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Responds to allegations with another "promise" that it "hopes to have more details soon"

Samsung needs to figure out its Froyo update schedule for the Galaxy S -- fast.

We reported last week that Samsung was withholding the next Android OS update (2.2) for T-Mobile's Galaxy S variant, the Vibrant, in order to boost sales of the upcoming Vibrant 4G.

There have been a number of developments in this story since then, including a #NeverAgain Twitter hashtag aimed at Samsung that still continues to be popular as of this writing; and a class-action lawsuit filed against the handset manufacturer and T-Mobile, claiming deceptive trade practices.

An excerpt from an XDADevelopers post by the gentleman filing the lawsuit:

they have continuously lied to us about the hardware,
and software reliability of this phone,
they promised us updates (to 2.2! Not the functionally dead JI6 2.1!)
over and over,
NOW they plan to release NEW galaxies
without updating the old ones they currently have

Samsung had this to say, in a response to CNET:

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.

Then, to add fuel to the fire, another post on XDADevelopers -- this time by a user named The.Samsung.Secret -- claimed the delay was caused because Samsung wanted to charge carriers for Android updates on the grounds that they added features to devices. Yesterday, Lifehacker and others picked up the post and spread it as fact.

Finally, last night PhoneScoop received an e-mail from Samsung Mobile disputing this claim. "No," read the e-mail, "Samsung is not charging carriers for Froyo updates to Galaxy S. We hope to have more detail on status shortly. Promise!"

At this point, Samsung -- at the very least -- has a public relations fiasco on its hands. Its lack of transparency with regard to software updates -- in addition to it breaking previous promises numerous times (we're talking all the way back to the Behold II) -- has damaged the company's credibility. This may have little affect on the average consumer, but developers, the media, and critical early-adopters have certainly taken notice. 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.

Perhaps that's why Samsung has already begun to tease its Galaxy S replacement (which, in itself, is sure to make a number of Galaxy users all the more upset). The Samsung Unpacked website bears the words, "Feb 13th, Something big is coming. Join us to discover the next evolution in Samsung Mobile." The date and location (Barcelona) reference the 2011 Mobile World Conference. The "next evolution," however, refers to a new device that will replace the Galaxy S -- not an update to the latest Android OS, as many would like. The graphic on the site shows the Galaxy S on the left, with a phone-shaped box on the right bearing the words, "EVOLUTION is FATE." That sounds to us like, "Your Galaxy S will soon be obsolete, anyway."

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Who cares?
By bug77 on 1/19/2011 8:40:15 AM , Rating: 5
True or not, six months after release, Galaxy S does not have Froyo. End of story. That's how one of the best Android incarnations taught me to stay away from Samsung.

RE: Who cares?
By Anubis on 1/19/2011 8:46:46 AM , Rating: 4
regardless of teh fast that new phones come out eventually, it took the rom makes all of 2 weeks to get 2.2 working on these phones, its embarrassing that they cant get an official update out in 6 months

RE: Who cares?
By zmatt on 1/19/2011 8:49:00 AM , Rating: 3
I call BS on Samsung's part. There are multiple roms that use Froyo that are available for the Galaxy S. I htink it's pretty clear what they are doing. What ticks me off even more as a captivate owner is that they plaintiff didn't add it to the lawsuit. I want my Froyo too.

RE: Who cares?
By Belard on 1/19/2011 2:06:38 PM , Rating: 2
I have the Captivate myself. I went with Samsung because of the AMOLED screen and it had at least 2.1. While the SONY, which just started shipping about the same time CAME with 1.6?!

The HTC didn't have a nice of screen and have Android 2.0. So at the time, Samsung had the best deal.

My issues with my Samsung: GPS works like crap, but my phone is defective and I'm about to get a free replacement - I know this because I put a friend Captive next to mine and his worked far better. And the Power button is hard to feel on the side.
3rd: The external speaker SHOULD be on the TOP or bottom (sides) or the side of the phone, or on the face. Since its ON the back, it means it works like crap if the phone is in your hand or as an alarm, its muffled even on a desk.

My previous Sony phone is MUCH louder and the vibration is much stronger. but its not a smart phone.

Oh, and Kies-Mini has been crap non-working software. Huh? Samsung is huge and their software team can't make a phone interface software that WORKS?! My old SONY software worked or at the very least, my PC saw it as a drive. With Samsung "no driver" and I have to copy/move data to the memory card and power out the phone, etc.
W T F.

PS: About to run the updated KIES, but since it does some funky stuff when it runs, I'm posting this message now.

RE: Who cares?
By omnicronx on 1/19/2011 9:49:12 AM , Rating: 2
It did not take two weeks. It tooks some time for non snapdragon manufacturers to get 2.2 up to par (a lot of this has to do with JIT optimization and flash). It was only out for these snapdragon phones in advance because Google did all the legwork with the Nexus One.. Same as they are now doing for Samsung and the Nexus S, and the same they will be doing for Motorola with their tablet.

That said, the damn phone was released over 7 months ago, and most people didnt get the update until last month, some still have not.

RE: Who cares?
By cknobman on 1/19/2011 10:40:23 AM , Rating: 3
Hmm I received 2.2 for my EVO (which runs snapdragon) from Sprint all the way back at the beginning of August which was less than 2 months after the phone was released by Sprint.

Quite frankly Samsung has had a long running history of not updating their products so I dont understand why people who bought Galaxy phones thought they would be different.

Sucks to have Samsung which is why so many people I know will never own one.

RE: Who cares?
By zmatt on 1/19/2011 11:57:02 AM , Rating: 1
I dunno about Samsung's other offerings, but I have an MP3 player through them and updates and free and quite regular.

RE: Who cares?
By theapparition on 1/19/2011 12:04:49 PM , Rating: 2
Quite frankly Samsung has had a long running history of not updating their products so I dont understand why people who bought Galaxy phones thought they would be different.

Winna Winna Chickn Dinna

I said it all along, Samsung has a track record of poor support and lack of updates for thier mobile devices. Omnia anyone??? I said as soon as the Galaxy S class were released, that even though the hardware was good, I wouldn't touch one due to lack of future software support. Acutually, the only thing remarkable about the Galaxy S hardware is the GPU, everything else is on par or sub-par to competitors.

GPS fuctions that have never worked right from day one, lag issues that haven't been fixed (even though the mod community fixed in a few days), etc, etc.

I really, really wanted to like this phone, but wouldn't touch it back then for those reasons, and that just makes me glad I made the right decision. That's not saying that Moto or HTC (or even Apple) don't have issues either, because they do. But at least those companies "try" to update thier device. Samsung can't even give a release date, or even has to postpone an explanation for why they don't even have a date. Right now, thier PR and marketing department, not thier software engineering dept, is coming up with a timeframe.

RE: Who cares?
By dgingeri on 1/19/2011 4:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
I bought my Captivate because I had previous good experience with Samsung hardware in general. Of my previous 5 phones, and my parents' previous 8 phones, all the Motorolas lasted just under the 2 year point, the 4 Samsungs all far outlasted their contracts and were all still functional, and the 2 Nokia phones were both still functional, but had issues. So, Samsung were by far the most reliable phones.

Since I bought this one, I have changed my mind. My first one has GPS that simply did not work at all. It wasn't just partial, it was totally non-functional. I got a replacement, and this one has worked fine for the 3 months I've had it, but I'm still waiting on the 2.2 update. I'm annoyed that it hasn't been released yet, but It's not a deal breaker.

The deal breaker is the problem with the phone app. I get one call, hang up, then get another one right after it, the phone will ring and ring with a blank screen, giving me no chance to answer the next call or even see who it is. The only thing I can do when this happens is yank the battery. All this is because Samsung chose to put a skin on the phone app to make it look unique. Instead, it screwed up the functionality. A phone that is not functional as a phone is worthless, no matter what the other features do. I won't buy another Samsung phone.

RE: Who cares?
By omnicronx on 1/19/2011 4:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
Quite frankly Samsung has had a long running history of not updating their products so I dont understand why people who bought Galaxy phones thought they would be different.
Different situation, in this situation Samsung told carriers they would be receiving a 2.2 update. As a result carriers marketed their devices as such, promising a 2.2 update.

I was promised 2.2 from my carrier, had I not devivered they would have been left open to a class action suit.

Samsung had little pull once they promised the carriers, which was most likely stated within their contracts.

While you are perfectly correct, Samsung has done this before, this is also their first high end device which come with a different set of expectations.

RE: Who cares?
By Aloonatic on 1/19/2011 9:07:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it's all good, if you're HTC. It could have been tricky for Android and HTC to grow, had people been confused about what phone to get.

Out of the big 3, with Android phones out now:

HTC - getting updates out pretty quick, operators permitting.

SonyEricsson - Made a mess of the Xperia X10, updates and hardware/multi-touch.

Samsung - Made a mess of the Galaxy S updates it seems.

It might have been confusing for people, and difficult for them to decide which way to go, but Samsung and SE seem to have kindly made it pretty obvious that HTC are the only way to go this contract around.

RE: Who cares?
By nafhan on 1/19/2011 9:35:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I saw an article on that put HTC way out in front when it came to timeliness of updates. Moto was a distant second. Samsung was close to Moto. Everyone else that makes Android phones was basically just failing.

Here's the article from Computerworld:

RE: Who cares?
By CrazyBernie on 1/19/2011 9:55:07 AM , Rating: 2
You might want to re-read that "article." HTC just had more phones with froyo.

Motorola's average upgrade time was the best of any manufacturer, at 54.5 days.

RE: Who cares?
By bug77 on 1/19/2011 10:01:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, updating 15.4% of the handsets within 54.5 days is so much better than updating 50% within 56 days.
Fwiw, HTC's performance is still passable at best with 50% of the phones left behind. It is also unclear if the study considered all Android handsets or only those that could actually run Froyo.

RE: Who cares?
By nafhan on 1/19/2011 1:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
Technically, it was a blog entry/opinion piece by one of their writers. I still feel like it provided some information relevant to the conversation, though. For instance, your quote about Moto's upgrade time.

RE: Who cares?
By blakeatwork on 1/19/2011 11:16:12 AM , Rating: 2

I have a Captivate on the Rogers network. Just finished upgrading to 2.2 last week using an offical ROM. Telus (Fascinate) users also have 2.2 support, and while Bell (Vibrant) users have it, a lot of phones were bricked by the 2.2 update; speculation is due to faulty NAND that gets killed by the intensity of the upgrade.

Not sure how it is in the US, but I was under the impression that US users had official 2.2 ROMs long before we did. While I'm not exceptionally happy at the length of time it took Samsung to feed us FroYo, it did occur.

RE: Who cares?
By mcnabney on 1/19/2011 12:20:35 PM , Rating: 2
My wife's Fascinate is still 2.1.

Never trust Samsung promises for future action. Why should they budget resources when lies will get them the same number of sales.

My Motorola Droid was promptly updated to 2.1 and later 2.2. Unfortunately it doesn't have the processing power for 2.3 without a rootkit and custom ROM to jack the power up.

Hey Samsung, once bitten - twice shy. Don't expect me to buy your junk again. Since I work in the industry you might expect that assertion to count for far more than one or two missed sales.

RE: Who cares?
By bug77 on 1/20/2011 3:53:17 AM , Rating: 2
Never trust Samsung promises for future action.

Never trust anyone's promises for future action. If it's not in the contract, assume it won't happen.

Samsung needs to upgrade... do they?
By therealnickdanger on 1/19/2011 8:46:08 AM , Rating: 2
If I recall, the Galaxy S is one of the best-selling smartphones of all time. Over 10 million people bought it without Froyo and most probably don't even know what they're missing. I wager that most owners of the phone probably just get hungry and think about buying frozen yogurt when they hear about Froyo. Sorry, but anyone who bought the phone solely on the hope that it would get a 2.2 update... well, I'll stop short of namecalling.

RE: Samsung needs to upgrade... do they?
By therealnickdanger on 1/19/2011 8:47:16 AM , Rating: 2
If anything, Samsung might skip 2.2 altogether and release a 2.3 upgrade.

RE: Samsung needs to upgrade... do they?
By Aloonatic on 1/19/2011 9:03:40 AM , Rating: 2
You sound like a Sony Ericsson X10 owner.

"It's OK if we don't get the current update, there's another update is just around the corner that we'll probably get..."

At least Samsung aren't trying to BS their customers, and claiming that their non-updated phones are better than updated phones.

By therealnickdanger on 1/20/2011 10:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
Ha, I'm most definitely not such an owner. I have the Optimus S with 2.2 rooted ($0.00 on Black Friday). LG has committed publically to a 2.3 update "soon", but I'm not dying to get it since 2.2 is just fine.

By Belard on 1/19/2011 1:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
Nope. 2.3 isn't due till this summer. So what, keep waiting months and months? Then it would be, well we'll wait until 2.4 comes out.

By RaulF on 1/19/2011 9:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
So samsung won't update their phone software.

Did they ever fix their GPS issues...

Did I mentioned I have a samsung DLP tv that develop a problem covered by a generation older than mine but samsung won't acknowledge the problem on my model tv set.

Jokes on you samsung. I wont purchase more of your products nor will my family and close friends.

By dgingeri on 1/19/2011 4:47:19 PM , Rating: 2
The GPS issues were fixed with new phones. I had to get mine replaced in order to get GPS functionality.

now if only the phone app worked properly.

Updates vs. New Phone
By ScotterQX6700 on 1/19/2011 10:44:03 AM , Rating: 2
People will keep their old phones longer if they get updates. Samsung wants us to buy the new ones. So they have very little motivation to update old ones and a whole lot of motivation to NOT update them.

RE: Updates vs. New Phone
By Anubis on 1/19/2011 11:38:06 AM , Rating: 2
we are pretty much forced to keep a phone for 1-2 years because of carrier ETF bullshit

Updated my Galaxy S by myself
By mihadeth on 1/20/2011 6:35:10 AM , Rating: 2
Though it would be great, if Samsung updated the phone through Kies.
I bought the phone 4 months ago, with Android 2.1. After couple of months, I saw that Android 2.2 Rom is available on samfirmware - updated to 2.2 with Odin in no time. It is already 3rd week after I did another upgrade to 2.2.1 and the last version really improved speed and overall experience with the thing.
Agree, that the rom upgrade is not that simple for everyone, but still - there are ways to get the latest updates, so I'm not that disturbed by the fact that Samsung is not able or ignorant about auto-updates, since there would be such a mess if Samsung started to upgrade millions of devices, when they cannot get the Kies working ;)

RE: Updated my Galaxy S by myself
By bug77 on 1/20/2011 7:54:05 AM , Rating: 2
Which reminds me of another failure from Samsung: I can't connect my wife's Star to the computer because there is no 64bit software that supports it.

Does this really surprise anyone?
By quiksilvr on 1/19/11, Rating: 0
By omnicronx on 1/19/2011 9:45:55 AM , Rating: 3
Completely different scenario, please do some research before you make such comments.

WinMo 6.5 is pretty much a completely different OS than Windows Phone 7. Nobody was EVER promised upgrades, nor should they have ever been expected.

By Pitbull0669 on 1/19/2011 9:58:36 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone wanna but a verizon Facinate NEW cheep i just had to take my old one back the latest update Screwed my USB up so i got a new one.Im being to realy HATE sammy.which totaly sux.

Should have known
By fic2 on 1/19/2011 10:50:15 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why anyone buying a Samsung phone would expect an update. They never update their phone software. In the case of Samsung past experience is an indicator of future performance.

Samsung already released 2.2
By GreenEnvt on 1/19/2011 2:24:17 PM , Rating: 2
For many variants of the Galaxy S, they already released 2.2 over a month ago, maybe 2 months ago now?

Some versions, like this t-mobile variant are still waiting though. I'd be willing to bet that is not all on Samsung though, T-mobile no doubt has some restrictions and apps they want included, which delays QA testing.

I have a Bell Canada version of the galaxy S, using it on Rogers. I rooted it and installed a 2.2 rom a couple days after buying it. Works great!

By ezinner on 1/19/2011 3:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
After replacing my iOS 4.x for this puppy during the summer, I can say that I am not happy with the performance of it. The GPS works better with the last update, but still can't position itself properly. The buttons on the bottom only light up after you touch them and thus activate their function. The swipe answer function is touchy. The battery life can go from nearly two days to half a day depending on the phase of the moon. I keep waiting for the update, but it hasn't arrived yet. Lastly, the speed of the phone has greatly reduced. I am considering wiping it out and starting fresh again.

By conflictxinside on 1/20/2011 4:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
I am also a Captivate owner. A while back I had a live chat with support. The rep dropped the canned phrase "We are unable to speculate when/if a software revision might be available due to the fact that this might lead to inaccurate information and confusion".

I find the "if" particularly disturbing.

This is BS
By SongEmu on 1/19/2011 9:37:59 AM , Rating: 1
They have Android on the friggin iPhone and Samsung can't even get 2.3 on the Galaxy S?
People who hack FOR A hOBBY can do this. Samsung engineers can't?

Got Android ailment? Switch to iOS
By MDGeek on 1/19/11, Rating: -1
By phatboye on 1/19/2011 10:38:05 AM , Rating: 2
obvious troll is obvious

RE: Got Android ailment? Switch to iOS
By fishman on 1/19/2011 10:44:31 AM , Rating: 2
Some of my friends have older iphones that have been turned into bricks thanks to "upgrading" IOS.

No thanks.

RE: Got Android ailment? Switch to iOS
By MDGeek on 1/19/11, Rating: -1
By theapparition on 1/19/2011 2:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
By that same metric, Samsung has another 5 months to release Froyo to match Apples once-a-year upgrade cycle. ;P

By AlphaVirus on 1/19/2011 3:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
Apple should have done more testing, delayed updates released, or denied updates to older devices.

My company has several 3G iphones and even the most recent updates are not fixing the slowness. When you go to settings it may take 2-5 seconds just to open, that is unacceptable.

Perhaps that is what hes talking about when he says "some of my friends have older phones that have turned into bricks thanks to upgrading ios."

By theapparition on 1/19/2011 11:54:45 AM , Rating: 4
That would be like trying to cure your cancer by eating a bullet.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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