The release date for the Galaxy S3, Samsung's hottest phone of the year, has been pushed back for T-Mobile and Sprint network users due to high demand. Other carriers still remain on schedule in the US.
Sprint remained optimistic that the 16GB version of the smartphone will hit stores on June 21 as planned although some pre-orders may arrive a day or two later than promised. However, the 32GB version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 may be delayed as much as a week, according to an official statement posted on the Sprint Community forum.
"We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate the patience of our customers as we work through this minor delay in availability," Sprint wrote in a blog post Tuesday evening.
The company went on to advise their customers to track individual orders online, and to continue to check the official forum for future updates.
T-Mobile reported that a backlog of pre-orders caused the company to push back the Samsung Galaxy S3 release date to June 29, excluding major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco.
Sprint is offering the 16GB version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 on a two-year contract for $199, while T-Mobile is charging $229. T-Mobile's network does not support 4G LTE, unlike Sprint.
The phone should be available as scheduled for AT&T and Verizon.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 will be available in two colors, white on pebble blue on most carriers, although AT&T has revealed plans to sell an exclusive red version of the smartphone in the next few months.
"With an exclusive red color this summer and the power of the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T delivers the best wireless experience for Galaxy S3 fans," said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, devices, AT&T Mobility, in an official statement.
Despite delays, Samsung fans and critics alike are eagerly anticipating the Galaxy S3's release, calling it "light years" ahead of Apple's current iPhone. The smartphone's predecessor, the Galaxy S2, was considered to be one of the top phones of 2011.
"The Galaxy S3 is a real challenger to the upcoming iPhone," Francisco Jeronimo, an IDC analyst, based in London, told the Guardian. "This is likely to be one of the most sold smartphones this year, though the real test will come when the next iPhone is launched."
The S3 sports a 4.8-inch screen, Qualcomm S4 processor, and new voice control and face recognition features. The new Super AMOLED display is 22 percent larger than its predecessor, bringing the phone into the Galaxy Note's phone/tablet hybrid category.
Samsung unveiled the "face recognition" feature on the Galaxy S3, claiming it would make using the smartphone experience more "natural." The new technology works by using it's front camera to follow the user's eye movement, ensuring the screen never goes dark or switches off while the phone is in use.
Samsung also upgraded it's voice control features and is now offering an electronic assistant similar to Apple's "Siri," called "S voice." The new software lets users control the phone through verbal commands, dictating text messages and emails instead of typing.
Samsung's new phone also features an NFC chip, enabling content sharing between Galaxy S3 phones by tapping them together. The NFC chip also lets users make mobile payments.
The smartphone's new "Pop up Play" feature enables online multitasking. Users can open a video in a new window onscreen, while using other apps with the rest of the screen.
Complete Samsung Galaxy S3 Specs
Screen size: 4.8 inch
Processor: Qualcomm S4 processor
Memory size: Up to 32gb (+64gb with card)
Operating system: Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Camera: Eight megapixel Weight: 133 grams
Dimensions: Height - 136mm
Width - 70mm
Depth - 8.5mm