Galaxy S No-Froyo Explained by Samsung Update Fees?

January 16, 2011
23

So you're following along with the epic story of how Galaxy S devices across the board still don't have their long-awaited update to Android 2.2 Froyo, yes? Well take a peek at this - a supposed Samsung inside has come forth (in XDA forums) to say that the reason for the stopping of updates pushing through from Samsung to carriers is the fact that Samsung is charging for Android updates as feature updates - and that carriers are responding to the costs by refusing to pay for Android 2.2, hoping to devalue the Galaxy S line.

This is wild. All carriers carrying Galaxy S phones with potential updates to Android 2.2 Froyo not paying some sort of fee to Samsung for that up update? Seems kind of incredible. Take a peek at the full text from the supposed Samsung source, originally posted in XDA Forums, here:

Hello,

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.

To explain the political situation, first, a primer on how phone firmware upgrades work for carriers. When a carrier decides to sell a phone, a contract is usually written between the phone manufacturer and the carrier. In this contract, the cost of updates (to the carrier) is usually outlined. Updates are usually broken into several types: critical updates, maintenance updates, and feature updates. Critical updates are those that resolve a critical bug in the phone, such as the phone overheating. Maintenance updates involve routine updates to resolve bugs and other issues reported by the carrier. Finally, feature updates add some new feature in software that wasn’t present before. Critical updates are usually free, maintenance updates have some maintenance fee associated with them, and feature updates are usually costly.
In the past, most phone updates would mainly consist of critical and maintenance updates. Carriers almost never want to incur the cost of a feature update because it is of little benefit to them, adds little to the device, and involves a lot of testing on the carrier end. Android has changed the playing field, however – since the Android Open Source Project is constantly being updated, and that information being made widely available to the public, there is pressure for the phone to be constantly updated with the latest version of Android. With most manufacturers, such as HTC, Motorola, etc. This is fine and considered a maintenance upgrade. Samsung, however, considers it a feature update, and requires carriers to pay a per device update fee for each incremental Android update.

Now, here’s where the politics come in: most U.S. carriers aren’t very happy with Samsung’s decision to charge for Android updates as feature updates, especially since they are essentially charging for the Android Open Source Project’s efforts, and the effort on Samsung’s end is rather minimal. As a result of perhaps, corporate collusion, all U.S. carriers have decided to refuse to pay for the Android 2.2 update, in hopes that the devaluation of the Galaxy S line will cause Samsung to drop their fees and give the update to the carriers. The situation has panned out differently in other parts of the world, but this is the situation in the United States.

Some of you might have noticed Verion’s Fascinate updated, but without 2.2 : This is a result of a maintenance agreement Samsung must honor combined with Verizon’s unwillingness to pay the update fees.
In short, Android 2.2 is on hold for Galaxy S phones until the U.S. carriers and Samsung reach a consensus.

Some might wonder why I didn’t deliver this over a more legitimate news channel – the short answer: I don’t want to lose my job. I do, however, appreciate transparency, which is why I'm here.

This is interesting - very interesting! It doesn't seem completely undeniable, yet seems like quite the story coming from a Samsung Insider given the FACT that every single person working for Samsung works FOR Samsung unless they're on the way out. Think about that.

Take a peek at a couple more bits on Samsung of late over here:
Samsung Responds to Vibrant Android 2.2 Froyo Hold
Samsung Android Customers Initiate #NeverAgain Twitter Campaign
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against T-Mobile and Samsung Over Lack of Froyo Update to Vibrant
Samsung Holds Up 2.2 from Vibrant to Increase 4G Plus Sales?

[Via XDA]


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  • mykie

    “Epic story” HAH

    I see whut u did thar

  • DustoMan

    Wow. If this is true and Samsung is being that big of a douche to carriers. Screw them. Sounds like my wife wants a Galaxy Tab, now I’m going to tell her to hold off for a 7 inch Xoom. So glad I picked an Incredible instead of the Facinate.

  • Jerry

    If this is the case, I will NEVER, EVER buy a single SAMSUNG product PERIOD. I’m still within my 30 days for the EPIC so I will wait up until it’s about to expire. SAMSUNG needs to do the right thing here and release the MAINTENANCE update. I hope they are reading this post. Mutiny is abound!!!

  • Almost

    I just returned my g tab and if it wasn’t too late I would do the same with my vibrant I’m out of that window.

  • n⁴

    It’s not completely unreasonable for Samsung to charge considering the software needs to be individually re-customised and re-tested for each operator. Sounds to me likethe story came from an operator insider, not one at Samsung…

  • Ichigo

    Fuck Samsung plain and simple.

  • rags711

    I’ve already decided to either go back to htc or try lg. I’ve already realized that samsung hasn’t changed at all.

  • Jeff

    Screwing the customers again with corporate greed. As the up updates were promised by both Verizon and Samsung they should deal with this. So much for customer service. They need to remember without customers they would have nothing, but they get so big they forget how they got there.

  • mmalakai10

    @N4
    well i will say i dont agree with ur comment. no one told them to invest into android, samsung knew what they was getting in to. these update are free to the customers who brought android phones. plus if samsung wanted to update there stuff faster they would have choose stock android. they customized the there devices with android and now that it comes down to updating them they want money. u gotta be kidding me this is why pure google will soon be the reason to throw away old devices.

  • mirmit

    On the other hand, if you buy an operator free device, then you are only linked to Samsung willigness to provide updates. Once a lot of people move this way, it will reduce the strength of the operators, and might put them on better mood.

    You will also get the benefice of not having a lot of bloatware on the device.

  • CR6

    Interesting indeed.
    I wouldn’t mind paying a small fee to get 2.2 on my Fascinate, especially if it would give me my Flash!

  • Parshant

    WOW, thanks guy who doesn’t want to lose his job :)
    atleast i can stop banging my head against the wall, and send spam mail to samsung help center. ;D

    in all, D: FUCK SAMSUNG!
    never gonna fucking buy a phone from this greedy ass bitch!!!!!!

  • Larry

    So, I’ve been rooted for a while now (removed crapware) but still running the stock ROM. Was holding out for the OTA update.

    After reading this article I loaded up ROM Manager flashed to Axura

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=891657

    I’m done waiting.

  • Kevin

    Verizon iPhone 5 (I’m still on contract with this Vibrant) FTW!

  • ,hris fitz

    Son_of_a_bitch… Now im really pissed. Im pretty sure these assholes dont need to charge those fees if they already sold millions of these high priced ass phones. Then to come out with another one based on “2.2” and “4g” was kinda of like lebron waiting the last min. Of free agency to send the cavs a text saying “fuck yall, im out”. If I could afford an grenade launcher, I would aim it towards the samsung building, and bust all kinds of explosive relief in their faces. Fuck samsung!!7

  • lewrek

    If its a small free its no big deal. But how big of an update if this really gonna be its not like the size of an opperating system. Did we have to pay for a new update or OS back In the day. Anyway What are you guys worried about you know free versions would pop up in the net anyway.

  • AustinKnight45

    I will never buy anything from samsung again if you feel the same as me sign this grouble its just to be heard maybe it will help.

    http://www.groubal.com/samsung-has-not-updated-the-os-on-my-samsung-vibrant-even-when-they-promised-end-of-year/#sign

  • GSAI

    I have a Fascinate.

    Never again. Never.

    Isn’t Android free? All Samsung has to do is put their downgrading, feature-killing UI on top, and it would actually be an inconvenience for carriers to send out the updates?

    But to charge a price for someone else’s free software? I don’t know why this all erupted now, but I’m glad it did. I hope Samsung gets banned from making Android phones as a whole by the universe police!

  • Gregory

    Bought my Fascinate 1st day it was available, but did not notice till next day it did not have 2.2 or flash. Went back to verizon the next day and the told me it was coming within the month. Missed my window to return it because I believed it was coming any day now. 4 months later still have problems with GPS taking forever, phone frezing up, and not being able to answer calls.

    MY FIX; besides already joining the lawsuit, DON’T BUY SAMSUNG ANYTHING!!! And I tell everyone I should have kept my two MOTOROLA DROIDS that worked perfectly fine but were heavier. I wish I had the heavier Problem back, but my friend refuses to sell them back. LOL Everytime I call him he answers by saying “You can’t have your phones back!” What an Idiot I was. Props to MOTOROLA AND HTC.

  • Dude

    Seems I just have bad luck when it comes to phones. Got screwed with the cliq and now this. I’m still happier with this then that motorola pos.

  • dw9

    If this is true – why is samsung not redirecting some heat tw the carriers by shipping new phones with froyo?

    – and let the conflict in the open – right now they take all the fire and devaluate their brand.

    Strange

  • jp

    android just died a little bit, thanks greed

    • FU Samsung

      The simple answer really is for everyone with a Samsung that is out of their return period to head on over to XDA, root your phone and jump straight to Gingerbread