The gold-standard pricing for smartphone launches has been about $200. Sure, we see the occasional flagship model that arrives with a lower price tag, like the Lumia 920 did, and there’s a phone every once in a while that demands a premium price, like the Galaxy Note II. As we learn about the start of pre-orders for Samsung’s Galaxy S 4, it’s looking like the handset will fall into that latter category, as AT&T has confirmed plans to sell the phone for $250, on-contract.
AT&T will open pre-orders for the GS4 on April 16, though it hasn’t yet confirmed precisely when those orders will arrive. For T-Mobile, at least, the GS4 should arrive right at the start of May, so AT&T’s phones will likely ship in the same timeframe.
It remains to be seen if this high upfront price might drive users to other phones, or to carriers like T-Mobile, where the initial cost of the GS4 will be a mere $100. It’s worth noting that when the Galaxy S III arrived last year, AT&T did not give the phone a premium subsidized price, and instead sold it on-contract for only $200.