Feeds

Galaxy S firmware update invalidates Voda warranties

Loyalties divided

The essential guide to IT transformation

Galaxy S owners who accept Samsung's offer of updated firmware will invalidate their warranty according to Vodafone, which wishes to remain the only source of official upgrades.

The upgrade is offered automatically by Samsung's Windows synchronisation software, as supplied in the box from Vodafone, and has not been approved by Vodafone.

The synchronisation software is called Kies, and comes on a CD in the phone's box. Last week those using Kies were offered the chance to upgrade to a bug-fixing version "JM1", and happily posted their experiences to the Vodafone forums - reporting faster performance and fewer bugs. But forum administrators were quick to remind posters that installing unapproved firmware invalidates the phone's warranty, even if that firmware comes from the handset's manufacturer.

This position hasn't changed - users who download and install firmware from the internet do so at their own risk - but this upgrade is suggested by the software that comes with the phone. That software is shipped to the customer by Vodafone, which is now telling users to ignore its suggestions.

Galaxy S owners who did click on the link will still have a warranty with Samsung, but Vodafone won't get involved if anything goes wrong. As the company explained in a forum posting:

"Our warranty allows you to get faulty handsets repaired through us even if you don't have insurance on the condition that your phone is running Vodafone approved software and it is within your contracted period."

This is all part of the long-running battle between operators and manufacturers for ownership of the customer. Like an embittered couple the two parties smile and claim to be working together, while constantly undermining each other and vying for control of the customers' experience.

Samsung (in admiration of Apple) would like to create the kind of relationship that Dell has with your ADSL provider - that is to say, no relationship at all. Vodafone believes you are its customer, and that you really want Vodafone 360 branding and applications pushed onto your handset.

This round goes to Samsung, as users who find that they've inadvertently invalidated their warranties will blame Vodafone, but the fight goes on. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.