In case you somehow missed it, the undisputed champ of this week’s news rounds — heck, maybe even last week’s, too — is the impending reveal of the Samsung Galaxy S IV on Thursday. Samsung will be hosting an event for the media in New York at Radio City Music Hall and the specifics about the new flagship handset are currently unknown. What we can conclude from this situation, however, is that now, more than ever, is the worst time to buy the company’s current top-dog smartphone, the Galaxy S III.
The Galaxy S III is offered by all four of the major US carriers, and if you look on each of their sites’ current listings for the handset, you’ll see that they’re all still listed at full price (though certain retailers like Amazon and Wirefly are already cutting their prices). That means you could be paying up to $200 for a Galaxy S III — for Verizon Wireless and AT&T customers with a new two-year contract — if you buy one today. Normally, that wouldn’t be too shocking of a price tag for a top-tier smartphone like the Galaxy S III. But consider the situation: after the launch of the Galaxy S IV, it’s only a matter of time before its predecessor sees a price cut.
Now, just because Samsung is unveiling the Galaxy S IV on Thursday doesn’t mean that it will be released on Friday. In fact, if the company is looking to stick to a yearly schedule, it may still be a while before the Galaxy IV can actually be purchased; the Galaxy S III was first released in the U.S. on T-Mobile last year on June 21.
Subsequently, it may still be a while before the Galaxy S III is no longer the best phone Samsung has on the market. So while it’s currently unknown when the Galaxy S IV will be made available, it’s a safe bet that a few weeks after its release, the price of the Galaxy S III will take a dip.
To be clear, I’m not recommending that you should never buy a Galaxy S III simply because there is going to be a newer, sexier phone coming from Samsung soon. There are plenty of reasons why the Galaxy S III could still be worth your money. For one thing, after the price drop you’ll be getting what is still, in the grand scheme of things, a very high-quality phone for relative pocket change. Just because the Galaxy S IV may ultimately have slightly better features than the Galaxy S III doesn’t change the fact that the latter still has better specs than most of the phones currently on the market.
There’s also the fact that the Galaxy S IV just may not be the phone you’re looking for. If the rumors are to be believed, it will go the way of most high-end phones these days and sport a massive display (at least 5 inches). I know I, for one, do not care for this trend in which “phablet”-sized phones are becoming the norm; I have small hands and I prefer phones with smaller footprints because I don’t want to be cramming a mini-tablet into my pocket all the time. While the Galaxy S III isn’t exactly tiny itself, it may still be a better choice for you regardless of the price.
But the point is that if you are looking to buy a Galaxy S III, don’t pull the trigger now. Resist the desire for instant gratification, give it a few months, and wait for the inevitable price drop. When you get what is still a top-tier phone for just a few bucks a little while from now, you’ll thank me.