Samsung said yesterday that unexpectedly high demand for its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, was behind shipping issues that delayed scheduled sales in the US market.
“We are experiencing difficulty in boosting supply in the short term because pre-order demand has been far stronger than we anticipated,” said Lee Don-Joo, head of sales and marketing at the company’s mobile unit.
US telecoms carriers T-Mobile and Sprint both had to postpone scheduled sales of the S4, citing delays in shipments from the South Korean consumer electronics giant.
The world’s top handset maker starts selling the much-anticipated device in South Korea today, followed by a global roll-out over the weekend.
The S4, armed with eye motion control technology that will pause a video when the user looks away, comes with a faster chip and is thinner and lighter than the previous S3 model.
It features a high-definition, five-inch screen, enhanced picture-taking capabilities and the capacity to translate to and from nine languages.
It also recognizes touch by users wearing gloves.
The device was unveiled last month at a well-attended event at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Samsung did not give a sales target at a press event yesterday, but Kim said he anticipated global sales would “outpace” those of the popular S3.
In January, Samsung said it had shipped more than 41 million Galaxy S3 units since its market debut in May last year.
Analysts and market observers estimate that figure is now close to 60 million units.