People wanting to get their hands on the Samsung Galaxy S III may be disappointed if they have not pre-ordered the Ice Cream Sandwich device.
The blue version of the Galaxy S III will be delayed by up to three weeks as a result of the "newly invented blue colour and special hyperglaze material", Samsung confirmed to ZDNet UK on Tuesday.
"In order to meet the highest internal quality standards and to provide the best quality Galaxy S III to customers, a short supply of pebble blue version is expected in some regions in the next two to three weeks," a spokeswoman for the company said in a statement.
Samsung was not able to confirm at the time of writing whether only the blue version of the handset and if both its 16GB and 32GB variants would be affected by the shortages. However, customers on the Vodafone network have taken to the operator's forum in their droves to complain about the shortfall in S III handsets, suggesting that the white version of the device has hit a snag too.
"Can't believe it. I have had this [32GB white Galaxy S III] on order for two weeks and now I've just received an email to say I won't be getting this phone for another two to four weeks! I already started paying for this phone on £46 quid a month contract two weeks ago and still won't get my phone for another two weeks at least! That's a month paying for a phone I don't yet own," 'DanUK86' wrote.
Vodafone customers have also been left confused over exactly which colours and which capacities will be available.
"Pre-ordered the Galaxy S III 16GB in white about two weeks ago. Last night received an email to say it would be delivered as expected tomorrow, at the same time also received an email saying there was a delay of two to four weeks. Checked the website this morning and noticed they are accepting orders for this model but say five working days," 'Paulh99uk' wrote on Tuesday.
The network told ZDNet UK that "all customers who have pre-ordered the marble white 16GB version of the Samsung Galaxy SIII should expect to receive their new phone on the UK launch date, 30 May". However, it confirmed delays for the 32GB white, and 16GB and 32GB blue versions of the device.
Orange and T-Mobile, which are run by Everything Everywhere, both said they have the white version in stock and expect to deliver phones on pre-order on the launch date. The prospect is less clear for the blue handset, however.
"We've been advised by the manufacturer of a shipping delay on the pebble blue version," both companies said. "Although we expect to receive stock shortly, we are contacting customers who have pre-ordered the device in this colour to let them know that there may be a slight delay, and to reassure them that we will look to fulfil their order as swiftly as possible."
O2 had not responded for a request for information at the time of writing.
The handset goes on sale from Tuesday in some places, such as the Samsung store in Westfield Stratford City shopping centre and will be available on general release from Wednesday.
The device is one of the most eagerly anticipated launches of 2012 so far, with operators reporting that pre-order numbers for the Galaxy S III placed it as one of their most popular handsets ever.