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MVNO carrier Ting says it will get the Galaxy S4

The mobile virtual network operator says it will carry the Samsung Galaxy S4, even though the phone has to make its official debut.

We don't even know what the Galaxy S4 will look like, but Ting says that it will have it.
Josh Miller/CNET

We're still 24 hours from knowing if the Samsung Galaxy S4 even exists, but that hasn't stopped one wireless carrier from bragging about the device to customers.

Earlier today, Ting, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that resells Sprint's network, posted a blog on its site where it promised that not only would it snag the long-awaited Galaxy S4 but also the recently-announced HTC One, and the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini.

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"In advance of Samsung's big launch event tomorrow, we're excited to say that we'll be able to offer the follow up to the Samsung Galaxy S3, which we'll call the Samsung Galaxy S4 unless we're provided reason to do otherwise," wrote Andrew Moore-Crispin. "What's more, we'll be able to do so at around the same time as the major carriers; on or at least around the actual launch day."

Moore-Crispin doesn't spill any further details beyond saying that customers can preorder the unannounced handset in six to eight weeks for a shipping date of a few weeks later. If that timeline is accurate, it would place the GS4's retail release at the end of May or early June. Considering that the Galaxy S3 went on sale in June 2012, it's not a bad guess.

As for the other handsets, Moore-Crispin wrote that the HTC One hit will be available for preorder in about 30 days (and shipping in a few weeks later) and that the Galaxy S3 Mini will land at the same time that the Galaxy S4 goes on sale. All devices will be contract free.

Honestly, the whole thing is weird, particularly given Samsung's secrecy surrounding tomorrow's event (the invitation only asks us to "come and see the next Galaxy"). By all means, I expect the Galaxy S4 to make its debut in 24 hours, but for now I see this as nothing but a publicity stunt on Ting's part (and, yes, this story means that the stunt is working).

Ting events admits that the blog is "it's all speculation anyway," but it makes me hopeful that Samsung will accomplish what it really needs to do tomorrow: release the Galaxy S4 on as many carriers as possible all on the same day. If Ting's announcement is true, then Sprint is a likely contender, and I doubt the other majors would let a small MVNO get first dibs.

I've contacted Samsung for comment and will update this story when I get a response.