Two weeks after online orders of the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone reached some AT&T customers, the carrier said the new smartphone will finally be available in its stores on Friday for $199.99 and a two-year contract.
"We did let customers know that a supply chain issue Samsung was experiencing was causing a delay in our announcement date," she explained.
AT&T had not previously announced an in-store availability date, although online customers first started receiving them on June 21, according to an AT&T spokeswoman.
In a blog post Monday, AT&T said "the wait is finally over" and noted that the device has been delivered to thousands of customers pre-ordered it.
AT&T offers a pebble blue or white version of the Android 4.0-based device that has a large 4.8-in. HD Super Amoled display and an 8 megapixel camera with facial recognition features.
The smartphone has garnered mostly positive reviews, partly for having such a large screen on a relatively small and thin body. Larger screens are the latest trend in smartphones, and many reports suggest even the next generation iPhone will have a 4-in. screen when it's expected to ship this fall. The iPhone currently has a 3.5-in. screen.
In a review of the device, Computerworld's JR Raphael said the Galaxy S III is "among the Android elite" and noted that it will be sold by four major U.S. carriers in addition to AT&T.
Raphael said he likes the device's large screen and sleek body, its removable battery and 8-megapixel main camera, but disapproved of the Samsung button commands, which are different than pure Android 4.0 intended.
Samsung supply delays have affected multiple U.S. carriers, some more than others. Verizon Wireless has set July 11 for release, while Sprint said pre-orders of the 16 GB version, but not the 32 GB, had reached customers on June 21.
Despite some delivery delays, Samsung has predicted the Galaxy S III sales will top 10 million in July, well ahead of the sales pace of its earlier Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note devices.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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