By Alexandra Burlacu | Apr 25, 2013 09:23 AM EDT
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most highly-anticipated smartphones of 2013, but it seems the handset is even hotter than previously anticipated.
Samsung's new flagship smartphone is just making its way to U.S. carriers and retailers, but it seems the company may already be facing supply issues with the Samsung Galaxy S4.
In a note to CNET, Samsung warned that its initial supply of Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphones would be limited due to "overwhelming global demand" for the new flagship.
"Due to overwhelming global demand of the Galaxy S4, the initial supply may be limited. We expect to fulfill inventory to meet demands in the coming weeks," Samsung said in a statement to the media.
The supply issues surrounding the Samsung Galaxy S4 already affect two U.S. carriers. Sprint Nextel will offer the smartphone via telesales and its website on April 27, but the carrier failed to mention when it will actually have the device in stores. T-Mobile, meanwhile, delayed its Galaxy S4 launch to April 29 and said the phone will only be available online.
"We had planned to launch this next generation of the award-winning Samsung Galaxy line-up on Saturday, Apr. 27," said Sprint. "Unfortunately, due to unexpected inventory challenges from Samsung, we will be slightly delayed with our full product launch."
"We know customers are really looking forward to getting their new Samsung Galaxy S 4 soon. However, due to an unexpected delay with inventory deliveries, the Galaxy S 4 will not be available on www.T-Mobile.com as planned on Wednesday, April 24," reads T-Mobile's statement. "Instead, online availability is expected to begin on Monday, April 29. We apologize for any inconvenience and are working with Samsung to deliver the device to T-Mobile customers as soon as possible."
Supply issues typically affected Apple, as the Cupertino giant faced overwhelming demand for its iPhone franchise on several occasions. Samsung, however, proved that its Galaxy S lineup is a strong contender for Apple's iPhone franchise, and now faces similar shortage issues.
Samsung traditionally managed to successfully ensure that it has sufficient inventory for a massive global launch. The fact that Samsung handles most of the components and the manufacturing processes in-house, without depending on other companies, makes such supply issues even more surprising.
Samsung was also criticized on several occasions for choosing plastic for its high-end handsets. The company's explanation was that plastic allows for faster production than more complicated materials such as glass or metal, so this again raises questions about why Samsung is now facing supply issues.
Just like Apple, Samsung wants to go big, and the massive rollout of the Samsung Galaxy S4 involves 327 carriers across 155 countries. In the U.S., nearly every carrier confirmed selling the smartphone, but supply shortages might slightly alter their plans.
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