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5. AT&T also sells the 64GB HTC One for $299.99, which is the same price as the 32GB iPhone 5.
Each phone has a different design, screen size, pixel density and software for the same price. Samsung will likely outspend both HTC and Apple in advertising this year, but the truth is for $200 users have three great smartphone options.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 U.S. release date is set for May 1st on T-Mobile. AT&T Galaxy S4 pre-orders start on April 16th with no specific release timing. Verizon and Sprint remain silent on Galaxy S4 pricing and release details.