Samsung delayed its "Pebble Blue" version of the Galaxy S III smartphone for at least two to three weeks, citing issues with meeting its own quality standards.
The Galaxy S III is scheduled to ship in 28 countries across Europe and the Middle East this week, but as AndroidCentral noted, many retailers list the blue version as out of stock or on backorder with no release date given. These retailers are selling the white Galaxy S III as planned.
In a statement, Samsung alluded to problems with the Galaxy S III's “newly invented blue” color and “special hyperglaze material” on the back of the handset. “In order to meet the highest internal quality standards and to provide the best quality Galaxy S III to customers, a short supply of Pebble Blue version is expected in some regions in the next 2-3 weeks,” the company said.
Although Samsung didn't get into specifics, VentureBeat points to a Galaxy S III review by Mobile Bulgaria that shows discolored blotches on the phone's back panel. An unconfirmed report from Tweakers.net claimed that Samsung has already destroyed hundreds of thousands of rear casings as it adjusts its production process.
The delay is reminiscent of Apple's troubles with the white iPhone 4, which shipped 10 months after the black model. Hopefully Samsung's issues with the Pebble Blue Galaxy S III won't take so long to correct.
Not that it matters for U.S. consumers. Wireless carriers here still haven't announced their plans for the Galaxy S III, though TmoNews has claimed that T-Mobile will offer the blue version on June 20, and the white model on July 11. Given the problems Samsung is facing with its Pebble Blue back panels, U.S. consumers might have to wait even longer.