After initially having "no plans" to announce back at the start of the month, Samsung Australia has officially launched the Galaxy S III. We're live at the launch, updating with information as we go. Update: Now with Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin pricing. More: Watch The Galaxy S III Livestream here!
Here's the roundup of the plans and carriers on offer.
We already knew yesterday that Vodafone was going to be one of the carrier partners for Samsung's latest superphone; it'll offer the S III on a range of plans, and it's just sent out its release outlining what they'll be. The big hook for Vodafone will be double data for the first 12 months of the contract.
Vodafone's release notes that it'll be available online from 11am, or in stores from midday. It'll stock both the white and pebble blue versions, and there's no mention in the release of a delay on the blue model -- but I wouldn't bet on getting one today. There's mention of the 32GB model, but only as a $10 premium on the $59 cap; it's not clear if it's available at the other price points.
The event is nicely stage managed, for what that's worth, but if you watched the London live stream, it's terribly similar. That shouldn't be a great surprise -- it is the same phone. Samsung's running through the features of the phone right now, with the promise of "revealing" when it'll be available to consumers (bearing in mind this is the launch for the entire APAC) soon. I hate to break it to them, but Vodafone already called it.
Samsung says it's developed a range of accessories for the Galaxy S III; it says some will be "available from launch" while others will turn up "in the coming weeks". I wonder if they'll suffer the same fate as the accessories for the Samsung Google Galaxy Nexus?
On sale in Australia "within the hour" says Tyler McGee of Samsung. But no announcement from Samsung as to who the carrier partners are -- beyond the fact that we know Vodafone's getting it, and there's strong indications for Optus as well.
Samsung's release notes that the outright price for the S III will be $899 from "all operators". I've also had a tip that Optus will start selling in the same timeframe as Vodafone -- 11 for online, 12 in stores -- but again, no word yet on what it'll cost. All carriers does indicate that Telstra will sell an S III, but will it be 4G, given that Telstra already sells the GS II 4G?
Update: I've been sent the following as an Optus price list, albeit not officially; still waiting on confirmation, so take these with a grain of salt.
Update: Confirmed -- here's Optus' pricing. Its hook here is double Qantas Frequent Flyer points if you sign up:
Update: Virgin's released its pricing:
Update: Telstra's just sent through its pricing (which I'll have up shortly), but it's not promoting it as an LTE variant -- which leaves the Galaxy S II 4G as its LTE Samsung offering. Also, there's no obvious sign of the 32GB version, and Telstra's release is the only one that outright says it won't have the Pebble Blue variant for a couple of weeks.
Update: Samsung says it's "in discussions" with Telstra regarding a 4G version, which it will "follow with in the future". So that confirms that the Telstra model is the 3G-only variant.
Telstra's advising online availability now, but in-store availability is limited to
· Sydney – Telstra Store, 400 George St and Telstra Store, 500 Oxford St, Bondi Junction · Melbourne -- Androidland, 246 Bourke Street, Telstra Store, 242 Exhibition St and Telstra Store, 171-175 Maroondah Hwy, Eastland. · Brisbane – 275 George Street · Perth – Telstra Store, 667-669 Hay Street · Hobart – Telstra Store, 44 - 46 Elizabeth Street · Adelaide – Telstra Store, 50 Grenfell Street & Telstra Store, 33 Rundle Mall · ACT – Telstra Store, Westfield Belconnen
Update: Here's Telstra's pricing, helpfully mashed together by Gus at Lifehacker:
If you want a side by side comparison, Gus has put together a massive Planhacker table, which you can find here.
Update: Here come the accessories -- but third party ones, with Belkin announcing it's got a range of cases for the S III which will be available "in June".
Samsung says it's only offering the white model for now, with the blue model available "next week". As for the "no plans" comment, it appears that Samsung's position on that was that it was a "no comment"; it hopes that "the momentum of the Galaxy S II will flow through to the S III", and doesn't figure that the no comment will have a significant effect on S III sales. No word yet on outright pricing for the 32GB model.