AT&T has issued a clarification on its Galaxy S4 pricing via the unique method of a small statement in a footnote to an earlier post. Previously, AT&T had announced via its consumer blog on March 28 that it would be offering the Galaxy S4 starting at $249.99 with pre-orders beginning April 16. Now, it has amended that post to add that that’s for the 32GB model, with the 16GB version priced cheaper at $199.99 on a two-year agreement.
The move comes a full five days after the initial post, and after a number of bloggers, analysts and news publications pointed out that Apple’s iPhone 5 would be cheaper on a two-year contract than the Galaxy S4 on AT&T’s network. It seems bizarre to have the clarification come so long after what ended up being a very widely covered pre-order announcement, which was also followed by the news that the HTC One would also come in cheaper than the Galaxy S4 starting at $200 with a two-year term.
It’s odd enough to make me wonder whether the change in pricing and available storage options is the result of a decision after the fact by either Samsung, AT&T or the two together to offer the 16GB product SKU as a way to achieve price parity with flagship phones from competing manufacturers. I’ve contacted AT&T to learn more about why it neglected to mention the $199.99 16G Galaxy S4 option in its original post, and will update if they respond.
The bottom line for buyers is that the Galaxy S4 will launch on an even playing field with the HTC One and the iPhone 5 in terms of entry-level pricing at AT&T, which means price won’t be a factor when it comes time to choose a new flagship phone from one of the most interesting players in the mobile market.