Uh-oh. Samsung’s imminent launch of the Galaxy S3 is getting off to a bumpy start, as stock shortages and huge demand means many customers may face a wait of up to three weeks to receive their handsets.
Several major UK networks and vendors have officially confirmed reports of delays, mainly due to not having enough pebble blue units to go around to meet an unprecedented number of pre-orders.
Turns out the "special hyperglaze material" used in the pebble blue edition is causing the phone-maker a bit of a manufacturing headache.
Samsung said in a statment: "In order to meet the highest internal quality standards and to provide the best quality Galaxy S 3 to customers, a short supply of pebble blue version is expected in some regions in the next two to three weeks."
Vodafone has cited “shipping delays” as the cause of the shortages, but said “all customers who have pre-ordered the white 16GB version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 should expect to receive their new phone on the UK launch date, 30 May”.
O2, meanwhile, said it has temporarily suspended pre-orders for pebble blue model to manage demand, but did not provide specifics as to how long existing pre-orders might take to be fulfilled.
Three has told us that the blue S3 will be delayed following Samsung’s announcement. At the time of writing, the model is ‘out of stock’ on the network’s website.
We’re still awaiting word from Orange and T-Mobile on the status of their shipments. But the likely answer is they are in the same boat as everyone else and are hamstrung by limited supply.
Recently, we revealed that some 600,000 backplates for the blue edition of the S3 have been discarded due to unnamed manufacturing issues. We’re guessing the special paint Samsung used to achieve the brushed-metal effect on the blue variant is the problem.
Surprisingly, Samsung’s UK customer service has told uSwitch reader @Adamjft96 that it is manufacturing units as normal and has already shipped the launch batch to retailers. So the shortages are likely being exacerbated by excessive demand.
Whatever the case, hopefully it is working on a solution. We’ll be sure to let you know as soon as there’s more information available.
Have you been in touch with any of the networks and vendors regarding the delays? Let us know in the comments section below.