When Samsung launched the Galaxy S4 in South Africa it was announced that the version initially available from the April 27th launch date would be the GT-i9500 model featuring the Octacore Exynos processor made by Samsung themselves but missing LTE capability. Samsung South Africa also announced that the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 powered GT-i9505 which has the necessary chip to enable LTE connectivity would be available within 6 weeks from launch date at a premium of around R300. Well last week Saturday was officially 7 weeks to the day since the S4 was released and we still have no word on when the LTE version will be available.
When approached for comment Vodacom’s Executive Head of Media Relations, Richard Boorman, informed us that the reason for the delay in launching was probably that “initial estimates on availability were just a little optimistic” and that the device “should be on shelves in the 2nd half of July”.
When contacted for feedback Samsung said that “The Galaxy S4 LTE product will be in South Africa as from July (end of June). This will be a 16GB memory version and will retail at the same price as the current Galaxy S4 3G product – R8,499 RRP”.
What it all boils down to is that if you waited for the 6 weeks after the launch of the S4 for the LTE model you now need to wait another 6 weeks to get one. By which time, the S4 Active will likely be here as that’s slated for an ‘early Q3’ launch too.
MTN have given us an official statement regarding the i9505
“S4 LTE version has been ranged by MTN, launch date is not finalised yet. Initially, Samsung launched the 3G version with plans to release the LTE version at a later stage which it has released for testing. MTN is currently testing the S4 LTE to ensure a quality consumer experience. MTN will announce the launch date closer to the time.”