There's A Global Galaxy S II Shortage (Or Is There?)

Quite possibly the most anticipated Android handset of the year is on the verge of getting an official Australian release, but according to Mobicity, there's a bit of a global shortage of the Samsung Galaxy S II already.

Mobicity - who sell phones sourced from international markets, often well before they receive an official Aussie release - have told customers who pre-ordered the phone that there are global shortages of the handset, leading to a delay in delivery of their pre-orders.

The retailer has sent out a couple of notices to its customers informing them of the delay:

The Samsung Galaxy SII began shipping from the supplier to our warehouse on the 3rd. An initial batch of pre-orders successfully shipped to MobiCity customers on the 5th of May. Unfortunately the current situation with subsequent Samsung Galaxy SII shipments has now been confirmed as a stock delay. It appears that Samsung have not shipped enough stock to satisfy demand and wholesalers and retailers are all not only out of stock at the moment but were caught short on existing commitments.

MobiCity had stock due in from three different suppliers on the 6th, 7th and 9th of May and all three have confirmed that they've had short initial deliveries, resulting in no more stock being available until at least Wednesday which means MobiCity should be able to resume shipping on Friday/Saturday the 13/14th of May.

In the mean time, all pre-order customers, (that's those that ordered prior to the 5th of May and have not yet had shipping notifications to date) will have included in each order a complimentary accessories pack. If these items were already ordered initially, extra items will be enclosed. I hope this goes some way to make up for this unforeseen delay and we look forward to shipping your item very soon.

Which was followed by:

At this stage the supply levels from Samsung for the i9100 Samsung Galaxy S2 is very limited around the world. It appears that Samsung's attempt at a global release and demand for such a high end and market leading handset has been drastically underestimated. All global supply channels are currently exhausted following the initial release shipment and are unable to provide stock for the remainder of this week.

MobiCity's buyers are hard at work sourcing across all regions. At this stage shipping of the next batch of Galaxy S2's will not begin until Monday and in limited quantities. Pre-order customers will be shipped to in order of order payment date. MobiCity anticipate that customers should have their orders shipped from the MobiCity warehouse by the 27th of May and received during the timeframes prescribed here: http://www.mobicity.com.au/extras/delivery.html

The team at MobiCity are aware that this isn't the best news but would prefer to keep people informed with real dates and a genuine assessment of the situation. Hopefully MobiCity should improve on the above estimates and we'll keep everyone updated further over the coming days.

While Mobicity should be commended for its commitment to keeping its customers informed, reading these updates put me in mind of an email I received from Samsung last week about the very same phone being made available from sites like Mobicity (although they weren't named explicitly).

It has come to our attention that a third party has been offering Samsung products to various journalists to test and review prior to their official launch in the Australian market. In particular, the new Samsung GALAXY S II smartphone.

These handsets are often imported from overseas markets and will not provide you with the optimal user experience that a local version of the device will.

For example: · The software loaded onto an imported device is not optimised for the Australian market and has not been approved for use locally · Each of our local network operators undertake significant testing of a device’s software prior to its official release. This testing ensures that the device’s software is optimised for use in Australia prior to release, ensuring the best possible user experience · Importantly, new local content services and applications that Samsung Australia offers on our local mobiles and tablets will not be received by these imported devices We are also concerned that these devices may not comply with the regulatory regimes which apply to Australian products of this kind in order to ensure that they meet the required standards for, among other things, protecting personal health and safety.

We therefore actively encourage you to not use these devices for review purposes. As hopefully you have previously experienced, for every major product launch we always invest significantly in providing plenty of devices to ensure everyone can experience it as soon as possible.

While the email from Samsung was directed at journalists using international handsets for review, you have to wonder whether or not the two are related in any way. The conspiracy nutjob in me (there's one in all of us, isn't there?) can't help but wonder if Samsung is deliberately limiting stock to the suppliers of Mobicity and its ilk to try and limit the grey market importing of an incredibly popular handset.

In any case, when the phone does officially launch at the end of the month, expect it to be in high demand and difficult to obtain. Maybe not iPhone-level difficult, but still popular enough to see stock shortages.

[Thanks Jono!]

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