Prime or no Prime version in the pipeline, Samsung’s “standard” Galaxy S5 is still poised to lead Android smartphone sales for the next six to nine months. Regardless of what analysts anticipate, and increasing competitiveness of rivals LG or Sony, Sammy’s marketing juggernaut is a well enough oiled machine to secure healthy buzz once the 5.2-incher goes up for grabs.
Whether S5 purchases will remain steady, say, through the end of the summer greatly depends on what other antagonists, primarily Apple and HTC, bring to the table. Pricing looks like a key factor too, plus let’s not forget timing.
By timing, we mean S5’s release schedule, but also its obligatory future discounts, and most importantly, Prime’s ETA. Bottom line, the next big thing’s blockbuster potential leans on a stockpile of elements and components, some of which are unraveling as we speak.
Without further ado, here’s all we know of possibly the two most vital factors, Galaxy S5 availability and pricing, around the world:
US roundup – when, where, how much
Samsung may have committed to a simultaneous commercial launch on April 11 in roughly 150 countries, which no doubt includes the US of A, however we know better than blindly trust a promise of this nature.
It’s not only their call, so the shipping start might depend on carriers and retailers as well. For now, all big four wireless providers have pre-registration pages set up, with no words on when actual pre-orders will go live.
T-Mobile and Sprint vaguely hint the Galaxy S5 is “coming April 2014”, whereas Verizon and AT&T are even more discrete, mentioning nada on timelines. Price tags? We wish we had something solid, substantial to give you, but I’m afraid you’ll need to settle for guesses.
Educated guesses, but guesses nevertheless – $200 with two-year pacts across Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, and around $650, maybe $700 full retail price via T-Mo, as well as MetroPCS. Boost and Virgin Mobile are themselves expected to carry the handheld, though they’re part of a second wave of launches, slated for “sometime in Q2”. Translation: May or June.
Several third-party retailers, including Best Buy and RadioShack, want to update you on availability news as soon as it breaks, but at the moment keep everything on the hush-hush, just like carriers do. Oh, well, odds are pre-orders will begin in one or two weeks, so the mystery shall be shattered before long.
Samsung Galaxy S5 in Canada
Folks looking to score an S5 up north don’t have the full story yet either, however they do know plenty given how early it still is. Eleven carriers around those parts forecast they’ll be able to offer the water-shielded phone starting in April, with Telus, Rogers, Bell, Videotron, Virgin and Wind Mobile leading the pack.
Of them all, Telus has come forward with the most detailed information, pretty much confirming the S5 is to cost $249 with pacts, though “prices may change”. Yes, $250 is a little steep, and it’s unsettling from a stateside perspective, but Canadians and US networks are not always on the same wavelength, so don’t panic… yet.
Europe availability and pricing
As usual, the hustle and bustle is underway early on the old continent, as Orange Romania officially became the world’s first operator to accept S5 pre-orders a few days ago. Surprisingly, the Eastern European service provider still lists stocks as “sufficient” and promises delivery around April 11 for €700 outright and €250 and up on-contract.
Meanwhile, multiple regional Amazon branches apparently gear up to charge the same €700 in countries like Germany, Italy or Spain. Too pricey? Then you’ll be happy to hear at least one Dutch seller plans to ask €650 for the 16 GB variant.
Rumors from Bulgaria also call for a sub-€700 price tag (€660 or so, to be specific), and in France Bouygues Telecom lists the Galaxy S5 at a fairly reasonable €649. That’s $900 for the record, which may sound anything but reasonable to American ears. Only Europeans are used to cough up such premiums on top-of-the-line Androids, due to high import taxes.
Interestingly, Russia, a notoriously expensive market, is on the verge of nabbing the Samsung Galaxy S5 at €600, or $830, and Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic fall in line with their Western cousins, at €700, or $970.
By the by, pre-orders seem to be live now in a host of nations, via a bunch of retailers, so you may want to secure a place in front of the line.
Oh, right, I nearly forgot about our UK-based readers. Good news, blokes and gals, early pledges of allegiance can be made on Clove, Expansys, Unlocked-Mobiles and Handtec. Oddly, only two of the four have been bold enough to put a price on the SIM-free 16 GB GS5: £545.99 including VAT at Handtec, and £549.98 all taxes covered at Unlocked-Mobiles.
That’s $910 give or take, which sounds costly, but it’s essentially in the ballpark we expected on British shores. First stock is due April 11 through Clove and Unlocked-Mobiles, while the other two aren’t ready to reveal a date. But it can’t vary too much.
As for on-contract pricing, we’re extremely light on specifics. Not that it’s any big secret – Three, Vodafone, O2, EE and Virgin Media shall “sell” the S5 for no upfront fee on their heftiest monthly plans. Also beginning on or around April 11. Everyone ready to rumble?
Samsung Galaxy S5 in India
Saholic caught everyone off guard when briefly selling the Samsung Galaxy S5 last week for an almost unbelievably low INR 45,500, which translates into $740, or €535. But will that pan out as an official price tag, or did the merchant just try to score some easy, free publicity?
Only one way to find out – wait until April 11, at the latest, for shipping to reboot. Fingers crossed, y’all.
Now, feel free to update us on any new developments we may have missed, and sound off below with a simple “yay” or “nay” if you’re thinking of buying the Galaxy S5 or snubbing it. Is it a must-buy at $650, €700 and £550, or does Samsung need to think about trims already?