Bad news, Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab owners: The Next Web reports that Samsung has abandoned even the trifling “Value Pack” you might have gotten in lieu of a real Ice Cream Sandwich update. The Value Pack had been rumored from the South Korean manufacturer after customer outcry at the news that there was no planned upgrade to Android 4.0. Ladies and gentlemen, ready your torches and pitchforks.
Further consternating owners of the original Galaxy devices was the fact that Samsung seemed to reject the update because the older hardware couldn’t handle both Ice Cream Sandwich and the company’s custom TouchWiz interface. The RAM and storage space on the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab simply isn’t enough to accommodate the large size and power requirements of the new operating system along with Samsung’s customised UI and widgets. Of course, the hardware itself is more than capable of handling ICS alone, as custom ROMs and Google’s official update to the similarly-equiped Nexus S prove. The alternative of upgrading to ICS without TouchWiz does not seem to have occurred to Samsung.
Android devices that are abandoned for major software releases in less than two years are unfortunately common. Perhaps this shouldn’t be so (especially considering that in the United States, manufacturers and carriers make huge profits by saddling customers with 2-year contracts) but it is. No doubt there will be some consumer reaction akin to what we’ve already seen with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Failing a user-centric revalation at Samsung, there’s always custom ROMs, though perhaps users shouldn’t be forced to void there warranties just to run the current version of Android.
Update: Here’s Samsung’s exact words, via Business Insider:
A full update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the GALAXY Tab(7-inch) and GALAXY S is not practicable due to hardware limitations.
Well, there you have it.