While it has been available online for a number of days now, the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4 has finally made its way to physical retail shelves today as promised though consumers should not expect it to be available in all stores.
Last month, T-Mobile announced that it would be releasing the Galaxy S4 online on April 24th and in-stores on May 1st. That of course did not play out as the carrier expected with delays hampering the Magenta carrier’s launch of the flagship smartphone. Instead, the device did not come online until the end of the month while T-Mobile was forced to delay the Galaxy S4′s in-store launch beyond May 1st.
Today marks the beginning of the T-Mobile Galaxy S4′s retail availability as select stores are now selling the Galaxy S4. T-Mobile announced that only select company owned stores, authorized dealers and larger retailers would get the device today and it appears that it has kept its promise. Availability will be sporadic and consumers will want to call ahead before heading out to buy the phone.
T-Mobile plans to make the device available in all retail locations by May 15th which means that those stores that don’t have it today should have stock available at some point in the near future.
While in-store availability might not be important to some, for others, it’s a big deal as it allows them to go hands-on with the device ahead of making a purchase.
T-Mobile becomes the latest carrier to have the Galaxy S4 in-stores, joining AT&T, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular. Verizon is still lagging behind the group and doesn’t plan to make the device available in its stores until May 30th. Currently, Verizon has the device up for pre-order ahead of that date.
Once the Verizon Galaxy S4 arrives, it will mean that the Galaxy S4 is finally available on all five U.S. carriers, following in the footsteps of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, both of which arrived on the same five carriers.
T-Mobile’s Galaxy S4 is the same as the others except for a few differences. First, the T-Mobile model depends on an extremely small 4G LTE network. T-Mobile currently only has 7 LTE markets. By comparison, Verizon boasts over 400. However, T-Mobile does have a faster network than other carriers for when LTE isn’t available.
T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 42 network is a lot faster than AT&T’s “4G” and much faster than Sprint or Verizon’s 3G.