The Samsung/ Android Update Debacle Now Hear This!

Seith Weintraub over at Fortune Magazine published a really great article today in response to Apple Fan Boy MG Siegler’s article about IOS updates. Now of course most of you know even though Mr. Paris Lemon is a deep mac boy we have a overall Tech Crunch Fans.  However, MG or (Lemon if that’s what you prefer to call him) said that 90% of IOS users were on the most updated version of IOS and Android users, aboud .4% had a chance of being on the latest version. Seth, quick to help us out, pointed out that 90% of Android users are on 2.XX while 52% are on 2.2, yes we know that 2.3 is out now.

Everyone is also very aware of all the name calling, insult throwing, accusations and blowback Samsung is receiving because they are holding back an Android 2.2 upgrade on all 4 US major carrier Galaxy S devices just because they have the Samsung Vibrant 4G coming out in a few weeks on T-Mobile. That’s right the Verizon Fascinate, the Sprint Epic 4G and the AT&T Captivate are all being held back simply because of the T-Mobile device.. right?  OF COURSE NOT!

Most of the other Galaxy S variants in every other country in the world have already received an upgrade to 2.2 via KIES or by way of an OTA through their carrier.  The first thing we need to know in America is that Kies is not readily available to us.  This is by way of the CARRIER and not Samsung.

The second thing you need to take into consideration, kind of like Android as a whole, is that a lot of the Samsung Galaxy S’ were acutally sold OUTSIDE of the United States. So to me the logic that Samsung only cares about the bottom line can be debated by the argument than why did all the other countries get the update quicker.

Hopefully you’re following me so far and the rest of this will just end up pissing people off.

– Many of the people whining about Samsung updates and bashing Samsung in general don’t own a Samsung phone. Or don’t use one on a regular basis.  Remeber according to Andy Ruben we are activating 300,000 Android devices per day. A lot of those are for normal consumer people.  The bulk of the readers of the tech blog readers, writers and community aren’t normal “consumers”. The normal consumers get upset when they start hearing about these updates through their tech savvy friends and then feel slighted.

– Most of the Samsung Galaxy S variants came with Android 2.1 in a modified form with touchwiz on top, couple that with the hardware (superAMOLED screen, 1ghz hummingbird processor) etc and the proprietary social hub, media hub etc, that actual normal consumers are taking advantage of you still have a pretty darn good, up to date device.  We aren’t talking Sony Xperia here that released with 1.6 we’re talking about a version of 2.1 that was fancy schmancy at the time.  Add to that the fact that both the Fascinate and the Epic 4G included Mobile Hotspot (one of the key features from 2.2) and what out of this world, oh my god my phone is so outdated, feature are the general public Samsung customers missing?

– The next thing we have to realize is the way America works.  There is a lot more bureacracy from the government and carrier politics from our wireless carriers than most other countries.  There is a lot of red tape for everything that happens in the wireless industry on the carrier/manufacturer side than any other country in the world.  Take kies for instance if America had access to kies everyone with a Samsung Galaxy S phone would be upgraded.

Now take your active Android Evangelists, ones with a passionate heart and a vested interest in Android who actually own a Samsung Galaxy S phone. Your @theandroidgirl and @raywalters for instance, these people, among countless others who are on twitter and podcasts and were big enough believers to purchase a Samsung Galaxy S variant, and who may have partially based their decision on the fact that Samsung did say (at least at IFA) that we would see Froyo by the end of 2010, these people have legitimate complaints to the source.

Of course its also very disheartening that Samsung obviously has the source code for 2.3 as it’s running on the Nexus S today.  And Gingerbread is a whole different issue.

For our followers on Samsung Galaxy S US Variants, we feel for you but have a challenge:

In the comments below, tell us what you are looking for out of Froyo that you aren’t getting out of the modified version of 2.1 that’s on your Galaxy S now?

Why should you do this? Take a trip over to and you will see that thedroidguy is one of the twitter accounts featured on Samsung’s website. Trust me comments here will be seen by people that matter at Samsung. And for the record, even as someone who genuinely suports Samsung, we are very disappointed in this whole Samsung upgrade mess and definitely feel let down that US users didnt get a Froyo update in 2010. And also for the record as far as the phones I am currently using, my 1st use phone is a Droid Pro, 2nd is a Samsung Nexus S and 3rd is an HTC Desire.

60 Replies to “The Samsung/ Android Update Debacle Now Hear This!”

  1. I do not assume so. I had been following the S-OFF discussion
    at XDA forum for two months. And still nothing from them.

  2. Wow ..what a sell out. How can you ask buyers why they need an upgrade. Here is one reason we bought smart phones. But unlike Apple all these other knock off brands don’t understand the same strategy of having one rom work on a phone for years doesn’t fly any more.

  3. I just got an update for my captivate. The link that AT&T sent did not work
    but I found “Kies Mini” under software and figured for myself that it was
    the way to get it.

  4. Let me be sure I understand the gist of your article. Samsung fell through on their promise for a 2.2 update. Samsung is holding back on a completed 2.2 update for U.S. customers. Samsung put some bells and whistle goodies into 2.1 in advance of the pending, promised 2.2 upgrade. And based upon their lack of follow through you wish to “Challenge” us?

    I bought my first Android phone running v1.5 with a promise from Samsung (via my carrier) that a v1.6 upgrade was pending. It took a frustrating long amount of time for that upgrade to eventually come through, and afterwards it was a bit buggier than v1.5.

    Last year I upgraded to the Samsung Epic with the same promise from the same source — A v2.1 phone being sold in competition with v2.2 phones (e.g. HTC Evo), but with their v2.2 upgrade pending in weeks.

    Is it asking too much for a manufacturer to do what they promised? Not so interested in being challenged to remain satisfied with v2.1 phone. Fool me once, shame on them. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  5. Google Callendar works on 2.2 and not on 2.1.
    I would have gotten an Evo back in August were it not for the vaporware promised to be delivered in Septembar.

  6. Tired of this crap…I jumped to the Fascinate because of the potential of OMGness it has with the upcoming and future updates…but if this is the attitude that is being taken, and I as a consumer/customer doesn’t amount to a hill of beans over there, then adios. I can ditch it faster than they can say please don’t. (Not that they would). There are so many other possibilities out there now and coming up that this is really low on the meter for me! I love my Fascinate and I have enjoyed it thus far, but want it better and faster of course…that is how we are here in America…but with this BING bullcrap (which I just tolerated) and now this…Forget about it.!

  7. Tired of this crap…I jumped to the Fascinate because of the potential of OMGness it has with the upcoming and future updates…but if this is the attitude that is being taken, and I as a consumer/customer doesn’t amount to a hill of beans over there, then adios. I can ditch it faster than they can say please don’t. (Not that they would). There are so many other possibilities out there now and coming up that this is really low on the meter for me! I love my Fascinate and I have enjoyed it thus far, but want it better and faster of course…that is how we are here in America…but with this BING bullcrap (which I just tolerated) and now this…Forget about it.!

  8. Plain and simple…dumping my Fascinate and going back to my Droid/or something…this is stupid and ridiculous….the reason I came to the Fascinate to begin with was the potential for OMGness…but if they don’t care..neither do I and I can most assuredly get my OMGness fix elsewhere. So they can continue their childish tirade and unbelievable lack of concern for the consumer and kiss my Fascinate good bye!

  9. -Flash support
    -Apps on SD card
    -a REAL Gps fix
    -Bluetooth voice dialing
    -i want a stable version!
    -i want it to take 5 sec to scan my memory card as oppose to 1min!
    -i shouldn’t have to root my phone, void warranty, convert to ext4 & install a buggy leaked version of froyo!

    i paid full price for this phone cause i’m still on contract(THANK YOU TP2) because i wanted FLASH! and still nothing.

  10. I want the ALL of the perks of Froyo I was promised by AT&T! I love the phone, and yes i can flash a custom ROM but I don’t agree that these ROMs are stable. All but one are I9000 based and not meant for the Captivate and all have bugs. Read some of the flashing horror stories on XDA. Samsung needs to man up and release 2.2! Hell even my official Samsung Car Dock says “some features not available until the 2.2 release” C’mon already!

  11. Epic 4G owner since October, when 2.2 update was “just around the corner” and I figured I could evaluate it during my 30 day period. I was leery of buying a Samsung when their support appeared to be poorer than HTC, but I liked the feel of the Epic better, and I wanted the keyboard.

    I don’t think I’ll buy another Samsung Phone after this, nor will I recommend one. Here’s what I’m expecting:

    Better Exchange Support
    Better GPS
    Better Batery life
    Better HW keyboard support

    Open Source everything that the Development community needs (Kernel mode drivers for each version, I guess). If Samsung isn’t going to support the top of the line phone as of 4 months ago, they’d better make sure someone is able to.

  12. I own a Fascinate and was very excited to have this phone. I gave up my 2.2 and flash on my D1 because I knew this phone had so much potential. It is a beautiful piece of equipment, BUT I am very upset at the lack of response from Samsung letting us know about 2.2. Then we hear of the Vibrant coming out and yes, this made me very angry. What about us? Tell us what is going on! Quit ignoring us. It makes me want to go back to Motorola or onto HTC.

  13. Nubs –> Stable versions of 2.2 aka “Froyo” are available through XDA. The meer fact that perple are using Froyo on their Vibrant phones kind of dispells the idea that it’s flawed. This being said, Froyo users are NOT using Touch Wiz, which I suspect is at the core of any technical issues they might have.

    This being said, if only Samsung could keep us informed (not the layer-filtered, corporate-lame, sales-speak babble we are hearing). As noted in an earlier post, my beef is that no one is willing to tell us what is happening.

  14. I read on some other tech news that the whole issue is carriers not willing to pay for upgrades. The contract says that (for Samsung phones AFAIK) that for feature updates (Froyo is a feature update) the carriers must pay for the update. The only reason Samsung phones aren’t getting Froyo is because THE CARRIERS AREN’T PAYING! Samsung is sticking to its guns and the carriers are playing hardball and the consumer gets stuck in the middle. Its a power struggle, plain and simple. And sad.

  15. Went from a HTC Incredible already with Froyo to the Fascinate because of problems with blue tooth syncing with my car. The Fascinate works great with syncing to my car. I could have gone with Droid X but the Fascinate came with high recommendation and promised Froyo very soon. That was 3 months ago. I miss the Froyo features I already had, especially Flash. I feel like I totally went backwards. The other complaint has nothing to do with Froyo, the music that plays on the phone as soon as I get out of my car because it doesn’t shut off after streaming to my stereo, AND the ridiculous 2 seconds the bottom buttons stay on when you use them. Really? As soon as iphone for Verizon comes out this Fascinate is going on ebay.

  16. Critical issues:

    GPS accuracy closer than 3000 meters (or just working more than 1/2 the time)
    The lag (Seriously bad when switching from one app to another, anytime coming from market.

    These should be addressed IMMEDIATELY.

    2.2 Specific:

    JIT Compiler (Speed increase)
    Apps that only work with 2.2 or higher.

    Communication is a key to success in ANY relationship.

  17. How about an improved YouTube app. The 2.1 YouTube sucks! Also, typing on the 2.1 sucks, you have the added ability to move your cursor within text much easier in 2.2. FLASH… need I say more?

  18. My last phone was a behold never got my update for that either.Flash player is what I miss most.Why ask us what we miss most as if it mattered.The truth is android fans only brought galaxy s phones to be ahead of the tech game we are behind now guess we will not get gimgerbread either. Samsung wont sell millions of nexus s because of issues with the last galaxy phone gps issues and promises broken.After a successful year It may be sometime before we feel confident about your mobile products.

  19. At this point, any bad press for Samsung is good press for their consumers. Samsung needs to get off their ass and update the damn phones; it’s that simple. Apps2SD & browser flash support are nice, but with Samsung’s laggy crappy file system, JIT compiler would be a welcoming performance boost for these phones.

  20. Fuck samsung…gps, flash, tv out, lag fix, do u need more fagsung?…friend won’t let friend buy fagsung!

  21. I’ve completely jumped ship and rooted and use a custom rom so that I can have flash. I came from a N1 on which I had froyo from the first leak. Besides that, the performance of froyo over eclair is MUCH better. That’s it in a nutshell.

  22. I purchased a Vibrant from TMobile with the expectation of receiving FroYo soon. Today I got fed up and flashed a ROM with it. I understand that voids my warranty, but the apps to SD and the performance boost I feel make up for it. I am also quite upset about a “new” Vibrant coming in a couple of weeks, as this should have been the device I purchased just a couple of months ago.

    As for the delay, I can only guess that Samsung is wanting to hold all phones from getting the update until all carriers are ready to deploy it. That is the only reason I can come up with that makes any sense at all. Since it was the first Android phone that hit all four major carriers. I think the idea may have been good, but the time that it is taking is upsetting people instead of impressing them. With the fact that it is on all of the non US phones, I don’t think it is TouchWiz that is holding it up, I think it is all of the bloatware that the carriers put on the devices that most people don’t use anyway.

  23. Here is one of the tweets from @samsungesteban assuring customers that Froyo would be here in 2010:

    Esteban Contreras
    Yes. Froyo is coming. We said it’d be here in 2010. I want it just as much (I have an Epic 4g). Thanks for your patience all. #wehearyou
    23 Nov via Seesmic for Android Unfavorite Retweet Reply

    epic fail

  24. not sure what I want but I would like if it weren’t sluggish sometimes like when playing music. when i really use the phone it gets slow.
    I really do not like Samsung’s website or their drivers, I had a hard time getting them and then they did not work. They can take Kies and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Hopefully this phone will last and my next one will not be a Samsung. i hear the Droid X is nice but it is on Verizon.

  25. My question to any qualified attorney and in general is at what point does the failure to meet an annouced release date become false advertisment particularly when said annoucement is just as advertisement material to coerce comsumers into purchase one product over another one.

  26. I want my top tier phone to perform like a top tier phone. Simple. I paid for, and expect to receive the product promised.

    One of the premiere features of smartphones, is the ability to upgrade software. I have a phone (Fascinate) that could be one of the examples of new techonology, instead it is a cumbersome,beast.

  27. The promise to release 2.2 which supports flash video was the main reason I made the purchase. App to SD is a biggie also. When the rumor was out ther that we would get 2.2 for the Epic starting 26 Dec and it didn’t happen I called Samsung support. The rep told me they released the update to Sprint on 17 Dec. We all know the Intercept got the update about that time and it created problems for some and cured problems for others! I am as frustrated about this as all of you! I wish they would make a more precise statement on reason for delay. By the way if its the apps running on top of the OS that’s the problem that was poor programing and I can do with out the overlays! Maybe when we finally get ithe update it will be worth it? If its crap Ill root!

  28. I am looking for fixes for:
    1. The GPS (may or may not be part of the update, i know)
    2. The lag

    And i am looking forward to:
    1. Being able to use Flash (even though it is annoying on some websites, it is necessary on many)
    2. Being able to use media hub and the plethora of other 2.2 only apps
    3. Finally having a flagship phone that has caught up to the other manufacturers’ and carriers’ flagship devices (even though that is about to change).
    4. Apps2sd (although the large rom file partition makes this less important)
    5. The POTENTIAL speed increase from JIT compilation (although that doesn’t seem to improve the hummingbird processor)
    6. The use of chrome2phone and phone2cloud extensions and apps. This was probably the thing i missed the most from my N1.

    Just as a point of order, i would like to correct you the following:
    1. The us accounts for 40% + of the total worldwide Galaxy S market, you would think we would carry the most weight when it comes to customer service. I’m not trying to be ethno- or cultural- centric, but numbers (should) speak to these companies.
    2. The Infuse is basically a Captivate 4G, so they may not be holding the update for the vibrant 4G, but rather for the new phones on each carrier (a simple but important logical fallacy)

  29. The main push for me to 2.2 is bluetooth dialing while driving. Voice commands would also be nice but BT dialing is the biggie for me. However I agree that the biggest problem here is that nobody is owning up to this, whatever the truth is.

  30. What am I missing that 2.2 would bring me that 2.1 and touchwiz doesnt? Where to begin… speed jumps from the JIT Compiler for one thing. Saving apps to the SD card is another. I’m not desperate for mobile hotspot ability but there have been a few times when i wished i had it. and lastly, the optimization that 2.2 will bring to some existing apps. For example, the Facebook app recently became worthwhile because it got PUSH notifications…but only on 2.2…until then, its the same battery sucking lame app that it was when everyone was still complaining about it…

  31. Sorry but this isn’t an accurate portrayal of what is happening. No matter how much you try to argue, the math doesn’t lie. There are 3 million Galaxy S owners in the US that are still running an OS that is already 2 versions old. Android 2.4 has already been spotted in the wild and Honeycomb is not far behind. I liken this situation to a person buying a laptop computer that has Windows Vista on it and being promised that Windows 7 would be provided for free soon after. “Soon After” having come and gone, where is my free Windows 7 that I was promised at the time of sale? Why is it that people outside of this country are receiving it even though this country represents the largest consolidated population using the product? Why is it that a version was already released to carriers but then pulled back at the last moment? There are politics going on but they have nothing to do with regulations. They have to do with Samsung charging carriers per phone to upgrade to Froyo. The carriers refusing to pay for something promised by Samsung and thus Samsung refusing to push the upgrade. This is an issue of greed on Samsung’s part and I for one am not buying another Samsung product. I was going to buy the Galaxy S tablet but now I will get the Motorola Xoom.

  32. I’m looking for the overall improvements 2.2 brings. However the feature I’m looking forward the most is for my Samsung Car Dock audio out to actually work OR they can just give me a refund for the phone and car dock so I can get an HTC device.

  33. I live a cellar apartment where signal is an issue, the 2.2 update allows for wi-fi calling, I am unable to use my Vibrant. The phone is nice overall, I even bought one for my brother. I have, however switched to a G2 and a mytouch 4G, and I love both. I am going to pass to Vibrant off to a less tech concerned friend. I do more hate the phone, hut I al very disappointed it did not serve my needs. J also would like to have the save to SD option.

  34. App2sd support. The Epic 4G has very little internal memory for applications.
    Bluetooth dialing support. It is irresponsible to have a phone that won’t dial hands-free.

  35. This is as much speculation as most of the “insider tip” based rumors floating about. Recently, a Verizon Tech stated on XDA that Verizon has been twice ready to push the Froyo OTA and both times, it was pulled back by Samsung within a week of release. So who is to blame? Speculate all you want, Samsung has a history of tardy updates that were hinted at in blogs and forums even before I took a chance and purchased my Fascinate. None of this is helped by the fact that it took them 4 months just to get a (almost) fix out for a truly dysfunctional GPS system!

    Here’s the thing; if Samsung or any of the carriers wanted to quell the sh%t storm that this has become, an official public announcement would probably be enough. Something like “Sorry for the delay folks. #name of complicated, US-only hardware, RFS etc compatibility issue with Froyo or JIT# has complicated the planned release of your updates. We understand your frustration and are working diligently to resolve these issues so that we can provide a smooth update asap.” The big difference with their actual announcements is that they currently give NO REAL INFORMATION and say NOTHING THAT HASN’T ALREADY BEEN SAID thousands of times.

    @Samsung: Want to stop the blowback?? Try giving a plausible explanation, even if it is to state that the carriers have sent the updates back due to incompatibility with their bloatware… WHATEVER. Don’t just ignore us or blast useless, canned responses at us. We will respect you much more in the morning… even if you have to admit that you [email protected] up. Short of that, expect the speculation to continue growing and discontent to mount.

    The consumers who are paying the most attention (ie: the loud, tech savvy ones) will realize truth when they see it just as easily as they can recognize [email protected] when they smell it. When the volume of protest from them dies down then the “normal consumers” won’t be adding to the din because “they feel slighted”. And for the record, I want Froyo for the following reasons:

    Bluetooth enhancements (dial by voice for instance?)
    Froyo-only apps such as the new Gmail app
    JIT efficiency
    Flash & updated Java enhanced browsing
    (Hopefully) A mainstream lag fix

    You need more? I appreciate what you are trying to do but you missed some serious points here. Don’t assume that because most of the SGS using public are not power users that it is ok to go back on publically announced commitments and leave them behind… I mean, Bluetooth voice dialing?? Not mainstream enough or what?

  36. Really, I just want the GPS fixes.

    But, I am angry because I was lied to. The Sprint guy who sold me this phone assured me that the GPS would be fixed with 2.2 before the end of the year.

    Shame on me for beliving him, but what Samsung and Sprint are doing is un ethical.

  37. I am an eic user since sept. 9th. I want flash player, the ability to save apps to sd and be able to use samsungs very own car dock accessory(use the phne as mp3 player connecting to stereo. It says right on it with a red sticker that function not available until 2.2 is released. Also many voice safety concern for bluetooth voice dialing and having to be hands freedriving in their respective states.

  38. Lack of Flash is one item. However, my biggest issue is the lack of transparency. The lack of communications… No one has the guts to stand up and say why 2.2 is not being pushed or if it will ever be. That’s my main frustration with Samsung and T-Mobile, my carrier. They point fingers then stay silent and let everything fester. If “we the nerds” are inconsequential in their business model, then why not tell us what’s happeniong?

  39. These are the features I’m most excited about:
    USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality (although AT&T will probably not allow this)
    Additional application speed improvements courtesy of JIT implementation
    Integration of Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine into the Browser application

    I would also like the GPS fixed fully, once and for all.

    At this point, I feel like they should commit to release 2.3 for these phones to make things up to us. They already have it working on the Nexus S, after all.

  40. I think the worst part is trying to view websites (like verizon wireless full website) from my fascinate and can’t because of the lack of flash player. being able to store apps on your sd card would be nice too seeing that the galaxy s phones have less internal memory than both the droid x and evo 4g. Not that 2.1 sucks but those features would keep the line of phones in the top running and if updating the devices to 2.2 is the way to do it then that’s what they have to do.

  41. Gee, I didn’t realize that being able to move apps to my SD card was such a trivial concern. If Samsung was going to have this many problems upgrading the OS, then they shouldn’t have lied about it. I would have said the screen is nice, but the functionality is more important & injured up for an HTC device, instead. Never buying Samsung again.

  42. I want to be able to use flash and be able to customize my quick bar. I saw demos of 2.2 and 2.3 and I am so frustrated that I don’t have it yet. To add to my frustration, all my coworkers have an HTC EVO & have been rubbing 2.2 in my face. I like Samsung but if February rolls around & I am still on 2.1 I’m going to ditch Samsung!

  43. First and foremost FLASH!! We should not have to root to attain, the single biggest difference between Android and Apple!! I personally own a T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant

  44. I’m let down because of not having gps fix, FLASH, no skype, and some apps don’t support galaxy s. Other than that, I was informed 2.2 was to be delivered before December 31, 2010, 11:59:59 PM. I have several Samsung products, dvd player other phones, tv, but because of this debacle I opted to buy a toshiba laptop over a samsung today.

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