As we get closer to the Samsung Galaxy S5 release in the United States, new details have started to emerge for prospective buyers. Still missing though is the all important Samsung Galaxy S5 price which remains shrouded in mystery as we get closer to April and the release of Samsung’s new Galaxy S flagship.
When Samsung announced the Galaxy S5 last month, U.S. carriers were quick to confirm the device for arrival. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon also revealed April release dates, sign up pages, and contests where entrants can win their very own Samsung Galaxy S5. However, they also left out some of the more important Galaxy S5 details.
Specific Galaxy S5 release dates in the U.S. remain unknown. We don’t know which colors will be available when the device arrives. Carriers still haven’t announced pre-orders. We also still don’t know how much the Galaxy S5 is going to cost. It’s that last piece of information that is likely killing some prospective Galaxy S5 buyers.
Smartphones aren’t cheap and knowing a device’s price ahead of its release date is extremely important to those that are trying to budget. We do expect pricing to arrive ahead of the Galaxy S5 release in April but for now, it remains missing.
While we wait for carriers to fill us in on the details, we want to share what buyers can expect from Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and US Cellular when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S5 price.
Price Confirmed With Pre-Orders
We’re expecting American carriers to offer pre-orders ahead of their April Galaxy S5 release dates. We don’t expect carriers to offer blind pre-orders, in other words, we don’t expect them to offer up pre-orders without giving consumers a price tag. We can’t remember the last time that happened.
Instead, U.S. consumers should expect the official pricing for the Galaxy S5 to arrive when the pre-orders arrive, not in a separate announcement. We’re expecting pre-orders to emerge in the next few days.
Pricing That Lines Up With Europe
We haven’t seen any specific Galaxy S5 price details emerge for the United States just yet. We have, however, seen pricing emerge for regions outside of the United States.
Clove, a retailer in the United Kingdom, is currently offering the Galaxy S5 for £550 including VAT or £458.33 excluding VAT. Unlocked-Mobiles is offering the device for about the same price as is Handtec. We’ve also seen prices emerge in other parts of Europe including a retailer in the Netherlands where one retailer is offering the device for £650.
U.S. consumers shouldn’t read too much into these prices. When converted to U.S. dollars, the device is priced right around $1000. That’s insanely expensive and way more than the norm. Pricing in Europe almost never lines up with pricing in the United States so expect all-around pricing in the U.S. to be much different and much cheaper.
16GB at $200 Or Less
We expect the 16GB Galaxy S5 to be priced at $200 or less. A report from Bloomberg suggests that Samsung is at least considering a price drop for the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S4 arrived for $199.99 on-contract, in line with the iPhone 5s which starts at $199.99. It’s not clear how much of a price drop this would entail but we’d be shocked if it was more than $50.
With the iPhone 5s priced at $199.99 on-contract, we can’t see Samsung offering the 16GB starting model for anything more than that if it hopes to stay competitive. Instead, we expect it to be price $199.99 or less for the starting model.
Eldar Murtazin from Mobile-Review claimed, back February, that the device would cost the same as the Samsung Galaxy S4. He makes no mention of a price drop.
A MobileSyrup report put the TELUS Galaxy S5 price at $250 on a two-year contract. The carrier is apparently “targeting” that price but it’s not clear if it’s targeting it for the 16GB or 32GB model. Last year, AT&T announced the Galaxy S4 for $250 though that price was for the 32GB variant of the device.
32GB at $250 Or Less
We usually see a $50 or $100 price increase for more internal storage so we’re expecting the 32GB version of the Galaxy S5 cost $250 or less. Last year’s AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S4 variants both checked in with $250 on-contract price tags and there is no reason to expect a price jump up to the Galaxy Note 3’s price.
Expensive Off-Contract Price
We’ve seen devices like the Nexus 5 and Moto G arrive with extremely cheap unlocked price tags. We aren’t expecting the Galaxy S5 unlocked price to match those levels and it should come with an off-contract price that’s much more expensive.
While nothing is confirmed, the fine print at certain carriers points to suggested retail prices in and around $650. We’ve seen $700 as well. This lines up with what we’ve seen from the Galaxy S in previous years and it makes sense.
The Galaxy S series is popular and it doesn’t need a cheap unlocked price to help sales. It wouldn’t hurt but a cheap unlocked price is not a staple of the Galaxy S.
Similar Pricing Across Carriers
U.S. buyers can expect U.S. carriers to offer similar pricing for the Galaxy S5, both on and off-contract. Carriers, in an effort to stay competitive, typically don’t stray too far from each other when it comes to a flagship device’s price. Sprint offers the Galaxy Note 3 for $350, $50 more expensive than its rivals, but that’s rare. Even if Sprint’s Galaxy S5 is more expensive than the others, we wouldn’t expect it to eclipse the other prices by much.
Keep in mind, T-Mobile won’t offer the Galaxy S5 on-contract which means that its pricing structure will be different than what AT&T, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon offer.
Release Day Discounts
Those on a budget should be able to find Samsung Galaxy S5 price cuts on release day. We know that it won’t be coming from Wirefly because the site recently shut down. However, retailers like Amazon and Walmart are well known for their release day discounts and we expect them to offer incentive to Galaxy S5 buyers.
Typically, day one discounts knock off $10 to $20 off the regular price so buyers shouldn’t expect to see deep discounts emerge on the first day of availability.
Steady Price Drop Months After Release
Instead, we should see the Galaxy S5 price start to decline in the weeks after its release. Historically, we start to see some major dips a month of two after the initial excitement dies down. So, those who are looking for deep price cuts shouldn’t expect to find them on day one.
The Galaxy S5 is much too big for that. Look for those deep cuts to start arriving once we start getting closer to the summer and Apple’s WWDC conference.