With the Samsung Galaxy S5 launch date likely just a few days away, we should see its features, carriers and maybe most important, its release date confirmed. As we approach February 24th and Samsung’s Unpacked 5 launch event, we want to take a close look at the Galaxy S5 release in the United States and what we expect from it.
Despite the absurd amount of Samsung Galaxy S5 information floating around, the company hasn’t confirmed the device for arrival. However, all signs point to a launch on February 24th on the first day of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. There, the company will host its Unpacked 5 Episode 1 event where it’s expected to not only debut the Galaxy S5, but a new Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 as well.
Samsung Unpacked events almost always confirm all of the key details surrounding big name devices and we expect the same from Unpacked 5. In all likelihood, Samsung executives will take the stage, show off the new hardware, the improved software and also announce a release date for the Galaxy S4 successor. It’s the release date that many in the hunt for a new smartphone are concerned about.
Thanks to Samsung itself and a number of rumors, the Galaxy S5 release date appears set for the second quarter. Late March is reportedly the soonest that the Galaxy S5 arrives and Gotta Be Mobile is hearing that the device could land in the United States in late April. This lines up with earlier rumors that suggested a release around May 1st.
If you’re like us, you’re probably thinking a lot about how the Galaxy S5 release will play out in the United States. And while we don’t have all of the answers, we can offer up our own expectations to help set consumer expectations ahead of Monday’s launch.
We’ve already taken a look at what we expect from the Galaxy S5 release in the United States and here, we reverse gears and look at what we do not expect from the Galaxy S5 U.S. release date.
Every Piece of Information Up Front
Do not expect carriers to offer every piece of Samsung Galaxy S5 release information right off the bat. While we should see carriers confirm the device and perhaps offer sign up pages and maybe even pre-order dates, we will likely see some information remain off the table in the days right after the announcement.
Features that we expect to remain in the shadows right after the announcement include specific release dates, those are typically announced much later in the process, official pricing, and the storage options that each carrier will offer to their users. Last year, AT&T and Verizon confirmed the 32GB model a little later on.
American carriers are getting better about the speed at which they deliver pertinent information but they still like to withhold certain details until much closer to the actual release date, probably because the release date is a moving target as they attempt to shuffle different devices around. So don’t expect to know everything about the Galaxy S5 release on day one. Information should trickle out in the weeks ahead.
First Galaxy S5 Release After April
Do not expect the first Samsung Galaxy S5 release date in the United States to come after the month of April. For one, rumors are center around late March and April and two, it would be extremely strange to see Samsung announce its flagship smartphone several months out from its release date.
The company took a lot of flack for announcing devices months out from their release dates so the carrier did something about it. The Galaxy S3, for instance, arrived about a month after it was announced. The Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 releases were all similar so it’s hard to expect anything different here.
The United States is an extremely important battleground for Samsung and with an HTC M8 announcement in late March and a new iPhone potentially coming in the summer, the company is operating within an extremely narrow window for the Galaxy S5’s release. Look for it to deliver the device within eight weeks of its announcement.
Verizon Release Month or More Out
Do not expect the Verizon Galaxy S5 release date to arrive more than a month out from the rest of the Galaxy S5 releases in the United States. Verizon’s Galaxy S4 release came about a month after the others and its HTC One release date came in August, after the other carriers launched in April. The carrier simply can’t afford to do that with the market as volatile as it is.
Carriers are now offering ways to easily snag devices without a contract. T-Mobile is making an aggressive push with some of its initiatives. 4G LTE networks are gaining on Verizon’s. In other words, this is not the time to deliver a marquee smartphone a month after the competition.
We saw Verizon make amends with the Galaxy Note 3 release. It announced a date early and it deliver the device around the same time that the other carriers release their models. It was still last but it wasn’t behind by several weeks. We think the carrier learned its lesson last year and will deliver here with the Galaxy S5.
Lack of Pre-Orders
Do not expect there to be a lack of pre-order options in the United States. Carriers will almost certainly provide consumers with a way to order the Galaxy S5 early, they almost always do with flagship smartphones. We should also see retailers like Wirefly offer pre-orders for the Galaxy S5 as well though we could see those limited to select models.
Apple-Style Release in U.S.
Do not expect Samsung, its carriers and its retail partners to adopt an iPhone-style release inside the United States. While we do expect it to be widely available, we do not expect stores to open early to accommodate customers. Android phones don’t attract the same kind of attention that the iPhone does and thus, we rarely see the kind of lines that we see outside of the Apple Store on release day.
Variations at Release
Do not expect there to be several different variations of the Galaxy S5 at launch. We don’t expect there to be a Galaxy S5 Active, Galaxy S5 Zoom, Galaxy S5 Mini available right from the start. Samsung will need to focus its resources on one, or two models. Rumors suggest that the a premium Galaxy S5 will launch several months after the initial Galaxy S5 release.
We also don’t expect to see Samsung to roll out all of its Galaxy S5 color options on release day in the United States and we would be shocked if carriers offered multiple storage options on day one as well.
Do not expect the Samsung Galaxy S5 to sell out in the United States. Rarely do we see an Android phone get completely wiped out on its release date. The last one that we can remember is the Nexus 4 which was made by LG and sold by Google. The companies admittedly underestimated the demand and they corrected their mistake with the release of the Nexus 5.
Samsung is well known for running a remarkably efficient supply chain and it’s that supply chain that should be able to pump out enough Galaxy S5 models to meet demand.
Straight Talk Galaxy S5
Finally, do not expect there to be a Straight Talk Galaxy S5 in the days, weeks or perhaps even months after the initial release in the United States.
Straight Talk allows users to take advantage of AT&T’s network making it one of the most popular pre-paid options in the U.S. Problem is, it gets Galaxy smartphones extremely late.
It got the Galaxy S3 after the Galaxy S4 launched and it got the Galaxy S4 in November, many months after the device first arrived. So while we could see the timing improve with the Galaxy S5, we don’t expect to see a Straight Talk Galaxy S5 in the near future.