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Samsung Vibrant
Source says Samsung won't release Vibrant OTA for fear it would hurt Vibrant 4G sales

AndroidSPIN is reporting that select manufacturers of Android-based phones may be withholding OS updates in order to boost sales of forthcoming devices.

According to the report, there is already a fully functioning 2.2 OTA available for the Samsung Vibrant that is ready to be pushed out by T-Mobile. But Samsung has told the carrier not to release the OTA for fear that it could hamper sales of the upcoming Vibrant 4G. 

Furthermore, it is being claimed that the Vibrant 4G shares the exact same specs with the Vibrant (with the added exception of a front-facing camera), and the current Vibrant would be capable of the same 4G speeds if the 2.2 update was pushed out to it.

The following quote comes from the tipster who AndroidSPIN calls "a reliable source":

Some disturbing things have happened the last week or so concerning our “Vibrant”. Samsung has NOT allowed us to push the update OTA for 2.2 because they feel it will decrease the value of the upcoming Vibrant4G +. While from a marketing aspect i totally understand, as the Vibrant 4G is what the original Vibrant should have been in the 1st place. But to shun off and bold face lie to customers is NOT what T-Mobile is about.

…Being that, Vibrant 4G and Vibrant have exactly same stats, added FFC and a new movie and the 4G. But i will tell you this, the original vibrant CAN utilize 4G FULLY. Yes FULLY. not what they are telling you.

The source goes on to elaborate that the Vibrant is not HSPA+ compatible, but that the software improvement would give it a significant speed boost (more so than other Android devices would).

There is some speculation over at ITWorld that the delays aren’t solely Samsung’s fault. "After all, selling newer phones also ties customers into a new contract (and, depending on the age of their existing contract, may allow T-Mobile to sell the devices at a higher cost to users)," Ryan Faas writes.

The allegations also bring up the issue of Android fragmentation, perhaps the OS's biggest weakness. Other platforms, including the iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7, all feature a much larger degree of uniformity when it comes to software updates. If Android doesn't follow suit, it could -- at the very least -- hurt its own prospects.

(Note: Samsung has not commented on AndroidSPIN's allegations.)





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