The Australian launch of the Galaxy S 4 last weekend wasn’t what you’d call a satisfying experience for many Australian customers, with stock shortages and some outlets only selling the device on-contract. Many consumers took the opportunity to vent their frustration at Samsung on social media.

There are still some handsets to be found, but at this stage they’re quite scarce -depending on location and your carrier of choice. In the ACT, all Optus stores were completely sold out by Sunday morning. In Sydney, Samsung’s own store (which received the lion’s share of retail units, as far as we can tell) isn’t expecting stock until tomorrow.

Samsung has released a statement on the device’s scarcity following its retail launch:

Due to the popularity of the GALAXY S4, we expect demand might exceed supply in the early stages of sale. We will, however, have a continuous supply of stock coming through over the coming weeks and encourage consumers to move quickly in placing their orders to ensure they get their hands on the GALAXY S4 as soon as possible.

The social media team at Optus, asked when stock would be in-store, couldn’t give a timeframe – instead, customers are advised to order online.

Samsung’s statement doesn’t jibe with what staff in stores said about the small amount of units received for such an assuredly large launch – my cynical side thinks perhaps Samsung rushed the retail launch to take the wind out of the sails of HTC as they also launched their 2013 flagship – the HTC One – last week.

For those who still want a Galaxy S 4, it appears that stock is coming – but it could be up to two weeks away, depending on when you ordered it. Will those customers wait, or begin looking at other phones? There are plenty of HTC One units available – could Samsung’s haphazard launch availability play to HTC’s benefit, after all?

Ausdroid’s Chris Rowland got his hands on a Galaxy S 4, and posted his first impressions of the device on Monday. A full review is forthcoming.

Did you get a Galaxy S 4? Are you considering purchasing another phone due to the stock shortage issues? Let us know in the comments!

Check out our range of Samsung GALAXY S4 accessories at the Ausdroid Shop.

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