CNET Executive Editor Molly Wood has an ax to grind, but the focus of her ire isn't crystal clear.
In choosing the Galaxy S III in white, Molly deliberately steered clear of the blue version, whoseapparently hangs on its "pebble blue" paint job.
All was going dandy -- Molly even received a shipping confirmation for an estimated June 6-8 delivery -- until the distributor, BluTekUSA, warned Molly of a delay. And simultaneously threw Samsung under the bus.
"Thank you so much for your purchase with us," the e-mail begins. "As you may or may not know, the release of this item has caused a major uproar throughout the cell phone world and people have been flocking to be among the first to purchase it."
Here's where BluTekUSA turns on Samsung:
Up until this week, the release date, according to Samsung, has been June 1st. We were given a guarantee of delivery by June 1st so that all of our orders could be shipped by the end of that day. Yesterday, Samsung released a statement pushing off the release date to the open market distribution points, without guaranteeing a new specific date. We assure you that we will be one of the first sellers in the marketplace with this item available.
We are extremely sorry for any inconvenience this causes you but we do hope you understand that this was in no way intentional and we are only going off the words and guarantees of the manufacturer.
This is why the listing states "* * This listing is for PRE-ORDER : Expected despatch date [sic.] on/after 4th June 2012. Date may be subject to change, if there is any delay to the launch date from Manufacturer.
With a company as large as Samsung you can only work with what they give you. We will be keeping all of your information open for the moment the item is delivered.
BluTekUSA's original shipping confirmation is clearly misleading (why assure your customer you'll ship a product that you don't actually have?), but does fit into the company's new estimated time frame. The hurdle, however, could signal a shortage or manufacturing trip-up on Samsung's end.
Another CNET reader cited a similar experience ordering the Galaxy S III from Expansys, to a Canadian address, noting that Expansys didn't come clean about a hold-up until he reached out first.
CNET has requested comment from both Samsung and BluTekUSA.