T-Mobile, Sprint to release Galaxy S 4 next week

Courtesy of Samsung/Courtesy of Samsung - Samsung released more information on the Galaxy S 4, which will be available at the end of April.

Mark your calendars. Two more major carriers have announced release dates as early as next week for the new Samsung Galaxy S 4.

T-Mobile customers will be able to get their hands on Samsung’s next flagship model on April 24. Under the company’s new plan structure, which separates the cost of the device from the cost of a user’s voice and data plan, T-Mobile customers will pay $150 down on the price of the Galaxy S 4. The company did not give a figure for subsequent monthly payments for the phone.

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Sprint said Tuesday that it would begin carrying the phone on April 27, for $249.99 on a two-year contract. New customers who switch theirservice to Sprint will get a $100 rebate on the phone, bringing its cost in line with T-Mobile’s down payment.

AT&T began taking pre-orders for the phone on Monday, at a starting price of $199.99. A notice on the company’s Web site said the phone will ship on April 30.

Verizon also has said it will begin selling the device this month but has not announced a release date. When Samsung unveiled the device in March, the company said the new phone would go on sale by the end of April.

In a separate release on Wednesday, Samsung said that it will be offering the phone on a total of seven U.S. carriers. In addition to the major four, U.S. Cellular, Cricket and C Spire will carry the S 4 “starting during April.”

Samsung is pulling out all the stops for this launch to reach as many customers as possible, striking retail partnerships with Best Buy, Costco, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, Staples, Target and Wal-Mart.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 is the company’s premium smartphone -- its answer to Apple’s iPhone. The two firms are locked in a fierce battle for the U.S. smartphone market. Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone maker, but recent data from comScore showed that Apple has held the upper hand in the United States, with 38.9 percent of the market to Samsung’s 21.3 percent.

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