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Samsung Galaxy S4 32GB & 64GB Remain MIA in U.S.

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While the Samsung Galaxy S4 has finally landed in the United States, starting with its arrival on AT&T today, there are still some questions that consumers have about its release, namely, where the 32GB and the 64GB Galaxy S4 models are and whether they will ever be arriving at all.

In March, at its big launch in New York City, Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S4, taking the wraps off its features including a 5-inch display, quad-core processor, Android 4.2 software 13MP camera and more. It also confirmed three variants of the Samsung Galaxy S4 for launch in the form of the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB Galaxy S4 models, same as it did with the Galaxy S3 and same as it did with the Galaxy Note 2.

Read: AT&T Galaxy S4 Arrives Early.

The Galaxy S4 has arrived in the U.S. without 32GB and 64GB options.

The Galaxy S4 has arrived in the U.S. without 32GB and 64GB options.

This falls in line with Apple’s iPhone which comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB forms with increasingly expensive price points. Apple charges $199.99 for the iPhone 5 16GB with the 64GB model commanding a $399.99 price. Only, the Galaxy S4 comes with something that the iPhone 5 doesn’t have: Expandable memory.

The Galaxy S4 was introduced with a Samsung staple, the microSD card slot, that allows owners to upgrade their device with up to a 64GB microSD card for expanded storage. microSD cards are cheap and thus, it’s extremely easy for consumers to outfit their device with a ton of extra storage space for things like music, games, movies and more. And with software, app and file sizes increasing by the year, storage is an extremely sought after commodity.

That said, as we inched closer to the device’s debut in the United States, consumers in the United States remain with only bits or in most cases, without any concrete information about the storage options that will be available to them. And right now, both the 32GB and the 64GB Galaxy S4 models remain missing in action in the U.S.

Here now is a breakdown of what we’ve heard so far, and what we predict will happen with the release larger Samsung Galaxy S4 32GB and 64GB models in the U.S.

AT&T Galaxy S4

One of the more prominent questions we’ve seen and heard asked over the past few weeks has been about the 32GB and 64GB Galaxy S4 models and whether they would ever see the light of day in the United States. Of course, had AT&T never confirmed the Galaxy S4 32GB, the questions would be much easier to answer, but because it did, the situation has been extremely confusing to say the least.

Earlier this year, AT&T confirmed the Galaxy S4 arrival for $250 on-contract, a price that seemed to be for the 16GB model. A short time later, the carrier backtracked and claimed that that price was for a 32GB model and not a 16GB Galaxy S4.

AT&T says the 32GB Galaxy S4 is coming soon.

AT&T says the 32GB Galaxy S4 is coming soon.

Oddly enough, when the Galaxy S4 pre-order began, only the 16GB Galaxy S4 emerged as an option, leaving consumers looking for a larger model scratching their head.

AT&T recently told Gotta Be Mobile that it has no specific information about the 32GB Galaxy S4′s arrival and the only clue we have right now is in the fine print on its Galaxy S4 landing page which states that the device will be “coming soon.”

So far, we’ve heard nothing about a 64GB model and considering that AT&T declined to offer one with the Galaxy S3, we imagine that it may not ever arrive on Ma Bell’s network.

Sprint Galaxy S4

Those looking for a 32GB or a 64GB Galaxy S4 on Sprint might have noticed that neither device popped up in its announcements and like AT&T’s pre-order, Sprint’s was only for the 16GB option.

Verizon is now taking orders for the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Sprint has yet to confirm a 32GB model.

Sprint has so far refused comment in regards to any plans for a 32GB or 64GB Galaxy S4 and unfortunately, there are no leaks and exactly zero clues that point to any kind of impending launch.

One saving grace is that Sprint offered a 32GB Galaxy S3, but that’s no guarantee that it will trudge out a Galaxy S4 32GB at a later date. The carrier did not offer a 64GB Galaxy S3 and we don’t expect it to with the Galaxy S4.

T-Mobile Galaxy S4

The T-Mobile Galaxy S4 launch has been far from normal and unfortunately, when it comes to the potential release of larger storage options, utterly uninformative.

So far, the T-Mobile Galaxy S4 launch has been marred by delays which have taken it from an April 24th release online to an April 29th release online and from a May 1st in-store release date to May 8th and May 15th in-store release dates. While it has been diligent about relaying that information, it has holding another card close to its chest.

That card of course are its Galaxy S4 storage options. Thus far, we’ve only seen it say that it will charge $149.99 down. We imagine that this price is for the 16GB model but the carrier really hasn’t been forthright with that information, confusing its customers. It also hasn’t confirmed or denied 32GB or 64GB models leaving the launches wide open.

Again, the Galaxy S3 32GB arrived on T-Mobile while the 64GB option did not so it’s possible that a 32GB model could come at a later date. If that’s the case, T-Mobile isn’t saying.

U.S. Cellular Galaxy S4

U.S. Cellular will be the first U.S. carrier to offer the Galaxy S4 for sale, to non-pre-orderers. Its release will come on April 26th online ahead of an in-store release date on April 30th. So far, U.S. Cellular has only announced a 16GB model and if it has 32GB and 64GB Galaxy S4 devices planned for later, it isn’t saying.

Again, U.S. Cellular released the 32GB Galaxy S3 last year so it could be that we see a 32GB model come later in the year. A 64GB model seems unlikely at this point given the lack of information and track record.

Verizon Galaxy S4

And finally, the Verizon Galaxy S4. We heard from numerous potential Galaxy S4 buyers who were hoping they could pair the nation’s largest 4G LTE network with a Galaxy S4 rocking 128GB of storage (64GB + 64GB microSD card). As of right now, those dreams seem to have been dashed as the carrier is only taking pre-orders for a $250 16GB model.

The Galaxy S4 32GB may never hit Verizon.

The Galaxy S4 32GB may never hit Verizon.

That doesn’t mean that Verizon won’t offer a 32GB option or even a 64GB option, but given the carrier’s history, we highly doubt that those options will come to light.

Verizon actually discontinued its 32GB Galaxy S3 several months ago, a sign that consumers weren’t biting on the larger option. And because of that, 32GB and 64GB variants are doubtful.

Theories

AT&T could wind up being the only carrier with a 32GB model.

AT&T could wind up being the only carrier with a 32GB model.

While it would be odd to see AT&T become the only carrier to offer a 32GB Galaxy S4, it’s certainly possible that that is what will end up happening. It’s also entirely possible that AT&T decides to can the 32GB model before ever offering it, we can’t be sure.

We can only go off what we see and know at this point and that is that carriers don’t seem to think that 32GB and 64GB models are necessary with 64GB microSD card support.

We saw them all opt to carry only the 16GB Galaxy Note 2 when 32GB and 64GB options were available and Verizon’s EOL status on the 32GB Galaxy S3 is a sign that offering the 16GB may actually have been a logical choice.

So given the signs, given the past, and given that the Galaxy S4 is about to launch with 16GB options and only 16GB options, customers who are looking for the larger models in the U.S. should temper expectations as we may never see a wide launch of these models here in the U.S.

19 Comments

  1. Fred Thompson

    04/25/2013 at 8:49 pm

    Why is it that not a single person understands that you can’t store apps on the SD card, which makes that memory effectively useless? Also, SD card memory is markedly slower than the internal memory. I would love to have the 64GB internal model, but I guess I’ll never get it.

    • Chitownwingman

      04/25/2013 at 10:01 pm

      You most certainly can store apps on the SD card (that is what APP2SD is for). You cannot, however, store widgets or Live Backgrounds on the SD card because they need to be active before the SD card is initialized during the boot process.

      • Bill

        04/26/2013 at 5:45 am

        I agree your correct I used that app and it works great. I think it’s B.S. that these carriers don’t carry these larger capacity smart phone as an option for those of us that want them. I do understand that most smart phone users don’t understand the memory configuration and buy strictly on price point but I need the larger internal memory.

      • ukandroid

        04/28/2013 at 5:42 am

        AppstoSD does not work on Samsungs using the later versions of Android.- this applies to the Note I, Note II, S3 and S4.

  2. choctawfootball

    04/25/2013 at 10:09 pm

    samsung is to blame for this, not the carriers.

    all samsung had to do was say the following, “mr att you can decide to carry our 16GB galaxy s4 phone if you carry the 32GB and 64GB models.”

  3. Clay

    04/26/2013 at 5:56 am

    I was told by two AT&T customer reps that the 32gb model will be available in stores and online starting April 30th.

    • Dustin

      04/28/2013 at 12:40 pm

      It’s on their website as well. “32GB Galaxy S 4
      coming soon!”

      Just gotta play the waiting game I guess…

    • justin (@justinstrack)

      04/30/2013 at 10:19 am

      NO 32GB or 64GB today April 30th.

  4. ImaDLS

    04/26/2013 at 10:12 am

    APP2SD Does not work at all for the Samsung S3 neither does any others like it on the Playstore. So I can only assume that it is likely not going to on the S4 as well.

  5. Robert

    04/26/2013 at 10:54 pm

    I use the SD card for Notes, Charts , videos and pictures

  6. Robert

    04/26/2013 at 10:56 pm

    I would never buy a phone without a SD card… The cloud cant be trusted or relied on, especially with outages. .. data caps and charges.

    • Dustin

      04/28/2013 at 12:39 pm

      Cloud? You mean Skynet?

      • Jason Mendoza

        04/28/2013 at 9:43 pm

        What an awesome comment lol freaking brilliant! Skynet lol you Dustin should be working at NASA, if you don’t already.

  7. ukandroid

    04/28/2013 at 5:44 am

    The amount of memory used for the bundled software means that the 32Gb and 64Gb models are highly desireable. A UK online retailer has commented on the lack of larger memory models at http://blog.clove.co.uk/2013/04/28/sgs4-only-has-9-5gb-user-accessible-internal-storage/#comment-47651

  8. Alex

    04/29/2013 at 3:12 pm

    Samsung or whoever is to blame for this botched launch and release shot themselves in the foot. I have been following since the NYC launch and was sorely disappointed to find that no 32GB is out alongside the 16GB. I wasn’t considering the HTC at all, but I think I may go with the One because of its larger capacity. The only thing that stops me is the permanent battery.

  9. Richard

    05/09/2013 at 10:37 pm

    How about people boycott Samsung full stop until they supply what they said; 16, 32 & 64Gb models! I for one am tired of playing their game and surely there are rules against saying one thing (there will be a 64gb model) and then never delivering one!

  10. Tom

    05/11/2013 at 1:32 pm

    Though I’ve been thinking hard about upgrading to the S4 on Sprint, I simply can’t stand the thought of being stuck with only 16gb for apps. Apps2SD does not work on the Galaxy S3 or S4, so all apps must be crammed into internal memory.

    After reading all the reviews, looking at One vs S4 photo galleries, checking out battery life, signal strength and the rest, I decided on the S4. But not at 16gb. I’ll wait another few weeks to see if Sprint makes a 32gb S4 available. If not, I’ll go with the One, which is still an excellent choice.

    I think it’s kind of stupid to put a tiny amount of memory in a modern phone when memory is dirt-cheap right now. On top of that (and all brands are guilty of this), the incremental price difference for higher-memory models is much higher than the cost of the actual memory itself. The 16gb memory in the S4 is estimated to cost $28. The 32gb version adds about $20 to that. Why hobble the S4 with 16gb?

    So, time to wait.

  11. Steve

    06/27/2013 at 12:32 am

    Have had the Note II since Nov on Tmo, and my one big regret is the storage. Software leaves only 10.5 gig and I have about 3 gig left with only apps, and widgets on board. I’m not even an app hound or a serious gamer, so you know that kind of user would be sol. Right now I have a 16 gig sd, and I am ok for overall storage, but home movies and pics add up quick. Before q4 I will splurge on a 64 card. Eventually I will have to root it, so my card can be used for apps. I hate that samsung announces the 32 and 64 gig models just to appear in line with Apple’s offerings, but never fulfills on them. I almost got the 32 s3, but it would never get lte on tmo. I figured the lte would be more useful over 3 yrs than the storage. Hope I am right.

  12. Dan Benjamin.

    10/12/2013 at 9:22 am

    As a point of information:
    In regard to the comment: The Galaxy S4 was introduced with a Samsung staple, the microSD card slot, that allows owners to upgrade their device with up to a 64GB microSD card for expanded storage. microSD cards are cheap and thus, it’s extremely easy for consumers to outfit their device with a ton of extra storage space for things like music, games, movies and more. And with software, app and file sizes increasing by the year, storage is an extremely sought after commodity.
    I don’t believe that apps can be used and saved in memory using a micro sd. I believe that’s for regular data only.

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