Samsung has already blamed its "newly invented" Pebble Blue finish for shortages of the Galaxy S III in some countries, and exactly what the problem with that tricky finish could be has been revealed. While review units we've seen so far have all been Marble White, Mobile Bulgaria was sent a Pebble Blue handset that, on closer inspection, appears to have flaws in the battery cover finish that can't simply be wiped away.
The flaw manifests as a milkiness to the glaze Samsung applies to the rear of the Galaxy S III, which it has said improves durability, reduces the likelihood of visible scratches and helps the handset feel more like a premium ceramic device in the hand. That "special hyper-glaze material" as Samsung referred to it doesn't appear to have dried entirely clear, however, on top of the base color.
All the details on the Samsung Galaxy S III in the full SlashGear review!
It's possible that the Marble White handset is similarly affected, only the white-tinged fault isn't visible on that variant. Samsung has only confirmed delays for the Pebble Blue model, though Vodafone UK told SlashGear yesterday that it expects the white 32GB GSIII - temporarily exclusive to the carrier - to also be delayed alongside its blue counterpart.
We've got a request in with Samsung for more information, though the company has been reluctant to comment on the issue of delays around the new smartphone so far, only pointing us to the statement it issued to retailers earlier today:
"Samsung's GALAXY S III Pebble Blue version comes with a newly invented blue colour and special hyperglaze material. 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 2-3 weeks.
Samsung is working hard to ensure that customers will get the Pebble Blue coloured devices as soon as possible."
We'll update if we hear more.