updated 06:24 pm EDT, Sun May 27, 2012
Back case likely to blame, 600,000 cases destroyed?
Multiple sources are reporting that the "pebble blue" version of the newly-released Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone will be delayed. Online retailers have emailed pre-orderers informing them that Samsung has delayed all shipments of the blue color option. A manufacturing issue involving the back case is reportedly to blame, but specific flaws have not been made public.
XDA Developers reports that Samsung has disposed of approximately 600,000 rear casings for the phone and is retooling the production process. Samsung Benelux still lists shipment of the blue S III to their customers in early June. The white model of the phone is reportedly unaffected.
The incident recalls Apple's own difficulties with casing production on the iPhone 4 in 2010. The white version of the iPhone 4 was delayed for almost 10 months due to production problems in getting a white case that was up to Apple's standards. Apple Senior VP of Marketing Phil Schiller later confirmed speculation that the problem emanated from testing that showed that the original white casing wouldn't hold up over time, and also noted that the color presented issues with the proximity sensor.
Ultimately, design changes on the white coating for the iPhone made it minutely thicker than the black version. It finally shipped in late April of 2011.