Samsung to Blame for Lack of American Galaxy S Updates?

Owners of American Samsung Galaxy S phones (Captivate, Epic 4G, Fascinate, and Vibrant) have been waiting for an Android version 2.2 update for quite some time — certainly longer than owners of comparable high-end handsets from HTC and Motorola. Some people have blamed their carriers, while others have blamed Samsung. A recent post on XDA-Developers forum suggest that it’s all Sammy’s fault. Here’s the deal:

In the past, most phone updates would mainly consist of critical and maintenance updates. Carriers almost never want to incur the cost of a feature update because it is of little benefit to them, adds little to the device, and involves a lot of testing on the carrier end. Android has changed the playing field, however — since the Android Open Source Project is constantly being updated, and that information being made widely available to the public, there is pressure for the phone to be constantly updated with the latest version of Android. With most manufacturers, such as HTC, Motorola, etc. This is fine and considered a maintenance upgrade. Samsung, however, considers it a feature update, and requires carriers to pay a per device update fee for each incremental Android update.

Now, here’s where the politics come in: most U.S. carriers aren’t very happy with Samsung’s decision to charge for Android updates as feature updates, especially since they are essentially charging for the Android Open Source Project’s efforts, and the effort on Samsung’s end is rather minimal. As a result of perhaps, corporate collusion, all U.S. carriers have decided to refuse to pay for the Android 2.2 update, in hopes that the devaluation of the Galaxy S line will cause Samsung to drop their fees and give the update to the carriers. The situation has panned out differently in other parts of the world, but this is the situation in the United States.

While Samsung has the right to charge whatever it wants for its custom Android builds, it’s pissing off American carriers and customers (if the aforementioned information is accurate). I’ve been largely unimpressed with Samsung’s “efforts” to update its Google Android phones since it flip-flopped on the Behold II.

Aside from the Nexus S, which receives updates directly from Google, I wouldn’t consider buying a Samsung Android handset simply because of how the company has handled updates. Hopefully it smartens up and realizes that its actions are alienating partners and customers alike.

What do you think of this information? Does it make you wary of Samsung Google Android phones?


Author: RPadTV

10 thoughts on “Samsung to Blame for Lack of American Galaxy S Updates?”

  1. Wow. What a bunch of asses on both ends. When all the smoke clears the only one still screwed is the consumer. I was considering the Infuse 4G, but recently (and with this) I have decided the Atrix is the better option.

    I love my Captivate still but if it weren't for the guys over at XDA it would already be gone.

      1. I am still a bit worried about all of those features. The netbook attachment will need to be priced right but I doubt it will be. I assume it will be $200ish.

        Even the standard dock will be $60ish or more since my Samsung dock was $45 and doesn't really do much.

      2. You can get barebones kits pretty cheap $300+ but they even come with more than that. A super cheap netbook can be found for right around $200 that is already a PC.

        Although I was going to buy the pico projector for the LG eXpo for several hundred so I don't know.

  2. Wow, what a jabbing. I agree that it would be unwise to get a Samsung device.

    If only the carriers would support rooting Samsung phones….

    1. AT&T gets pretty serious about it and refuses to honor warranties on rooted devices, although I keep meaning to read the contract to see if they can do that.

  3. Both are to blame. Samsung has an unlocked boot loader which pisses carriers off while at the same time Samsung is damn near releasing cookie cutter devices with the "new" Google on it for sales.

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