Google-IO-Galaxy S4 Google Edition Hugo Barra 1600 aa

A report reveals that the Nexus experience Galaxy S4 model will only be available in the USA, at least at first.

The handset was unveiled during the lengthy software-centric Google I/O 2013 keynote last week, although Google only revealed a few details about it. The device will cost $649 – it’s carrier unlocked and comes with an unlocked bootloader – and will start selling via the Google Play Store on June 26.

At the time of the announcement, Google did not mention what markets will get the Nexus experience Galaxy S4, and it seemed logical to assume that the device would be launched in various countries that have access to Play Store hardware purchases.

However, that turns out not to be the case, as SlashGear tells us pointing to a CNET UK report that has flown under the radar so far. It looks like Google has confirmed to the publication that the handset will only be sold in the USA, at least at the beginning. At this time, it’s not clear whether the handset will be launched in other markets or not, and we don’t know why Google would choose not to expand the launch to more markets right from the beginning.

Despite its high price, especially when compared with the six-month old Nexus 4, the Galaxy S4 “Nexus” may be an interesting choice for plenty of buyers that do not want to buy the regular TouchWiz version of the handset and/or don’t want to ink a new two-year contract with a carrier. But potential international buyers will have to wait for the handset to reach their markets, or somehow get their hands on one directly from the U.S.

Before you ask, the Play Store seems to be the only place that will stock this special edition Samsung smartphone, unlike the Nexus 4 which is available in international markets from plenty of third-party retailers. However, the Galaxy S4 Google Edition is not a true Nexus device, just a handset that would offer buyers a  Nexus user experience – Google did not mention its product name during the keynote – so we wouldn’t expect Google to try to push it through as many channels as possible.

We’re certainly looking forward to find out more details about the Nexus experience Galaxy S4 launch plans, and we expect Google and Samsung to share more information once we get closer to June 26.

Read comments