|Samsung Galaxy SIV launch invitation (Samsung/All rights reserved)
A delayed launch, lack of official availability dates and the fact that much-rumored features failed to materialize suggest that the South Korean company's latest smartphone isn't quite ready to ship, despite the fanfare.
Almost a week on from Samsung's razzle-dazzle smartphone launch, two very salient issues have been raised by Fortune . Firstly, that very few guests at the event got any real hands-on time with the device and that those that did were very disappointed with the phone's performance; and that secondly, the much buzzed about eye-tracking technology that the SIV was purported to have, did not materialize.
This, and the fact that initial reports at the end of 2012 pointed to a February launch for Samsung's latest Galaxy S handset have led writer Philip Elmer-DeWitt to conclude that the company delayed the phone's release because of software issues and is still trying to address bugs. "An eye-scroll feature that garnered a lot of press in advance of the unveiling had been removed by the time the phone made its debut on the big stage at Radio City Music Hall last week. Moreover, the Wall Street Journal, one of the only media outlets to get more than a few minutes of hands-on time with the phone after the show, reported Thursday that some of the features that were touted on stage weren't quite ready for prime time," he writes.
Indeed in his own review, the Wall Street Journal's Spencer Ante described some of the phone's camera functions as "gimmicky" and claimed that some didn't work at all.
Elmer-DeWitt also points to the fact the Samsung is yet to formally announce when the Galaxy SIV will be available to support his claim. All we know is that it will be in April or May. He also puts forward the idea that Samsung persevered with the launch despite these uncertainties because of the millions of dollars it had already invested in the global marketing campaign in support of the phone.