AT&T confirms April 25 release for Galaxy S4 pre-orders

The wireless carrier is racing to beat several of its rivals by releasing the new smartphone "earlier than originally expected" for both pre-order customers and in-store shoppers.

Samsung's Galaxy S4. Sarah Tew/CNET

AT&T subscribers who pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S4 could have the hotly-anticipated smartphone in hand by Thursday.

When AT&T began taking orders for the Galaxy S4 last week, it promised delivery of Samsung's new flagship smartphone by the end of the month. Now, the mobile provider is rushing to get to the finish line ahead of its rival carriers.

A spokesperson for AT&T confirmed to CNET Monday that all customers who pre-ordered their 16 GB Galaxy S4 before 9 a.m. ET Monday could receive the smartphone as soon as April 25.

And, for those people who haven't yet ordered the device, they too should be able to get the phone earlier than expected, according to AT&T's spokesperson. Starting April 27, customers can buy the 16 GB Galaxy S4 at AT&T stores.

A CNET reader sent us an e-mail they received from AT&T with the same information.

"Thank you for ordering the Samsung Galaxy S4 from AT&T," the e-mail reads. "We are excited to announce that we are able to ship devices earlier than originally expected. Customers who pre-ordered their smartphone early can begin receiving it as soon as April 25th."

Samsung's new smartphone sports an improved design over the Galaxy S3 and is packed with a ton of high-end features and specialized software. The device, which runs the latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, has a super-size screen and higher resolution, more battery capacity, and faster processor than its predecessor.

Besides AT&T, several other carriers will also be selling Samsung's new smartphone. Currently, it's looking like T-Mobile will be the first carrier to release the device online on April 24. Sprint is expecting an April 27 release date and Verizon plans to have the smartphone sometime in May . U.S. Cellular, C Spire, Cricket, and several retailers will also sell the Galaxy S4.

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