(Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. is about to claim a first in the U.S. race to offer the fastest mobile technology.
Verizon Communications Inc. will begin taking orders on April 18 for the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G -- the first fifth-generation phone to go on sale in the U.S. The $1,000-plus handset is expected to reach stores on May 16, provided there are no hiccups in the final testing, according to a person familiar with the plan. It will be available at AT&T Inc. and other carriers later this year.
With the rollout, Samsung and Verizon can claim marketing victories in a battle to gain 5G leadership. Wireless carriers are rushing to sign up early adopters who they hope will eventually embrace connected home services and self-driving cars. VentureBeat tech writer Evan Blass first tweeted about the May 16 availability on Wednesday.
For Samsung, which will start selling 5G phones on its home turf in South Korea Friday, the win in the U.S. gives it nearly a year-and-a-half lead over Apple Inc. The iPhone maker plans to hold off on the introduction of its 5G model at least until 2020.
Full-fledged nationwide 5G service is still more than a year away. But on Wednesday New York-based Verizon started the first 5G mobile phone service in parts of Minneapolis and Chicago using a modified Motorola phone. Customers with unlimited data plans can get 5G service as fast as 1 gigabit per second for $10 more a month. That’s anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than today’s mobile service.
AT&T has a mobile 5G service in a few cities, but lacking a 5G phone, it is only available on hot-spot devices. Sprint says it will launch 5G mobile phone service next month in four cities.
--With assistance from Mark Gurman.
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