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Samsung Reconsidering Android 4.0 On the Galaxy S

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the seeing-is-believing dept.

Android 192

ghostoftiber writes "The original Galaxy S was the redheaded step child of the Samsung device line. ... Samsung announced over Christmas that the original Galaxy S was done, leaving its faithful fans in a position of having another year on their contracts with no upgrade path. Users were predictably incensed, and it looks like Samsung changed their minds. There's also the Samsung Vibrant development forum if you want Ice Cream Sandwich running on your Vibrant right now." The original source is bit iffy and implies that the release will not be fully featured (probably due to hardware constraints). Business Insider contacted Samsung directly and an official response is expected today.

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192 comments

It's the business model (5, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516242)

It's possible but unlikely. The Android phone business model guarantees that updates will be a mess [zdnet.com] . Putting Android updates on older phones decreases the likelihood that people will buy new phones, and it costs them support and engineering to put out an update.

Carriers don't want you to buy a new phone; they want you to pay a monthly bill. Android gives the carriers control over your phone. This is part of the problem with the argument that Android is about freedom and choice. For contrast, note that the 2 1/2 year old iPhone 3GS can run the latest version of iOS because Apple maintains strict control over the hardware platform to the benefit of the customer, and Microsoft has similar control over Windows Phones to align third-party devices with an OS roadmap.

Android has greater total marketshare due to an abundance of budget phones, but marketshare isn't what drives business; it's profits and customer satisfaction, and the iPhone is the top-selling handset because of the control Apple enforces on its platform as well as the one making the most profit. The narrative is not Android versus Apple, as if Android is some big company--it's Apple versus Samsung versus HTC versus Motorola versus Acer versus Asus verus Coby versus Coby vs. Sony-Ericsson versus Fusion Garage versus RIM versus HP versus Archos.

Seamless experiences always win out over time. We saw it when gaming shifted from PCs to consoles, and now the industry is shifting from desktops to mobile devices. Fragmentation is a huge for users.

Re:It's the business model (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516448)

Meanwhile at Slashdot headquarters...

"Oh shit, a company did something with one of its products... QUICK MAN, write up a front-page headline!"

Re:It's the business model (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516482)

In the US, at least, most people buy new phones every 2 years or so because that is when their contract is up and they are free/cheap. If a company only keeps their phone updated for a year or less, that should just make the customer angry for the second year of the cell plan and more likely to buy the next phone from a competitor. So it seems like the incentive in the US should be to keep each phone updated for about 2 years so those who buy it within a few months of it coming out aren't extremely frustrated. Hopefully some cell companies will realize this.

Re:It's the business model (2)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516638)

The carriers' defense against that is "early upgrades" are available 18 months into your 24 month contract. (AT&T openly advertises this on the website you sign into in order to pay your bill)

Most of the people you refer to will take the "early upgrade" (with a new 2-year commitment) at 18 months, rather than wait 6 more months to switch to a competitor. Thus, they never allow the customer to hit the open market, at least not without an early termination fee.

Re:It's the business model (1)

tommy8 (2434564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517108)

But if someone is unhappy for 6 months they are less likely to take the early upgrade at the 18 month mark.

Re:It's the business model (3, Interesting)

MrMr (219533) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517182)

Around here you can get an early upgrade from a competitor: get a new phone and finish your old contract...

Re:It's the business model (2, Insightful)

NicknameOne (2525178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516538)

Apple is the worst offender in the planned obsolescence scam. They are known to deprecate perfectly working hardware/software so they can sell their new shiny toys. Android is so much better because Cyanogen mod is always there.

ios 5 is horrible on the 3gs from what I have heard (http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/12/12/ios-5-on-iphone-3gs-things-have-been-getting-worse/).

It's funny how your comments read exactly like those from bonch - another low paid marketing drone who likes to lurk slashdot waiting to get first posts so he can bash Google. If I didn't know better I would think you two are the same person posting with different accounts.

Re:It's the business model (5, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516596)

It's bizarre for anyone to accuse Apple of deprecating perfectly working hardware/software (note that you don't give a single example) when there are about 150 Android handset models released per year, and phones that are only months old and won't get Android 4.0. Meanwhile the 2 1/2 year old iPhone 3GS can run iOS 4.0, yet you're accusing Apple of the worst planned obsolescence? So what if iOS 4.0 doesn't perform as well on the 3GS--it still runs on it if the customer chooses to install it. The carriers' business model is dependent on new phone models, so they don't want you to get upgrades.

Citing Cyanogen as a legitimate solution is absurd. Normal people shouldn't have to root their phones. Also, I don't care who you think I am or if you don't like to see Google get bashed. What does Google have to do with this?

Re:It's the business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516696)

Citing Cyanogen as a legitimate solution is absurd.

I know, right? People actually taking control of their own devices instead of being at the convenience of their masters^H^H^H^H OEM's is absurd I tell you!

Re:It's the business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38517726)

So, mod, who do you work for? Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola? Who?

Re:It's the business model (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38518284)

How much control are we talking? You get your rooted, Ice Cream Sandwich running device that has a malfunctioning GPS, camera, or market.

I could not care less about an official update from a manufacturer, but Android will forever be a joke as an "open source" version of mobile freedom until manufacturers make drivers available for all their hardware. No one needs a full public release upgrade (alpha, beta and public tested!) of their operating system from the manufacturer. The community already gets together and builds updates for devices, but they lack the necessary bits to truly make them work correctly.

Just give us the damn drivers and let us fend for ourselves. Running android is the proverbial two wolves and a sheep arguing about dinner and I fucking hate it.

Re:It's the business model (1)

NicknameOne (2525178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516798)

How do I know that Apple isn't intentionally making ios 4 run slowly on the 3GS so they'll make people upgrade? With Android I would know for sure - because the source code is available. A friend of mine took his 3GS to the apple store because the power button was acting up - it works only when pressed in a certain angle. The apple store people refused to fix it and asked him to upgrade to iPhone 4.

What does Google have to do with this

I hate to break this to you but the last time I checked Google develops Android.

I don't care about seeing Google bashed for legitimate reasons. In fact I would like to see that happen. But you're spreading misinformation here and I would like to see that stopped.

Re:It's the business model (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517446)

How do I know that Apple isn't intentionally making ios 4 run slowly on the 3GS so they'll make people upgrade?

How do you know there aren't fairies at the bottom of your garden?

With such weak-minded questions have stupid people convinced themselves of what they want to believe since time immemorial.

With Android I would know for sure - because the source code is available.

No you wouldn't know for sure, because it takes hours even to compile. You'd have to code review it all to be sure there are no intentional slow downs, and even in the vanishingly unlikely possibility that you had the breadth of expertise to understand it all, you don't have the time to properly review that much code.

Re:It's the business model (3, Insightful)

NicknameOne (2525178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517776)

Are you equating fairies to the very real possibility of planned obsolescence from Apple?

Also I tend to use common sense a lot. So if the source code is available (for Android specifically and Linux in general), I review some parts of it and I trust the community to review other parts. I also use this concept called Logic - you should try it out sometime because here is an example of something amazing that it could do - prove that I don't have to worry about Android source. Are you ready? Here we go: Logically if there is malicious code in Android, since it is open source there's a real and finite possibility that it will be found by some one at which point there will be a tremendous backlash for Google resulting in them losing a lot. So (again logically speaking) Google would probably not add any malicious code.

No such guarantees from Apple unfortunately.

Re:It's the business model (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38518278)

Are you equating fairies to the very real possibility of planned obsolescence from Apple?

Yes, he was. Do you know why? Because there's as much evidence for one as there is for the other. For every blog post you cite of a guy claiming to have insider knowledge about Apple's business practices, I can cite ten second-hand stories that "prove" that fairies exist. Unfortunately, a few guys running their mouths and waving their arms about conspiracy theories doesn't take the place of real evidence.

Re:It's the business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38518340)

Are you equating fairies to the very real possibility of planned obsolescence from Apple?

Pretty sure GP is saying you aren't being logical (which is funny considering you subsequently went on about using logic)

In logic, you present premises and logic (argument) to form a conclusion. Both premises and argument have to be sound

With regards to "the very real possibility of planned obsolescence from Apple", your premise is, apparently, that Android's source is open while Apple's is not. While there's no denying of the fact (that one's open and the other is not), it is a logical leap to say that Apple has a "very real possibility of planned obsolescence"

It's a false dichotomy to split the world into "open and safe" with "closed and (very real possibility of) planned obsolescence". Consider this: none of us are "open sourced" here - our real names and identities are hidden (especially me with my AC status). Does that mean we're all insincere and disingenuous? One would wonder why we're even allowed to post anonymously or at all if the Internet isn't regulated to an extent which makes SOPA look meek.

Mind you, I'm not sure how planned obsolescence has anything to do with the OP's point that for Android, their business model is to sell phones (whereas Apple still makes money from their app store and music store). What you're doing is diverting attention away from talking about Android, to bashing Apple.

For all your crying about M$/Appl shills (you're not the only one looking at people's post histories), you're making yourself look like an Android/Google shill with each and every post here.

Re:It's the business model (4, Insightful)

idobi (820896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516632)

Nothing requires you to update your 3gs to iOS5 - but you can if you want to. As opposed to an update not being available at all... Aside from providing an upgrade path, is Apple also suppose to hold back features that highlight their new models in an effort to prevent performance issues in older models?

Re:It's the business model (2)

NicknameOne (2525178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516866)

Aside from providing an upgrade path, is Apple also suppose to hold back features that highlight their new models in an effort to prevent performance issues in older models

Not at all. I was just responding to the OPs point that Apple's latest OS versions runs fine on two and a half year old hardware as opposed to Android. He is wrong because it doesn't.

Re:It's the business model (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516958)

Don't forget how they purposefully leave features out of first versions of things so that half a year later, they can put out the same device BUT NOW WITH A CAMERA so everyone will buy a new one.

Re:It's the business model (0)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517136)

HAHAHA I was thinking the exact same thing. is this Bonch sounds awfully like him. Comments loaded with Apple's talking points. "fragmentation blah blah" I don't understand how these drones don't realize the obvious transparency of their arguments.

Re:It's the business model (2)

wzinc (612701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517588)

Coming from what I know - because I own a 3GS - iOS 5 is great.

Also, coming from what I know, since I was forced to do Android dev work, is that, other than Nexus phones, the official upgrade path is non-existent. Of course, yes, there is always Cyanogenmod. Which would be fine; I'll even say that I would probably be happy with an Android, since I could do Cyanogen. However, a lot of these consumers couldn't even program a VCR, let alone install custom firmware. Most don't even know Cyanogen exists.

Android would be a lot more effective in the long-run if the Nexus phones were the only official models.

Re:It's the business model (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517736)

Actually, the article you refer to is very positive about IOS 5 on 3GS. It's the 5.0.1 update specifically that it has problems with. Wait and see what 5.0.2 or so brings.
I'm not much of an Apple fan, and don't plan to ever buy any of their products but there are some things they do right. Software updates seems to be one of them.

Re:It's the business model (4, Informative)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517752)

I'm not saying you didn't hear that iOS5 is horrible on the 3GS, but I have heard the opposite - that it actually works very well.

Re:It's the business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516556)

Well said sir. The fact that HTC is having a hard time is a testament to the issues of the Android OEM model. As for the openness and all, that will only truly be seen when the OEMs are able to sell directly to the consumer without concern for the carrier. Perhaps we will see this once LTE becomes more ubiquitous. Since the GSM, CDMA structure currently in place seems to make it difficult to make one true world phone. The iPhone 4S is one, as an example, but Apple did a very dick move by blocking the AWS band that T-Mobile uses in the USA just so AT&T customers would not jump ship.

Re:It's the business model (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516846)

OEMs can and do sell directly to the consumer. However, most consumers are unwilling to pay the price of a phone without a carrier brand/lock. 849$ for an unlocked iPhone 4S with maximum storage direct from Apples store. Same kind of "deals" can be had for many Android phones, but most makers dont have an online store. Bottom line, without the carrier subsidy most people just dont want the things.

Re:It's the business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516908)

Bottom line, without the carrier subsidy most people just dont want the things.

Bottom line, most people don't put a lot of thought into anything especially anything shiny, especially anything that requires planning. So they routinely pay more total for everything just because they couldn't handle the sticker shock of paying up-front for what they want. Banks, marketers, and carriers know this and love it.

Re:It's the business model (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516588)

Fragmentation is a huge for users.

Actually, it's a huge tired talking point for the anti-Android contingent. Ask Stacy Valley-girl how much Android "fragmentation" effects her life and she will look at you like you've grown another neck. Why? Because she as well as 95 percent of Android users either don't freaking care or they don't want upgrades. Many Android users are first time smartphone buyers. Why should they go to sleep with one version and then wake up with something completely different? They are getting to understand their phone and actually feeling kind of cool and you want to pull the rug from beneath them? Why? So the less than 5 percent of nerds that care will stop whining? NEWS FLASH: Normal users don't care and normal users are who buy all the phones.

Re:It's the business model (3, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516702)

Actually, it's a huge tired talking point for the anti-Android contingent. Ask Stacy Valley-girl how much Android "fragmentation" effects her life and she will look at you like you've grown another neck. Why? Because she as well as 95 percent of Android users either don't freaking care or they don't want upgrades.

She'll care when she sees that her friends have iPhones that can do things that the version of Android on her phone can't do, or when she can't run an app that needs so-and-so version (and possibly so-and-so hardware feature). You're acting as if fragmentation isn't already an issue for both developers and users. The iPhone tops Android smartphones in every customer satisfaction survey. Seamless experiences always win out in the end.

Why should they go to sleep with one version and then wake up with something completely different? They are getting to understand their phone and actually feeling kind of cool and you want to pull the rug from beneath them? Why? So the less than 5 percent of nerds that care will stop whining? NEWS FLASH: Normal users don't care and normal users are who buy all the phones.

I'm sorry, but this is dumb. You're making an argument against operating systems upgrades. Android 4.0 is supposed to deliver major performance enhancements and features that improve the performance of the devices it runs on. But heaven forbid we "pull the rug from beneath them" when they're "actually feeling kind of cool."

Re:It's the business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516856)

he'll care when she sees that her friends have iPhones that can do things that the version of Android on her phone can't do

There are things that Android version 1.6 can do that iPhones to this day can't do and vice versa. That's a stupid argument. Got anything better?

or when she can't run an app that needs so-and-so version

Really, is taht the best you got? Over 95 (maybe it's 98) percent of Android phones run version 2.1 and better. All of the quality apps on the platform support Android to these versions.

The iPhone tops Android smartphones in every customer satisfaction survey. Seamless experiences always win out in the end.

Ha ha ha. Quoting customer satisfaction surveys? What's the margin of error? Who commissioned the survey? Since when does "customer satisfaction surveys" map 1 to 1 with sales? Answer: never. And if seamless experience and customer satisfaction wins "always", remind me of the relative market share between Windows and OSX again if you please. Hint: don't give up your day job and stop dabbling in marketing.

ndroid 4.0 is supposed to deliver major performance enhancements and features that improve the performance of the devices it runs on. But heaven forbid we "pull the rug from beneath them" when they're "actually feeling kind of cool."

You don't get it, son. Windows 7 delivers heaven and earth too but still many people are diehard xp users and will not upgrade until they buy a new computer. Normal users just want to make calls, browse the net, check their email and play angrytoads. All versions of Android do that that are sold on the market today. When people get a new phone, they'll be happy to embrace ics but until then, they just want to get on with their lives and "feel cool." Get out of your basement sometime, boy, and you'll learn something about regular people.

Re:It's the business model (5, Interesting)

dbcad7 (771464) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517392)

Had two brothers and a niece and nephew in town for Christmas.. They all have Android phones (as do I), as part of breakfast conversation I asked them if they were on Gingerbread.. none of them knew what that was, or what Froyo was, or what Eclair was., or that Ice Cream Sandwich was released and should be coming soon., We had four different models on 3 different carriers (2 different EVOS, Fascinate, Sensation).. there was nothing someone else had app wise that any of us could not get if we wanted.. In truth, although we all used our phones at times, other than directly asking to see their phone none of would have known what the other had.. no one said they liked anothers phone better than theirs.. there was more talk of the carrier differences than there was about phone models.. The reality of fragmentation is that it's not a big deal that some people would make it.. I also have a phone on Froyo that I assume will never go beyond it, but I got my 2 years out of it, and it is in a drawer as a backup phone.. Now the iPhone crowd car harp on the 3GS getting updates beyond the 2 and a half years, but the same type of enthusuuast, that would care, would also upgrade within that time. My 2 year old phone in the drawer had the same number of updates as the 3GS.. The Galaxy S that this article is about, has also had the same number of updates as the 3GS, and in over a year less time.

Re:It's the business model (1)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38518252)

Ask Stacy Valley-girl how much Android "fragmentation" effects her life and she will look at you like you've grown another neck -beard .

FTFY!

Re:It's the business model (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516602)

It's possible but unlikely. The Android phone business model guarantees that updates will be a mess [zdnet.com] . Putting Android updates on older phones decreases the likelihood that people will buy new phones, and it costs them support and engineering to put out an update.

Yes - the only reason to invest development time is to create revenue, and it's pretty hard to draw a straight line between a phone update and revenue - beyond generating loyalty from 1%ers like Slashdotters.

If all the glaring bugs and defects are fixed, the kinds of things that make the average subscriber say "this stupid phone" "my phone sucks" and switch carriers, then why would SprATTVerizonMobile invest expensive development hours in a handset, particularly after that handset is no longer being sold?

The carriers are wise to invest development hours in getting the very latest versions of Android on the very newest handsets only. This can be advertised and drive revenue.

It's an inherent weakness in the fragmented Android platform.

Re:It's the business model (0)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516732)

We saw it when gaming shifted from PCs to consoles

Surely it didn't have anything to do with the game developers having much easier times enforcing their drm therefore just producing less for the PC and more for the consoles forcing gamers themselves to switch...

Re:It's the business model (0)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517002)

We saw it when gaming shifted from PCs to consoles

Surely it didn't have anything to do with the game developers having much easier times enforcing their drm therefore just producing less for the PC and more for the consoles forcing gamers themselves to switch...

It should also be noted that there has been a decent swing back to PCs lately. This is at least in part because of both the humble bundles and steam.

Re:It's the business model (1)

halber_mensch (851834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516926)

Carriers don't want you to buy a new phone

Are you serious? Of course they do, they want you to buy a new phone every two years so you'll sign a new contract to get the subsidized price, thereby guaranteeing their profitability for a further two years each iteration. The manufacturers also want to be able to keep turning over more merchandise - that's the sole source of profit in the chain for them. Apple can be somewhat immune to these influences because the device is merely a gateway to iTunes and the App Store, which provide the consistent revenue. Apple would be pretty happy to know you've upgraded every phone along the line, but then they wouldn't be devastated if you didn't because you're still buying apps and music through them. But Samsung gets nothing from Google's market profits, their only hope each year is to put out The Next Big Awesome Android Phone at such a significant cost that customers will sign their contracts, carriers will subsidize the costs of the phones to keep the manufacturers providing new hotness to lure in more subsidized contract upgrades, and the whole circus will keep on running.

Re:It's the business model (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517846)

Of course they do, they want you to buy a new phone every two years so you'll sign a new contract to get the subsidized price, thereby guaranteeing their profitability for a further two years each iteration.

They want to keep you from churning to the competitor, but their ideal scenario would have you using the same handset for as many months as physically possible. They handsets are expensive, because, as you say, they subsidize them at no cost to the subscriber. OS upgrades are approximately as bad for carriers, because they require as much development and support effort as a whole new handset SKU, but unlike a new phone, an upgrade doesn't cause subscribers to sign a new contract.

Re:It's the business model (4, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516976)

Seamless experiences always win out over time.

Actually I think you'll find that "cheap and good enough" wins over time. See, for example, fast food, supermarkets, shoes, clothing, housing etc.

Re:It's the business model (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517014)

Seamless experiences always win out over time. We saw it when gaming shifted from PCs to consoles, and now the industry is shifting from desktops to mobile devices. Fragmentation is a huge for users.

I think you're right... but for consumers cheap > good. Mass market is always the cheaper product. In the case of consoles, they were - historically - cheaper than buying a PC for just for gaming, particularly decent gaming rigs, albeit I don't doubt ease of use would be a big factor.

Re:It's the business model (2)

zerojoker (812874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517984)

I bought a HTC Magic. The Magic was released roughly the time when the 3GS was introduced, and has comparable hardware.

I am on contract with NTT Docomo. Officially the Magic is stuck here at 1.6. By flashing Cyanogenmod, I could get up to 2.2.1. Some at XDA have made 2.3.3. available, but it is slow and unstable. Updating has the risk of bricking the device. Very like, it will never see 4.0.

Considering the price, I did not even save any money.

The update experience on Android is simply a joke. My next smartphone will be anything but Android. Windows Phone 7, iOS, heck even Blackberry will give me less trouble.

most users probably not obsessed with updates (1)

csumpi (2258986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38518130)

My wife has a droid2 and she was completely happy with Froyo on it. I recently upgraded her phone to Gingerbread and she likes some of the new features and she is still happy. But I don't think it much changed her outlook on life, she still uses her phone to make calls, email, browse the internet and navigation.

In a couple of months when she is eligible for an upgrade we'll get her a new phone, because it's scratched here and there, the kids dreweled all over it and she dropped it a couple of times. Then she'll have a phone with the latest Android, and she'll be able to make calls, email, browse the internet and use it for navigation.

With each Android update I found the UI more polished, things running smoother and some kinks worked out.

While iOS updates do the same, I think the main driving factor for Apple is adding new ways to tap the wallets. Like in app purchasing, iCloud, disabling jailbreaks, whatnot. So if they don't update older phones, they will lose money on those people. So yes, you get more shiny new updates, but the main purpose is to get more of your moneys.

Back to my wife: she had an iPhone before the Droid2, and while she got updates, she was not very satisfied with the constant dropped calls, poor reception and bad call quality. Now she gets less updates, but she's more satisfied because her phone just... works.

meh (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516268)

I bought an unlocked Galaxy S not too long after they came out. I love it, but the GPS is broken*. I don't believe any software update will ever fix it. So now I'm just waiting for a phone that I consider to be a suitable replacement at a decent price point. I like the Galaxy S II - and the new Nexus. I figure at some point next year I will think about pulling the trigger.

*It takes forever to settle on a location and when it finally does get it one it is with an accuracy of +/- half a kilometer or more. This makes it essentially useless for navigation.

Wasn't the GPS issue fixed? (1)

thegoldenear (323630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516328)

Wasn't that issue fixed by an update some months after it came out? It was supposed to have been. What version of Android are you on now? 2.3.3 is available for it and eventually you'll be able to get 4.0 using cyanogenmod.

Re:Wasn't the GPS issue fixed? (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516376)

No it actually wasn't fixed despite their claims. Also cyanogenmod dropped support for the vibrant so no ICS from them.

Re:Wasn't the GPS issue fixed? (1)

mrbester (200927) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516618)

Have you tried CM7 with an updated radio? 2.3.7 with JVK works fine for me with 15s GPS lock.

Re:Wasn't the GPS issue fixed? (3, Interesting)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517048)

Hard to fix a hardware problem with software.

This phone has provided me with no end of frustration. It's a $500 phone that I'm paying another eight bucks a month for warranty for over my two year contract, meaning I'll wind up paying a total of $700 for a phone that doesn't work right. And t-mobile wants to give me a $150 clique in replacement.

Some links follow.

It's a hardware problem in a number of phones:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=878970 [xda-developers.com]

http://pocketnow.com/android/hardware-fix-for-vibrants-gps-problems [pocketnow.com]

T-mobile did push out a patch:

http://pocketnow.com/android/samsung-vibrant-gps-fix-finally-being-pushed-out-by-t-mobile [pocketnow.com]

But it didn't actually do the upgrade. No, you have to turn off your computer's firewall and virus protection to apply software patches to hardware problems...

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/SupportOwnersFAQPopup.do?faq_id=FAQ00026061&fm_seq=26229 [samsung.com]

for a patch that doesn't work anyway...

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=988076 [xda-developers.com]

http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1661605-Vibrant-Problems-Please-post-all-here-so-Samsung-Google-Engineers-can-see-them/page4 [howardforums.com]

Re:meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516426)

Look, you have a shitty phone but that's no reason to splatter your brains all over the wall.

fandroids love getting buttfuckef (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516284)

The funniest part is that the iPhone3GS got iOS5 without needing jailbreaks, custom ROMs, etc. But...but...Android is open sores! Fandroids must love getting buttfucked by the carriers and manufacturers to keep coming back for more.

Re:fandroids love getting buttfuckef (3, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516330)

Vulgar insults that make you look like a child aside. My first generation Motorola Drioid has also gotten updated frequently, its all in what you buy. Oh, and hows Siri running on your 3GS? Don't pretend that Apple doesn't try to get people to upgrade perfectly usable phones.

Re:fandroids love getting buttfuckef (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516502)

Since when do I own a 3GS? That's news to me. Oh right this is the typical fandroid response of "If you dare talk bad about Android/Google (peace be upon them) you are teh iTard! Herp derp!". I don't care whether or not iTards get that piece of shit Siri. I own an N900 which doesn't require me to suck Google's or some carrier's dick to update it.

Re:fandroids love getting buttfuckef (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516956)

How many people get smart phones just because they work. They get them because they have cool neat new features. In 2008 I got an iPhone (origional?) Then in 2010 I got the iPhone 4. My Wife got my old iPhone and that old phone still works. iOS is stuck on version 3. But you can still get apps for it that work fine for it. I may upgrade on the iPhone 6 but that depends on what comes out. I wanted the iPhone 4 because of the high resolution display, easier to read text in small fonts. The new features in the iPhone 4s isn't that appealing to me Siri is a cool toy but I will get board with it quickly... Mostly because I am not one who talks much.

Re:fandroids love getting buttfuckef (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38517584)

Cyanogen mod is not "gotten updated frequently".

How about the Galaxy Player? (1)

ckblackm (1137057) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516326)

Does anyone know if the Galaxy Player will get an ICS update? thanks, Christopher.

Where is consumer protection? (2)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516406)

This is a big reason why OEM's should not be able to lock devices from user upgrades. If a company decides to no longer support a device, is the customer's right to continue to use the device in a secure way revoked? Having to go through a process of rooting a device that has a limited life span so it can be kept up to date weakens the user's ability to protect themselves. They should release something which allow users to maintain the device themselves.

Re:Where is consumer protection? (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516456)

is the customer's right to continue to use the device in a secure way revoked?

Right to use the device in a secure way? Who granted you that right? There are probably some states that give you a little implied warranty protection for a limited duration of time, but that's it as far as rights go unless you signed a contract.

Re:Where is consumer protection? (2)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516582)

When you buy hardware, you get the right to use that hardware in any way that doesn't violate the law. That includes loading a new operating system on it, if it's capable. They should be required to provide you with a procedure to unlock any protections you want to unlock so that you have full access to the hardware. When you buy a smart phone it should also include an implied right that the service provider's system won't be changed in such a way that your phone will become incompatible with the system for some time -- at least your contract term. But it doesn't include the right to eternal support or any guarantee that the company will help you upgrade it.

what I dont get (1)

Muramas95 (2459776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516410)

Why doesn't the manufacture work with the open source community to provide better fixes to their products. Like teamhacksung is porting ICS to Galaxy S now and if Samsung helped it whttp://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/12/28/1536257/samsung-reconsidering-android-40-on-the-galaxy-s?utm_source=feedburnerGoogle+Feedfetcher&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot+%28Slashdot%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher#ould be that much faster.

Re:what I dont get (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516500)

Because manufacturers are more concerned with their branding than they are the customer.

Re:what I dont get (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516540)

Because Samsung's goal is to get you to buy a new phone.

Re:what I dont get (1)

Muramas95 (2459776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516612)

I would agree with this but I have a Galaxy S and the S2 is not very different and does not warrant an upgrade yet.

Re:what I dont get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38517684)

Bingo, and if they don't upgrade their old phones my next phone won't be a Samsung. As it is, my current phone is a HTC Desire S, if that doesn't get ICS then my next phone won't be an HTC, if the Desire S stays on Gingerbread and the Galaxy S does get ICS then it's likely that I'll jump ship TO Samsung.

Message to the phone vendors: if you treat your old customers better than your competitors treat their old customers then you're likely to pick up their old customers at upgrade time, the reverse is also true.

Re:what I dont get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516600)

Why doesn't the manufacture work with the open source community to provide better fixes to their products. Like teamhacksung is porting ICS to Galaxy S now and if Samsung helped it whttp://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/12/28/1536257/samsung-reconsidering-android-40-on-the-galaxy-s?utm_source=feedburnerGoogle+Feedfetcher&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot+%28Slashdot%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher#ould be that much faster.

Will you chuckleheads please learn how to proofread? Pretty-please?

And this REALLY isn't hard either, not even if you really are that lazy: <a href="http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/12/28/1536257/samsung-reconsidering-android-40-on-the-galaxy-s>Your Text Here</a>

See how easy that is? Oh, and there is no need for the "utm_source" part unless you just love having marketers track your browsing and really want to help them do it.

Please remember (2)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516470)

Let's all remember how companies view customers [gocomics.com] . And the screw gets bigger every year no matter what.

Re:Please remember (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516898)

This is just troll. (A funny troll though). There are economic disincentives to "continually screwing the customer:" companies that do that lose all their customers (I know because I've worked for companies that tried). The only way "continually screwing the customer" works is when your business model relies on ripping people off (like this site [cenegenics.com] , expect to get ripped off there), or when you have a monopoly.

Re:Please remember (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517004)

The only way "continually screwing the customer" works is when your business model relies on ripping people off, or when you have a monopoly.

You mean like the business model of the cell carriers in the US? They also have a monopoly (due to the enormous barrier of entry).

Re:Please remember (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517454)

You mean like the business model of the cell carriers in the US? They also have a monopoly (due to the enormous barrier of entry).

Yeap. That's why the business model should be broken into two parts, the bandwidth providers, and the service providers. The bandwidth providers will compete on providing the best infrastructure, and the service providers will compete on providing the best service to customers.

Ultimately it will get to that point, but it's still a young industry.

Already dumped my Galaxy S (1, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516492)

I had an Epic 4G. The upgrades were slim to none, taking almost 8 months to get Froyo. I eventually found ACSyndicate who make great roms for the device, including a 4.0 rom that was very well done minus the ability to use 4G.

I had to dump the device last week in favor of an iPhone though. I just can't deal with the fragmentation in Android devices, the lack of software upgrades, the sketchy nature of custom roms and the horrible device support from companies like Samsung.

Samsung blew it so bad on this device I've personally skipped out on buying their other products, including TV and Blue-ray players. I've also convinced my friends and family to go with other manufacturers because of it. If Samsung thinks their actions have no effect on their other products lines, they are sadly mistaken.

Re:Already dumped my Galaxy S (1, Interesting)

Brian Feldman (350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516722)

I had an Epic 4G. The upgrades were slim to none, taking almost 8 months to get Froyo. I eventually found ACSyndicate who make great roms for the device, including a 4.0 rom that was very well done minus the ability to use 4G.

I had to dump the device last week in favor of an iPhone though. I just can't deal with the fragmentation in Android devices, the lack of software upgrades, the sketchy nature of custom roms and the horrible device support from companies like Samsung.

Samsung blew it so bad on this device I've personally skipped out on buying their other products, including TV and Blue-ray players. I've also convinced my friends and family to go with other manufacturers because of it. If Samsung thinks their actions have no effect on their other products lines, they are sadly mistaken.

Yet for every one of you, there are plenty of people who do not have issues with their Samsung equipment and recommend Samsung to others. So I think that if you think you truly have an impact on any of their product lines, you are sadly mistaken.

Re:Already dumped my Galaxy S (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38518222)

Exactly. Samsung LCD TVs are great devices. I have two of them. My parents have one. My sister has one.

My g/f has a Vibrant. It is a piece of junk. I'm sorry that I ever suggested that she buy it. However her phone has nothing to do with the television.

Re:Already dumped my Galaxy S (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516834)

I have an Epic 4g right now and love it. The only bad thing about it is that the battery is utter crap and won't last more than 3 or 4 hours of continuous use.

Re:Already dumped my Galaxy S (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517332)

Get a gingerbread version on it (see: androidcentral.com, xda-developers.net, or any similar site) and be careful when you enable 4g data (it kills the battery on any phone). You will not regret it; the Galaxy S is a solid performer. Samsung definitely has a screwed up software release process (not unlike most other companies) but the hardware is fantastic.

Re:Already dumped my Galaxy S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38518052)

troll.

Yuo fail 1t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516548)

WOOT here,R but what Is

Here's what I think Google should do (5, Insightful)

Mascot (120795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516558)

Enforce a policy where handset manufacturers are required to offer a convenient way to optionally install vanilla Android. Problem solved, as far as I'm concerned. When "primary" support is ended, I get the option of buying a newer device to get the manufacturer added bells and whistles, or going with vanilla Android until the hardware just can't handle it.

Re:Here's what I think Google should do (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516686)

And they will do this how without driving away the manufacturers or causing the manufacturers to fork the code and leave Google hanging?

Re:Here's what I think Google should do (1)

Mascot (120795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516946)

I said "here's what I think". I didn't say I had researched the agreements and could offer a contractual way to accomplish it. I believe a clause to enforce updates for a certain period (12 or 18 months, was it?) has already been added. I don't feel it's inconceivable that the manufacturers might also open their phones up at end-of-life. Come to think of it, doesn't HTC already offer a way to unlock their _new_ phones? Last I heard it was supposed to launch in the Aug/Sep time frame.

Re:Here's what I think Google should do (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517212)

There is no such contractual agreement. There was talk about manufacturers giving updates for 18 months "as long as hardware would allow" but nothing legally enforceable. If Google tried to enforce such a contract the manufacturers would laugh and fork Android like Amazon has done effectively killing Android as it now exists. These manufacturers aren't in this to make vanilla Android handsets. Without being able to differentiate through customization they won't stick around.

Re:Here's what I think Google should do (1)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517024)

Without agreeing to Google's terms, manufactures can't ship devices with the Android Market, Google's apps, or use the Android trademark. That gives Google the power to do as the OP suggests.

Re:Here's what I think Google should do (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517158)

Or it will drive them to fork Android like Amazon did.

Re:Here's what I think Google should do (1)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517260)

Amazon is in a different type of business than HTC, Samsung, etc. Amazon's reasons for forking Android exist regardless of whether or not Google chooses to implement the OP's proposed policy, whereas HTC, Samsung, etc are more willing to accept Google's terms in order to get a low cost, high quality OS on their phones.

Re:Here's what I think Google should do (1)

tommy8 (2434564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517144)

The handset makers and wireless service provides get paid to put crapware on the phones, they won't go vanilla Android.

Use a ROM! (2)

expo53d (2511934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516616)

The power of Android Devices lies here. While these Samsung Nexus S users may not get the official upgrade, users who are tech savvy enough to care will simply install a 4.0 ROM for thier phones. I personally have an OG droid running android 2.3.5.

Re:Use a ROM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38517208)

You mean Samsung Galaxy S.
The Google/Samsung Nexus S already got its official 4.0 OTA update (and it has almost identical hardware specs to the Galaxy S...).

Tablets also... (1)

linuxwonder (1681928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516712)

I hope Samsung is "reconsidering" ICS on the tablets as well.

Re:Tablets also... (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517050)

They should. I have Ice Cream Sandwich on my Xoom and it beats the shit out of any Honeycomb tablet I've seen yet despite being Tegra2 clocked at 1GHz. Seriously, this thing flies and the text lag is gone.

Not really surprised. (2)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516746)

That was the phone line that had the broken GPS that never really got fixed; it was a hardware issue [xda-developers.com] that they tried to kludge [samsung.com] together a patch for [pocketnow.com] that didn't work well [xda-developers.com] never went out over the air, and for which you had to take down all your firewall and virus protection to apply via Kies [samsung.com] .

Oh, and t-mobile won't honor warranties on those $500 phones. Even when you pay $8 a month, bringing the effective total to $700 over the course of a two year contract. Unless you define the word honor as the offer of a $150 clique as a replacement.

But - I'm not bitter. Really.

You can run it RIGHT NOW on i9000 as well. (3, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38516762)

Cyanogen Mod 9 Alpha 11 is out now and is rock solid. Anyone who is comfortable installing their own custom ROMs should not hesitate to upgrade to ICS. I have been running ICS on my i9000 GalaxyS now for almost a month, and have had very few issues , and have had no issues at all since Build 10. All functions and features on the device (camera,audio,video,hardware acceleration,etc.) work flawlessly now. And the ICS features such as Face Unlock and panoramic / time lapse camera also work. There is no reason to wait for Samsung to get off their butt.

frist Stop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38516936)

there are only they lear8 from our 486/66 with 8 that should be a BSD over other

ICS is good technically, but the interface sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38517038)

The new contact manager for example - absolutely terrible. I don't know who green-lighted that thing, but it sure wasn't someone outside the direct developer pool. It's like Fedora 15. It may be great under the hood, but usability was simply not part of the equation.

ICS on SII (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517398)

You know, the only reason I didn't buy a Galaxy S II this boxing day is because it doesn't have ICS... Just refreshed my CrackBerry instead. Samsung should get moving if they don't want to lose customers (though the sales person swore that ICS will be out for S II by January 2012).

Question (1)

deKernel (65640) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517506)

I guess I have to ask the question, why do people always feel the need to upgrade the OS on their phones. What exactly does the new version of Android provide in the area of functionality that the current 2.3 build? I ask because my current Android 2.3 provides all business and personal needs that I currently require.

Re:Question (1)

X3J11 (791922) | more than 2 years ago | (#38518106)

I guess I have to ask the question, why do people always feel the need to upgrade the OS on their phones. What exactly does the new version of Android provide in the area of functionality that the current 2.3 build? I ask because my current Android 2.3 provides all business and personal needs that I currently require.

Speaking anecdotally, my SGS has issues turning wifi on, has hard locked on occasion, and doesn't have the best battery life. I've also replace TouchWiz with another launcher (but need to keep TW in order to use Kies) which duplicates the functionality of the stock ICS launcher.

I do not use the Samsung apps, nor do I use any of the crap my carrier (Bell Canada) puts on the phone. I rooted it specifically so I could remove all that garbage. A plain ICS on my SGS would eliminate the need for several apps that copy the style of the stock apps. Besides, I am the consumer, the device is a little over a year old (I bought it a few days after Bell launched the SGS), and it's what I want, dammit. I figure I'll eventually switch to CyanogenMod or another 3rd party ICS release once they iron out all the bugs. I believe I am past my warranty period anyway.

business as usual (4, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517882)

As early adopters of the Galaxy S, my family lived the pain for a year and finally dumped them, paid the penalty, and changed carriers. Not only was the build quality terrible (some were dead in their box, others were delivered with bad gyros and nonfunctional gps -- I mean completely nonfunctional, not the haphazard functionality they had when they were working) but Samsung seemed grimly determined to avoid upgrades at all cost, apparently expecting users to do the iPhone thing and buy a new device yearly in order to get a new software capability contained within the incrementally newer OS.

And... ok fine. If that's the way they want to do business, there's no stopping them. But we don't have to buy their stuff.

Indications are, they're managing their tablet products the same way. Stylishly designed, but don't buy one expecting the next version of Android to ever be available. If it is, bonus. It's better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed.

But better yet, buy from a vendor with a better reputation for updates.

Mind you, there will be a time when timely updates will be less important, but Android is still on the steep end of the curve, and issues are still being worked out. (I got an answer to my bug report a couple weeks ago -- proxy settings on a network-by-network basis is available as of version 3, which will probably never make it to my phone. Sigh.) In another year or two when Android becomes less of a new technology and more of a commodity item, updates may decrease in importance. But for now, it's update or lose a customer. The Android crowd isn't the same as the iOS crowd. If we don't get what we want, we don't camp outside the store to be the first to get the next device from the same vendor. We change vendors.

Re:business as usual (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38518288)

You say all you have to do is change vendor. You also site a penalty fee. If you hop all around looking for perfection, what is the cost of canceling contracts or buying a new phone before renewal time verses getting a new iPhone every year? I am not trying to be flamebait, I'm really curious.

ask those who bought Samsung Behold II phones (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38517936)

ask them what they think of Samsung and their motivations dealing with customers and their products. IIRC, Samsung said the product would get the 2.x OS upgrade and then months later, after many purchased the phones, told them that they were not going do the upgrade. Take their word with a salt pill.

LoB
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