Samsung Galaxy S4 release date is after May 2013 says Samsung

Samsung's Lebanon division has said that the Samsung Galaxy S IV release date won't be until after May 2013.

The shock announcement means SGS3 fans looking to upgrade their phone will have to wait another five months at least before the next version of the leading flagship Android device is available.

"The Galaxy SIV won’t be released before May 2013," was the very helpful response to, "Hey, is there any news for the Samsung Galaxy S4 release?" from a chap called Anthony Ghattas to Samsung on Facebook.

WATCH: Samsung Galaxy S4 detailed in hands-on video, shame it's make believe

Samsung Lebanon later tried to distance itself from the original statement, but without flatly denying what it had previously said. "Hello guys," it said. "What we said is only trivial since all Galaxy S series are released between late April and Early May, yet there's no way for anyone to know the exact release date."

But by then the damage had been done and word was out. 

With such a late release date for the Samsung Galaxy S4, it means consumers will have plenty of smartphones to choose from over the next couple of months. With Mobile World Congress at the end of February and CES this week, we'll have lots of chances to see what the SGS4 will be up against. 

The release date confirmation comes as a new Samsung Galaxy S4 press picture purporting to be the real deal has turned up on the internet.