When Is Galaxy S 2 Getting Ice Cream Sandwich? When Is Galaxy S Getting Gingerbread?

Posted by on November 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm

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.

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  • Berklain

    Hillarious. Droid Razr, I say.

  • Brian

    Hard to argue with the facts.  I don’t plan to buy another Samsung phone for this reason, and I will try to avoid Samsung for other purchases as well for the same reason.

  • Roger

    One of the great things about android phones is that you are free to play around with various custom firmwares and leaked official firmwares. If you are willing to play around with the phone a little, that is. For example, you would be fine to flash an ‘international’ version of gingerbread on your galaxy s if it still hasn’t been released in the states (really? it still hasn’t been released??) and then to make sure it will work with your carriers just flash a ‘modem’ file that you know will work in the US, or better still, flash the same modem file you are using now (its called baseband in your phone’s settings – about), back onto the new gingerbread rom. At the moment the latest firmware for the galaxy s is the leaked official version of android 2.3.5 called i9000xxJVT it runs really fast and stable, samsung just hasn’t decided to release it publicly yet, I dont know why

  • Anonymous

    Hilarious… a few years ago you couldn’t upgrade just about anything in phones. How impatient and selfish you are to demand such things? 

    Geez, either buy a new Samsung phone or buy a mainstream phone, not a variant!

    • Anonymous

      Times have changed, these aren’t disposable feature phones. If we’re going to invest hundreds of dollars into their hardware, we should get support, not six months worth of updates.

  • Br1ck’d

    Part of the reason for the delayed/not going to happen update, is that the US flavors of the original Galaxy S line were fragmented into different hardware specs for the four major carriers.  I have no ideaq why Samsung allowed this to happen, but it cramped the ability for them to put out one blanket update for all phones.  Since they were obviously moving on to the next generation of phones, part of the responsibility for the updates fell to the individual carriers to mod GB for their individual hardware flavors, which all of us frustrated Galaxy S owners know by now will never happen.

    I am a Vibrant owner and part time developer.  I have made a workable GB build for the Vibrant, but without true source for the kernel, some things will never work right, like GPS among other features. Its frustrating, but not entirely Samsungs fault.  I do understand that going forward, they are not going to allow different carriers to pick their own hardware configs, rather have one build for all carriers, and I for one am hopeful that this will resolve the update issue that first-gen SGS owners are now forced to live with.