In just a few short days, we should have our Samsung Galaxy S5 launch, a launch that should produce not only the device itself but also a Galaxy S5 release date for consumers interested in the company’s brand new flagship smartphone. With that in mind, we want to take a look at what we expect from the release date in the United States.
Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors started as early as June of last year. An Android-centric blog called Android Geeks broke a story about how the Galaxy S5 would come with a brand new design comprised of metal rather than plastic. And while that was one of the first Galaxy S5 rumors, it certainly wasn’t the last.
For months, Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors have been raging in an attempt to piece together Samsung’s upcoming flagship ahead of its actual launch. We’ve heard rumors suggest that it will have a large, powerful display. We’ve seen leaks point to a powerful processor, Android 4.4.2 KitKat, and a new look for TouchWiz. And we’ve heard that the device, after all of this time, is extremely close to the surface.
Earlier this year, Samsung issued invites to a Unpacked 5 Episode 1 launch event in Barcelona, Spain, set for February 24th. While the company isn’t saying what will be announced there, all roads lead to the Samsung Galaxy S5.
It’s there that we’ll finally see the high-res display, the powerful processor, Android 4.4.2 KitKat, and the device’s brand new UI. And it’s also where we’ll likely hear about the ever-so-important Galaxy S5 release date. Ahead of February 24th, we want to offer our own expectations for prospective U.S. buyers, buyers who are anxiously awaiting Samsung’s Next Big Thing.
Release Date Announcements After Launch, Not At Launch
If we’re talking about Galaxy S5 release expectations in the United States, well, then we need to start with the release date itself. We’ve been through all four of the major Galaxy S releases in the United States and we can say that while there is some unpredictability, there are some things that change very little.
While Samsung used to leave release dates up to rumors and guesswork, the company now offers specific details on stage during its launch events. Even for the United States. In the case of the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4, we heard about very specific release windows that consumers could count on.
The company left the specific dates to U.S. carriers themselves and those carriers confirmed dates when they were ready to. In the case of the Galaxy S4, it took a few weeks. With the Galaxy Note 3, it was only a few days before we had most of our release dates down. We expect similar from the Galaxy S5 release.
We can see Samsung taking the stage, announcing vague Galaxy S5 release windows, and leaving the specific dates to carriers. With that in mind, we expect the Galaxy S5 release dates for the United States to trickle out in the days and weeks after launch day, not on launch day itself.
Sign Up Pages Before Release
We expect U.S. carriers, like German carrier O2, to offer a sign up page where their customers can input their email address to learn about official Galaxy S5 details, directly from the carrier itself. These sign up pages might not benefit hardcore smartphone enthusiasts who read about devices on a daily basis but they do help to keep casual customers informed.
Carriers almost always release these sign up pages ahead of launch and with the Galaxy Note 3, we even saw the Verizon sign up page confirm specific dates for the pre-order. Look for carriers to use these in the early goings as they attempt to pull customers in.
Major Carriers First, Smaller Carriers Within Weeks
We expect the Samsung Galaxy S5 release to go like all of Samsung’s other major smartphone releases. The major U.S. carriers should get the first Galaxy S5 release dates, they typically come about a month or two after Samsung announces a device, and smaller regional and pre-paid carriers should see the Galaxy S5 land later on.
Smaller carriers have closed the gap between the major release dates and their release dates but consumers should still expect carriers like C Spire and Cricket to be behind the curve when it comes to timing. It should only be a matter of days, or at the very least, weeks before we see smaller carriers get the Galaxy S5.
Release Dates Within Days of Each Other
Another thing that we expect to happen from the Samsung Galaxy S5 release in the U.S. is a small cluster of release dates from major carriers. What we mean by that is this.
We typically see one carrier kick things off, AT&T is a likely bet with its deep connections with Samsung, and then the others follow shortly afterward. The Galaxy Note 3 release dates all took place within a few days of each other while last year’s Verizon Galaxy S4 was the black sheep. The others were released in close proximity to one another.
This should happen with the Galaxy S5 as carriers look to take away advantages from their competitors.
Some Kind of Exclusive
When it comes to major Samsung Galaxy releases, we almost always see some carrier get some kind of exclusive. Whether that’s an exclusive color to add to their lineup, an exclusive device like the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4, or exclusive storage variants like the 32GB AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S4′s, there is always something unique.
It’s hard to expect anything different from the Samsung Galaxy S5. We expect there to be some type of exclusive whether it’s a device, a color, a storage option or perhaps, even an early release date. There will be something that sets at least one of the Galaxy S5 models apart, we just don’t know what that exclusive, or exclusives, will be just yet.
Expect the Samsung Galaxy S5 to be available in a number of different places once its release date arrives. The Galaxy S5 should come to the usual suspects including carrier online portals and physical retail locations but U.S. consumers should also expect it to arrive at places like Amazon, Best Buy, and Wirefly.
We would be shocked if other large retailers like Walmart and RadioShack were left out of the mix as well. This is a big name device, as big as the iPhone, and we all know Samsung loves to flood the market with its devices. So expect the Galaxy S5 to be available at all of the big name places and then some.
Instant Price Cuts
There are already those that are calling for consumers to avoid the Galaxy S5 at launch due to research that suggests that the device will drop in price, significantly, in the weeks and months after it arrives. We’re not going to go that far but we do encourage Galaxy S5 buyers to take a look around once the device is released.
Historically, we have seen retailers like Amazon and Wirefly offer instant, day one discounts over the on-contract price tags through carriers like AT&T and Verizon. We’re not talking steep $100 discounts, but we are talking $20 to $30 discounts right off the bat. Those prices might even be offered with a pre-order.
This is an Android phone, it’s one that will be available on a ton of carriers, and it’s one that will need to compete against the likes of the iPhone 5s. Look for price to play a big role in that and expect instant Galaxy S5 price cuts on day one.
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2
Consumers in the United States should expect the Galaxy S5 to be paired with at least one other release. While nothing is set in stone, multiple reports, including one from the The New York Times, suggest that the Galaxy S5 will be joined by a brand new Samsung Galaxy Gear 2.
It’s not entirely clear what the new Galaxy Gear will entail though rumors point to a flexible OLED display, something that could deliver a brand new design.
The Galaxy Gear features a bulky display area that some users found too large and not fashionable enough despite multiple color options and finishes. A flexible OLED display might pair up with flexible battery technology to let Samsung deliver a thinner more fashionable Galaxy Gear 2 with the Galaxy S5.
Galaxy S5 Accessory Barrage
Prepare for a barrage of Samsung Galaxy S5 accessories, not just from Samsung, but third-party manufacturers as well. Again, nothing is confirmed, but we have found a ton of placeholders for upcoming Galaxy S5 accessories that should arrive in and around the time that the Galaxy S5 touches down.
This is a flagship smartphone and it will get the flagship treatment from accessory manufacturers. Expect there to be an ample selection of cases, sleeves and more once the device arrives in the U.S.
More Galaxy S5 Releases
Finally, expect Samsung to release other Galaxy S5 branded products. Rumor has it, the company will be coming out with a new Galaxy S5 Zoom and Galaxy S5 Active to replace the Galaxy S4 Zoom and Galaxy S4 Active that are currently on shelves. Details are extremely scarce at this point but more Galaxy S5 releases seem likely.
The company has shown a willingness to capitalize on its big brand names, last year we saw devices like the Galaxy S4 Mini, Zoom and Active, and this year, the company will deliver a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo that uses the Galaxy Note brand as a launch pad.
While these devices probably won’t get announced alongside the Galaxy S5, there is a very good chance that we’ll see them arrive in the weeks after its release.