Wednesday, January 19, 2011
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That Samsung reportedly wants to charge carriers for Android updates is the latest rumor in a story that it’s forcing T-Mobile to withhold updates to the Vibrant.
Samsung is making news of late, and it’s not for the extraordinary sales figures on its line of Galaxy S handsets. Rumors are being traded across the Internet about the Vibrant, T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy S handset, have put the phone maker in the hotseat.
AndroidSpin first reported Jan. 12 that Samsung was intentionally not updating the Vibrant’s operating system to Android 2.2 — as customers had been promised — for fear that an update would decrease interest in the upcoming Vibrant 4G, a 4G-enabled version of the device that (should some leaked promotional materials prove true) could become the fastest device on the T-Mobile network.
A “tipster,” purporting to be a T-Mobile employee, reportedly told the site that Samsung was not “allowing” T-Mobile to push out the update over the air. In addition, the tipster wrote that the original Vibrant can “utilize 4G fully. Yes, fully. Not what they are telling you.”
DailyTech added new details to the story Jan. 19, reporting that a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Samsung and T-Mobile, claiming deceptive trade practices, and that — according to a post on XDADevelopers — Samsung “wanted to charge carriers for Android updates on grounds that they added features to devices.”
Samsung Mobile, apparently looking to clear up the matter, sent an e-mail to PhoneScoop Jan. 18, saying, “No. Samsung is not charging carriers for Froyo updates to Galaxy S. We hope to have more detail on status shortly. Promise!”
Regarding the cause of the update’s delay, a Samsung Mobile spokesperson wrote to CNET Jan. 13 that the update is a complicated matter that the company is working to get right.
With regard to the Froyo update, CNET reported that the spokesperson wrote:
We recently issued the following statement: ‘Samsung feels it is important to make the Android 2.2/Froyo upgrade available only after we feel that we can give the millions of U.S. Galaxy S owners a simple and reliable upgrade experience. Due to the complexity and unique functionality of each Galaxy S device, we are performing additional testing and are working to make the Android 2.2/Froyo upgrade available to all U.S. Galaxy S owners, including the Samsung Vibrant, as soon as possible.’
Unfortunately for Vibrant owners, “as soon as possible” is as vague as Samsung’s original statement, back during the late-June unveiling of its Galaxy smartphones, that the lot of them would soon receive updates to Android 2.2 — just as competing smartphones, such as the Motorola Droid X and HTC Evo 4G, have.
While Samsung has enjoyed the spotlight these past few months — additionally with swift sales of its Galaxy Tab tablet — the update fiasco puts both CNET and DailyTech in mind of previous Samsung antics regarding the Behold II. According to CNET, Samsung simply “stopped pushing updates after Android OS 1.6.”
While the average consumer may forgive or overlook such behavior, if he or she is even aware of it, the media, developers and early adopters have long memories for such details, writes Daily Tech. It continues, “Whatever its reasons for delaying, Samsung is going to have to work extra hard to regain the trust of these three key communities if it plans to make its next venture anywhere near as successful as the Galaxy S line.
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