The Samsung Secret - Why U.S. Galaxy S Phones run Android 2.1 Still

by Volker Weber

I’m going to step across the NDAs and explain the issues behind the Android Froyo update to Samsung Galaxy S phones in the United States. I think most of you have come to this realization yourself now: the withholding of the Froyo update is a largely political one, not a technological one: Froyo runs quite well on Galaxy S phones, as those of you that have run leaked updates may have noticed.

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[Thanks, David]

Comments

Only one more reason to take the carrier out of the equation. I stopped getting carrier subsidized phones years ago and have never regretted it. "Dumb pipes", finally ;)

Hubert Stettner, 2011-01-19

Why don´t they sell major upgrades in the market?

1 Million phones / Users paying 5 $ each => 5 Million Dollars. A lot of Money for selling a software, that is already ready and available for nearly identical phones.

Hans Giesers, 2011-01-19

They want to you to buy a new phone, and maybe a new contract with more restrictions.

Volker Weber, 2011-01-19

Advantage Apple:
they show, that it es possible for a manufacturer to make a lot of money with phones that are already sold. They don't charge for OS-upgrades (except ipod touch?), but is the base of selling more apps in the market.

Next advantage:
If i get a new phone, i prefere the device where i know it's main software will be up-to-date at least the next 2 years, over that one which gets old just when i leave the store.
This could result in better selling new hardware for the manufacturer.

I thin, Samsung´s management is to old-scool business.

Hans Giesers, 2011-01-19

Hans, I seem to fail miserably in seeing the advantage of Apple here. Let me tell you what I mean:

You can always get a 'clean' and uncrippeled Nokia from... surprise, Nokia! Or any other shop. Like... thousands of shops. Or any provider who wants to offer it. You can just put your money on the desk and get it. Like it should be.

In Germany for example you could get iPhones ONLY from T-Mobile, only with contract - for YEARS. You had to get it shipped from the UK or drive to italy to get an uncrippeled one. You could basically not buy it the way you wanted.

It is always a world of 'we made the choice for you'. But I want it more like 'You have the choice'. Now guess, which brand stands for which statement...

Now, can you please show me the advantage in here?

Hubert Stettner, 2011-01-19

Times change. You can walk into an Apple store and buy an iPhone. You can order it online. And you can finance it through O2. Plenty of choices. And it's the same kit all over the world. Do you happen to know how many different SKUs Nokia makes from a single model?

Volker Weber, 2011-01-19

Things have changed here, true.

For the N8, there are probably around 752 Product Codes. You can almost divide it by four, as it is one for every variant of every one of the four colors. That makes around 200. Then, many of them are operator variants. I would say that there are maybe 20-50 localised variants, but I could also be wrong here.

With Pentaband WDCMA, from a hardware point of view it is the same piece of kit. And if you buy an unbranded one from Nokia or a retailer, you do not have any problems - so there is no disadvantage for you.

I personally can not understand, why and how Nokia wastes so much money on so many variants and jumps so many loops for the carriers. I can only hope that many of them are identical. In 2011 we will (besides many other things in mobile) also see, if this really pays out for Nokia. Carriers still *are* (unfortunately) a big power in the market. Just look at the US with the Google N1 miserably failing, despite being a really great Smartphone. Or Nokias performance because of operators hating them.

Well, I hope, things will also change here ;)

Hubert Stettner, 2011-01-19

Hubert, this article is not about the price, it´s about service.
I knew that apple is expensive before i bought the phone (mine is from italy).
Samsung and the other Manufacturers don´t give me the service to extend my phones live. Not even for money. They all say "get new shiny hardware, throw old in the garbage".
Not good for the environment, not good for my wallet.

I also know that apple does not give me all possibilities, which the pure hardware is capable of (in my case problems with bluetooth, but getting better with new iOS-releases). That makes me sad, as i´m a programmer myself and i know what is possible, if the system is free.
But from time to time there is a light and apple gives a special gift. In this case the wlan hotspot which gives me the ability to connect a second notebook without the need of an additional umts-modem.
I think: thanks to competition with android.

From SonyEricsson in 3 years i got only updates for the update-software. Never firmware (not branded/crippled, not android). And that phone had bugs and didn´t use all possibilities of the hardware...

that was my experience to give apple my money and not samsong, SE, Nokia etc.

Hans Giesers, 2011-01-19

Samsung responds. But not very well, IMHO.

Gregg Eldred, 2011-01-20

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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