Samsung Galaxy S III Launches Today Amid Pebble Blue Delays

The Samsung Galaxy S III launches in the UK today, but customers who pre-ordered the 32 GB marble white version or both the 16GB and 32GB versions of the pebble blue device are set to be disappointed.

Pre-ordered devices were due to arrive yesterday, one day ahead of the release, but due to delays, prospective owners face a wait of two to four weeks.

Pebble problem

“Samsung’s Galaxy S III Pebble Blue version comes with a newly invented blue colour and special hyperglaze material,” Samsung told TechWeekEurope. “In order to meet the highest internal quality standards and to provide the best quality Galaxy S III to customers, a short supply of Pebble Blue version is expected in some regions in the next 2-3 weeks.”

Operator Vodafone, which has an exclusive deal to distribute the 32GB models in both colours for one month, confirmed the delays.

“Vodafone UK pre-order customers who have selected the 16GB White version of the Samsung Galaxy S III will start receiving their orders from today, 30 May,” a company spokesperson told TechWeekEurope. “Vodafone UK is expecting to be able to deliver the 32GB White, 16GB Blue and the 32GB Blue versions to pre-order customers over the next 2-4 weeks, subject to Samsung shipments.”

“We’re working closely with Samsung to ensure devices reach our customers as soon as possible and will be contacting them directly to advise them on their order’s progress,” they added.

The Ice Cream Sandwich-powered successor to the Samsung Galaxy S II was unveiled earlier this month and features a 4.8-inch AMOLED screen, NFC technology, facial recognition software, voice-recognition software and LTE support in markets that have a compatible network. It is rumoured to have secured more than nine million pre-orders already.

Plan ahead

Vodafone currently has stocks of the 16GB marble white version, which is available on 24, 18 and 12 month contracts. Customers can get 300 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data for £31 a month on a 24 month contract or £36 on an 18 month, with the handset costing either £89 or £119 depending on the capacity of the handset.

For £36 a month for 24 months or £41 a month for 18, users can get 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB of data, with the 16GB handset costing £29 and the 32GB device costing £69. A free 16GB handset is on offer from £41 a month for 24 months and £46 on an 18 month contract, while a free 32GB phone sets you back an extra £5 a month. Twelve month contracts are available, but be prepared to a higher monthly fee and handset cost.

T-Mobile 24 month contracts range from £10.50 a month for 50 minutes, 250 texts and 250MB of internet with an initial phone cost of £200 to £41 a month with unlimited talk, text and internet along with a free phone. Eighteen month contracts start at £20.50 with 100 minutes, 500 texts, an unlimited booster and 250MB of Internet to £46 for 1,200 minutes, 500 texts, an unlimited booster and a free phone.

Three is offering the 16GB device for free on the One Plan, which includes 2000 minutes, 5000 three-to-three minutes, 5000 texts and all you can eat data for £34 a month for 24 months.  Orange offers the phone for free from £36 a month on the Panther Extra plan.

O2 24 month tariffs range from £21.50 a month with a £249.99 16GB smartphone to £32 with a £99.99 device.  The operator also has a number of 18 month contracts and customers can increase their data allowance on all monthly plans.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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