The Samsung Galaxy S III launch on Verizon is a mess, simple as that.
While other carriers have had their difficulties getting the Samsung Galaxy S III to shelves here in the United States, none of them have botched the launch of the device as bad as Verizon has for its customers.
And given its track record with the HTC ThunderBolt, Samsung Droid Charge, Motorola Droid Bionic and HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE, this should come as no surprise.
Before Verizon even announced that it would be carrying the Samsung Galaxy S III there were signs of trouble and now, just as the phone is supposed to arrive on Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the mess that is the Galaxy S III launch has gotten even worse.
Launched After Shared Data Went Into Effect
When Samsung announced that the phone would be launching in the U.S. in June, we smelled trouble. That’s because June was the month that Verizon was going to be launching its Shared Everything data plans effectively killing unlimited data.
So, instead of launching the phone in the middle of June like a T-Mobile or a Sprint, Verizon decided to launch the phone in July. Maybe it had to do with supply issues, maybe it had to do with a planned schedule, who knows. Either way, the launch forces those who couldn’t or didn’t want to pre-order the device into getting a Shared Data plan.
No good for those who wanted to keep an unlimited data plan and pay a subsidized price and no good for those that don’t like the shared data plans that Verizon is offering.
Unclear Release Date
Verizon also decided to keep its Galaxy S III release date a secret up until last week leaving customers in the dark as to when the device would be hitting shelves. Unlike the other carriers which were in direct communication with interested Galaxy S III customers, Verizon remained mum on the subject.
The carrier even remained silent as the shipping dates on pre-orders kept moving backwards.
With the Galaxy S III launch being as big as it is, one would think that Verizon would have kept its customers in the loop as far as a probable release date was concerned.
Unfortunately, we sit a day out from the launch of the Galaxy S III and the release date of the device remains unclear, at least for some of those that pre-ordered and those looking to snag it online.
It would appear that some pre-orders shipping dates have moved to July 19th for unknown reasons. The shipping dates on Verizon’s website also indicated that the carrier is expecting to ship the Galaxy S III out by July 19th.
This shouldn’t affect in-store sales tomorrow but those looking to snag it online should be weary.
It doesn’t help that Verizon hasn’t said a word about the July 19th date.
And then, last but not least, owners of Verizon’s Galaxy S III were welcomed with a locked bootloader. While all other versions of the device have launched with an unlocked bootloader, something that allows owners to fully customize their device, Verizon’s Galaxy S III has a locked bootloader.
According to a statement Verizon gave to The Verge, this was a necessary move:
Verizon Wireless has established a standard of excellence in customer experience with our branded devices and customer service. There is an expectation that if a customer has a question, they can call Verizon Wireless for answers that help them maximize their enjoyment and use of their wireless phone. Depending on the device, an open boot loader could prevent Verizon Wireless from providing the same level of customer experience and support because it would allow users to change the phone or otherwise modify the software and, potentially, negatively impact how the phone connects with the network. The addition of unapproved software could also negatively impact the wireless experience for other customers. It is always a delicate balance for any company to manage the technology choices we make for our branded devices and the requests of a few who may want a different device experience. We always review our technology choices to ensure that we provide the best solution for as many customers as possible.
This should have been expected considering how tightly Verizon regulates its devices but it’s certainly not something that Verizon Galaxy S III owners wanted to find out, especially after learning that the device did not come with an encrypted bootloader on carriers like AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.
Hopefully, sometime down the road, Verizon gets wise and decides to unlock it. Until then though, its device is at a severe disadvantage.