You’d figure that after becoming the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer (recently out-shipping Apple), Samsung should be on top of its game when it comes to upgrades. Unfortunately, their tragic history in supporting its devices looks to torpedo its quickly-selling Galaxy <insert variant here> smartphones, minus the Google-backed Nexus phones, like the Galaxy Nexus.
As many of you know, I own Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus S variant, the Epic 4G, which shipped with Eclair (Android 2.1) right as Froyo (Android 2.2) was being sent to other phones. The Epic’s Froyo updated landed toward the end of February to my delight with Samsung promising that Gingerbread would only be one to three months behind it. Well, that never happened – at least in the US. Samsung blames Gingerbread’s delayed arrival on its first generation Galaxy S phones on technical difficulties regarding American carriers. That’s not a completely invalid complaint, but HTC had the update on all of its major phones by June, including the Incredible and Incredible S on Verizon and Sprint’s flagship phone for 2010, the Evo.
So why is Samsung being so slow about updating? Maybe they don’t have the infrastructure to make it happen? Maybe they don’t want to? Whatever the reason, it doesn’t bode well for their newest line of Galaxy S 2 phones which probably won’t be updated with Ice Cream Sandwich until February 2012, or worse, summer. As for Jelly Bean, or whatever 4.1 will end up being, who knows if these phones will get it at all?
It’s safe to say that if you want a phone that’s going to have the latest and greatest version of Android, you best stay far away from Samsung, despite the fact that they make wonderful hardware, unless you pick up a Nexus S or Galaxy Nexus. Well, maybe don’t pick up a Nexus S.