As the Samsung Galaxy S4 release draws nearer, consumers are ramping up their research on the phone, according to Yahoo! Web search data.And search trends seem to indicate that consumers aren't just interested in a superficial way. They're pricing out potential purchases and searching for exactly when the phone will be available.
In the 30 days ending April 14, searches for pricing on the Samsung Galaxy S4 were up 437 percent, compared with the previous month. Searches for the phone's release date were up 595 percent over the same period.
Cell phone carriers are virtual gatekeepers for phones, determining which of them are available to their customers, and Yahoo! search results also show that consumers are trying to find out whether their carriers are offering the phone.
Verizon (VZ), the largest wireless provider in U.S., accounted for 60 percent of carrier-related searches for the phone. Meanwhile, the second-largest carrier, AT&T (T), made up only 8 percent of provider-related Galaxy S4 searches. That could be because AT&T was initially the only carrier that offered the iPhone, and existing AT&T customers may already own the Apple (AAPL) product.
Sprint (S) was actually the second-most searched wireless provider when it came to the Galaxy S4, accounting for 26 percent of the total number of carrier-related searches for the phone.
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