Impatient Samsung users who are raring to get the new Android operating system, the Ice Cream Sandwich will have to wait a little longer as Samsung announced that its popular Samsung Galaxy S smartphone and Galaxy Tab won't be getting the upgrade to ICS as previously expected.
The news will be a major aggravation to nearly 10 million consumers who bought the 2010 Samsung Galaxy S and will now be stuck with an outdated Android operating system instead of the next generation Ice Cream Sandwich. According to a Samsung statement on a Korean forum both the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab lack the storage and application memory to support the Android 4.0 upgrade which includes the Samsung TouchWiz interface, other carrier-specific applications and video streaming.
Beyond basically forcing Samsung Galaxy S owners to either buy a new phone to get the ICS upgrade, Samsung's announcement is also a big setback to Google who had said that Android devices will get a more unified update cycle.
The ICS upgrade cycle also highlights the inherent problems with Android. The fragmented Android experience where carriers and manufacturer's add to Google's OS only serves to delay the upgrade process unlike Apple or Microsoft's more unified approach. Many phone manufacturers add their own software to Android so much that it makes it impossible for a timely upgrade. The Galaxy S has to run the TouchWiz interface, carrier services, video calling software and in some cases mobile TV which taxes the phone's memory. On the other hand the Samsung Galaxy Nexus which has the same hardware specifications as the Galaxy S will only run the pure version of the Android software without any additional software.
Google's aware of customer frustration in regards to the delays for Android upgrade. Google and most of the major carriers and manufacturers promised to team-up for the Google Update Alliance which promised to provide "timely" updates for 18 months for any Android phone released after the Google I/O conference. Unfortunately that Alliance hasn't been effective at upholding the update process. Right now Galaxy Nexus owners are the only Samsung devices getting the ICS upgrade. Google's blasé attitude to the delays will only serve to drive away users who already on the verge of leaving because of the security risks on Android, users that no doubt will find their way to Apple and Microsoft's waiting arms.
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