Staples today announced that it has started to carry the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, though it’s launch is extremely confusing, indicative of the Samsung Galaxy S4 U.S. release as a whole.
Previously, Staples told us that it would have the Samsung Galaxy S4 available in April, however, thanks to the delays suffered by various U.S. carriers, the retailer is just now getting its stock in for sale. The retailer will offer four of the five major Galaxy S4 devices with variants from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon becoming available at one point or another.
The retailer says that it will be offering all variants of the Samsung Galaxy S4 for $199.99 on-contract which means that it will be undercutting Verizon and Sprint. The former will be offering the device for $250 with a $50 mail-in rebate. That means that those who are looking to buy it will initially have to pay $250 on-contract and remember to send in the rebate. Sprint is offering the device for $250 to anyone that isn’t bringing in a new number.
AT&T offers the 16GB Galaxy S4 for $199.99 on-contract and T-Mobile doesn’t offer it on-contract, instead, asking for a minimum down payment and after, monthly installments to pay off the full price of the phone.
The release at Staples is the confusing part, however. Staples says that the AT&T Galaxy S4 will be available at some point, in-store only, but that availability hasn’t been determined. It will sell the Sprint Galaxy S4 online only and it’s available right now. The T-Mobile Galaxy S4 is in-store only, available now, with an online date to be determined. The Verizon Galaxy S4 will arrive both in-store and online on May 30th.
So like the overall Samsung Galaxy S4 launch in the United States, Staples’ release is all over the place. Instead of a clear, straightforward launch, the retailers launch follows in the footsteps of the chaos that was the Galaxy S4’s arrival.
The device, which was announced for late April on several carriers, faced delays that pushed back in-store and online release dates. We also saw a lack of information rule the roost as carriers refused to talk about 32GB or 64GB models and until a short time ago, the only carrier set to offer the 32GB Galaxy S4, AT&T, declined to offer a release date.
Pricing has also been all over the board with some carriers opting to charge $250 for a 16GB model and some not. Thankfully, Staples will be charging a flat rate.
Needless to say, despite announcing the device closer to the U.S. release date, and despite getting carrier confirmations early, the Galaxy S4 launch has been all over the board.