Samsung's Galaxy stuck in history
This isn't the Android I was looking for
Comment It seems no one will be updating the Galaxy to Android 2, annoying customers whose purchase decision was based on what it would do rather than what it could do.
The Galaxy was launched in September and has been updated a couple of times since, but it seems that the handset won't be getting an upgrade to Android version 2 despite the new OS coming less than two months later. This is a decision that some customers see as a betrayal of the Android promise.
Version 2 of Google's Android OS provides an enhanced user interface as well as support for Microsoft Exchange and a better web browser. More critically the new version includes tweaks which make the OS run faster and smoother.
O2 support appeared to provide confirmation of the decision with an e-mail sent to a customer that laid the blame firmly at the feet of Samsung's South Korean HQ:
"Samsung HQ are currently not supporting a migration path to upgrade Galaxy to Android 2.0. Samsung UK continue to push for this but confidence on the change is low as Samsung HQ will be launching new devices on Android 2.0 in Q1."
O2 later told us that this e-mail shouldn't have been sent, and that we'd have to take the issue up with Samsung. Samsung promised to get back to us before Christmas but is probably hoping the issue will disappear over time.
The G1, T-Mobile's foray into Android, can run Android 2, though it's hardly equipped for the task as one user demonstrated. Both devices have ARM-based Qualcomm processors running at 528MHz, so getting Android 2 to run on a Galaxy might be a technical challenge, but it's one that Samsung should be more than capable of managing if it wanted to.
But why should Samsung devote resources towards porting and testing Android 2 on a handset it's already launched?
Samsung isn't going to get any more money out of those customers, and the company wouldn't want punters confused by old handsets running new software so there's no real incentive to update.
But some customers bought a Galaxy on the basis that they'd be able to run any version of Android, more akin to the desktop PC model than a mobile phone: "That[']s the whole point of buying this phone, the android system evolves so it doesn[']t date", as one disgruntled customer puts it.
Buy a product only based on what it does now
Crap! What a load of bollocks.
Lets just get this in perspective.
To date, all iPhone OS updates have been free of charge and applicable to all of the iPhone hardware. Apple churned out three distinct versions of their OS X for each device. Thank you very much.
Since the launch of the iPhone all of the nay-sayers have had their knickers in a right old twist. They've hailed S.J. as the great Satan himself, Apple as a latter-day Hades and the iPhone as the Devil's own semen or somesuch. And so as each and every manufacturer pushed out their own touchscreen Phone it was hailed as the next "iPhone killer".
So the expectation is established - that all of these modern touchscreen smartphones would be at least on a par, if not better than, the iPhone. And that would also set the expectation of OS updates to improve and develop the handset over time. There is also an expectation that such a handset would not be wholly obsolete within the first six months of its life!
Android-based handsets are no exception, and even they are hailed as the next "iPhone killer", although one has yet to actually achieve that state.
Personally, I wouldn't touch a Samsung phone with the proverbial barge-pole, not even with the shitty end of a stick. Their customer support for their handsets is pathetic. Why would anyone expect Samsung, of all, to support the Android community with updates to it's handsets? This is normal Samsung behavior.
If their Galaxy was a sub £100 device SIM-free then maybe this kind of "disposable" culture would be acceptible, if not entirely green. But it is not, I note that in the UK it is still priced between £350 and £400. So we're not looking at a commodity-priced device, this is premium product and so the expectation of support for it is not misplaced at all.
Basically it is a case of a massive but not unexpected #fail for Samsung in general and their Galaxy handset in particular. Expect exactly the same with their Android handsets that follow the Galaxy. Like others, I always advise to stay away from Samsung mobile handsets at all costs.
Re : Meh.. → #
I think ( and just quoting from memory ) that the actual quote is " nothing travels faster than the speed of light - with the possible exception of bad news" - "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"
Thanks Douglas - sorely missed
$10 iPhone updates? Shome mishtake, shurely?
For a tech writer, you are remarkably ill-informed. Either that, or you're being deliberately obtuse.
Apple have never charged for their iPhone updates. For all their perceived faults, not even the most rabid hater could accuse them of dragging their feet with regard to maintaining iPhone software support.
They may have charged iPod Touch owners a nominal fee for upgrades that add new functionality to their devices, but I believe there are laws on their side of the pond requiring that sort of thing...
there must be some mistake
"or get used to Apple's policy of paying $10 per update"
since when?? Im nearly at the end of my 18month iPhone 3G contract, and have update the software many times, (including from OS2 --> OS3 shortly after the release of the 3GS) and haven't had to pay for any of them.
I think you must be thinking about the software updates for the iPod Touch. Yes the software in question is (more or less) the same, but the article was talking about Phone upgrades, was it not?
Those 10$ Apple updates...
...only apply to non-phone devices. All iPhones have had free updates since launch.
Bad Apple! Evil Apple! Er, hang on....