No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

Summary: Some people are a bit fired up that the older Galaxy S is not getting the ICS upgrade when the Nexus S has the same internals, but it's fairly typical for Samsung Android updates.

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Samsung promised a Froyo update for the Galaxy S devices when they were released, but several months later there was still no update and then the devices finally received the update in the Spring of 2011. Thus, it should really come as no surprise that the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab are currently not likely to get an Ice Cream Sandwich update.

Reportedly, Samsung states that the Galaxy S devices lack sufficient RAM and ROM to run ICS with TouchWIZ and other Samsung optimized software. The Samsung Galaxy S sport a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor and has the same internals as the Nexus S that is now getting the ICS update. Here we can see the problem with buying Android devices with "skins" where Samsung states they have to update the existing Samsung Galaxy S variants with the customized TouchWIZ interface rather than pure ICS.

Update policies like this confirm that my expensive purchase of the Galaxy Nexus with pure Ice Cream Sandwich was the right move and I doubt I will ever buy another Android device with customized user interface.

Topics: Samsung, Android, Google, Hardware, Processors

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20 comments
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  • For what % of users...

    is this an issue, I wonder?

    I would very much like to see an upgrade for my Sensation. That said, as long as I get security fixes, I'm not too bothered.

    And most of the smartphone users I know wouldn't have a clue what version of the OS they are running. I got an iPhone 3GS back from an employee leaving the company this week. Her phone has never been attached to a computer, since it was registered and was still running iOS 4.1.

    She was unaware that there had been any updates or that she could do it quickly and easily herself.

    The same goes for the most of the rest of the people I know. They buy a phone, use it until the battery wears out, then get a new one on the contract. Other than when their old phones have had problems and the manufacturer's service point has applied an update, the phones were never changed.

    The same goes for apps. She had never bought an app, because it was a company phone, and the couple of free apps she had installed, had never been updated, because they had already been loaded.

    The tech community are interested in getting the latest and greatest OS on their devices, but among the "normal" users, how many are waiting for the update? And how many would complain that the phone is "broken", when they get an update which changes the way the phone reacts?

    I bought an unbranded Sensation and I'll never buy a carrier tied phone, maybe next time I will also buy a Nexus, I don't know - or maybe another WP7 phone, or maybe Apple will have caught up again and a new iPhone will be the next replacement...
    wright_is
    • You are probably right.

      @wright_is Lack of upgrades havent been a concern to me because rarely do the updates provide anything meaningful.

      Likewise I use only a few apps. I have a Nexus phone on order, I am hoping ICS and lack of custom skin make it easier to use than the current Android platform.
      otaddy
    • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

      @wright_is -

      Except Europe is getting upgrades:

      http://androidcommunity.com/samsung-galaxy-s-gets-android-2-3-5-update-in-europe-20111118/
      HypnoToad72
  • No surprise for Galaxy S2?

    Wait, I thought Samsung said Galaxy S2 would get ICS in 1Q12? Now you're saying "Thus, it should really come as no surprise that the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab are currently not likely to get an Ice Cream Sandwich update." Well, I will be surprised if a phone released in late October 2011 does not get an upgrade. And if you're right, my next phone will be a Windows Phone or *maybe* an iPhone.
    bmgoodman
    • Type in one sentence, headline and other references are correct

      @bmgoodman Sorry, slip up in that one sentence that is now fixed. The other mentions are correct though, including the headline and link to The Verge, so I doubt too many were confused.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

    Don??t worry, it??s an error. The author should fix it ASAP as it may confuse people into thinking that the Galaxy S2 will not get the update, but it??s the Galaxy S(the first) that will not get the Ice Cream Sandwich update. There are even official beta ICS roms for the Galaxy S2.
    ElementsPT
  • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

    The article should be retitled "Samsung says -like our bloatware? Well guess what you're not gonna get?" This is why rooting phones is ideal. I would rather load ROM's from some developer than rely on a bunch of stuffed suits to figure out what I want. Thank God we have the source kernel and are not reduced to holding up an empty bowl of soup begging for more.
    atlharp
  • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

    Samsung as most OEMs has a problem with their software side of things. Look how many problems they had with Windows Phones initially.
    paul2011
  • Android Users Free OS

    90% of Android never update or cannot update their OS but that's what they expect - the Android satisfaction rating hovers around 50% and 40% want to upgrade to an iPhone next time (3% of IOS users want to switch to Android). About 85% of iPhone users run the latest OS because it's a free and easy upgrade with ONE CLICK at anytime. You can even upgrade via WiFi now - no USb required. it's just two different markets. Android is a solid throwawat phone OS - if you like it enough, wait a year for a better version and trade it in for $29 dollars - why worry about an upgrade when for $29, you can get a new piece of plastic? iPhone users know they are getting a professional OS with free lifetime upgrades and free in store tech support plus the best apps from the top companies (not lookalike apps on the Android marketplace). It is what it is.
    jbelkin
    • If it is a Droid, the new phone will be released the next day

      @jbelkin Motorola has released so many garbage Droid phones and rather than fix the problems, they just push out a new phone and then try to make you forget the last crappy phone you got.
      otaddy
  • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

    Wasn't there some kind of agreement made this year between Google and manufacturers that phones/devices would be supported with upgrades for 18 months? What happened with that? Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab are just over a year old, should have 6 more months to go.
    marbo100
    • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

      @marbo100: Yep there was but as far as I know, none of them are sticking to it. It's not worth the paper it's written on.
      bradavon
  • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

    Touch Wiz and the rest are crapware. Its no different than when OEM's ship windows with "value add" docks, launchers etc. They are uniformly crap. Same with samsung.
    txscott
    • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

      @rshol: Stick with the Nexus brand then. Plenty like TouchWiz and Sense. They're very different from OEM installed laptop crapware. Value is indeed added.
      bradavon
      • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

        @bradavon Value is lost though if it prevents upgradability.
        marbo100
  • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

    You're not seriously expecting Samsung to release the Galaxy S without TouchWiz? That would mean a lot of angry customers who're suddenly present with none of the TouchWiz enhancements, they're come to expect.
    bradavon
    • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

      @bradavon They can make it an offline download so that only the people who want it can have the option to install it. So yes, I do expect it because Samsung had the short sightedness to configure their hardware without the required resources to ensure upgradability.
      marbo100
  • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

    I'll be happy when my Samsung Nexus S gets the upgrade.
    Ceridwyn2
  • RE: No real surprise, Samsung not upgrading Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich

    I tend to agree with Mathew that their is really no reason why Samsung can't upgrade their Galaxy S to ICS - take a look at Sony they are managing it for most of their range and the specs aren't much different - in a lot of cases they are worse as ICS is really restricted by the internal memory available - the vital flaw in the original G1/Dream and in the original Desire.

    But take a look at the steps some of the devs are doing with Sony unlocking bootlocker, along with HTC (who have just enabled it for most of their phones now). Would be nice is Samsung and Motorola did the same... As then this issue becomes a mute point as you could always load an alternative rom from the Devs, who often seem to do a better job than the bloated offering the operators stick on top of the already bloated offering from the manufacturer.
    jaamgans
  • It's because Touchwiz is more bloated than other custom UIs/frameworks

    I have an SGS, and i totally understand that giving it a 3rd Android upgrade is too much to ask for. However, the main problem is that NO 512 MB RAM Samsung phone is getting ICS. Why? Because their Touchwiz is too bloated. Look at Galaxy W. New phone, but will not get even a single Android upgrade because it only has 512 MB RAM. Samsung is only updating 1 GB RAM phones to ICS, which shows how bloated Touchwiz really is. Sony is updating ~12 phones, LG around 9. All those Sony phones have only 512 MB RAM, while LG has both 1 GB and 512 MB RAM version phones.
    So the main thing is this: Samsung made a really bloated/stupid framework like Touchwiz which is incapable of running smoothly with ICS on only 512 MB RAM.

    Sony and LG has those customizations and addons too like video calling etc, still they have no problem in updating their phones to ICS.
    So basically, Samsung sucks in software and this shows.
    addicted2088