If you can find a Samsung Galaxy S III to buy amid the high demand for a limited… (Dita Alangkara / Associated…)
How much the Samsung Galaxy S III costs, if you can find one, depends on what carrier you sign up with.
T-Mobile is set to start selling the phone Thursday. But MobileBurn is reporting that the number of phones available for purchase is limited and only at select stores on the Thursday launch. Full retail availability is anticipated for June 27.
Sprint just advised its customers will have to wait a week longer than previously announced: "Due to overwhelming demand and limited supply for Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S III, we are running a little behind on deliveries."
Although you can still order the phone via Web and telephone, Sprint delivery is now expected June 28.
Verizon customers have been told to expect the phone sometime in early July.
Beyond the challenges of availability, each carrier offers its own barely comparable service plans.
T-Mobile, for instance, offers two plan types that affect the cost of the phone.
If you sign a two-year contract for T-Mobile's Value voice and data plan, you'll end up paying close to the full cost of the phone, or $400, in installments of $20 over 20 months, according to T-Mobile.
The upside is that you get lower monthly rates. The plans start at $34.99 a month. So the out-of-pocket, out-the-door cost of the phone under this plan would be $229.99 for the 16-gigabyte model and $279.99 for the 32-gigabyte model, according to T-Mobile.
But you'd get the discounted phone with one of its Classic voice and data plans, which start at $69.99 a month. After applying a $50 mail-in rebate, the S III would cost $279.99 (16 GB) or $329.99 (32 GB) with a two-year service agreement.
T-Mobile, which offers a HSPA+ 4G network, will sell the 16 GB version in its stores and the 32 GB version online only, T-Mobile senior product manager Brenda Fisher told The Times in an interview.
On Sprint, which offers 4G service, there's a $10-a-month data fee plus the cost of the plan, which can range from $89.99 to $189.99 a month. The phone costs $199.99 with a two-year Sprint contract.
Verizon, currently taking pre-orders, is also selling the Galaxy S III for $199 with a two-year contract with data plan.
Without a contract, Sprint lists the 16 GB phone for $549.99 and Verizon for $599.99. Verizon also lists the 32 GB phone at $649.99 without contract.
The Galaxy S III sports one of the biggest displays currently on a smartphone, with a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor with 2 GB of RAM and running Android's Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4.
And it's got enough bells and whistles to keep you exploring for the better part of a month.
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