Lets take the Samsung Fascinate, part of the Galaxy S family of devices, as an example. Ever since it launched last summer with Android 2.1 Eclair, there has been a promise of an upgrade to Android 2.2 Froyo. While some carriers in Canada did receive the promised upgrade in Dec. 2010, it was far from a universal situation. Seeing as a Samsung Fascinate is the same basic hardware everywhere you find one, why in the world would some carriers get it and others wouldn’t?
An anonymous poster on XDA Developers offers one possible answer:
… 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.
Their full post can be found at the above link, and while we are not ones to usually take the word of someone who posts anonymously on a message board, we have to say there is a certain ring of truth to all of this. We were even a bit hesitant to believe it until we did our own research and found the updates in Canada. There is no logical explanation as to why our two countries, running the same phone, should be on different update schedules. It makes absolutely no sense.
Now, it is totally possible there is something else happening we are unaware of, and this person who posted it noticed the difference in updates and drew their own conclusions, but we have to say there is a certain air of truth to the explanation. Why is Samsung so woefully behind in its updates for a brand of devices it is is advertising so hard? A technical explanation doesn’t fly because they’ve proven they can do it elsewhere, so about the only thing you’re left with is money, and then it just becomes a question of which side that issue falls on.
All we know is, there are phones in need of updates, and someone, somewhere, needs to start explaining things and soon.
What say you? Why do you think the Android updates are so delayed from Samsung?