“Tell us your Dream…” read the headline on Samsung Mobile’s recent Facebook update. A quick read through the comments shows that Samsung has many customers that are frustrated with the lack of software support for the Galaxy S phone.
This isn’t an isolated incident either. I wrote back in July that Samsung had a chance to upgrade their reputation and start fresh with the Galaxy S, after a poor track record of software updates for their first round of Android smartphones.
Now Samsung Mobile customers are becoming more vocal than ever and you can easily find their complaints by browsing any social network. So what’s their beef? Do they really have a right to be this angry?
All Samsung Galaxy S phones that are sold in the United States are still running Android 2.1. That includes about 3 million devices at last count.
We still don’t know how to define the reasonable expectation of how much time it should take a handset maker and a carrier to release a new firmware update, but HTC did it in around six weeks, which was pretty impressive.
Sprint and HTC were the first to deliver an Android 2.2 update in the U.S. on July 30th when they starting pushing it over-the-air to the EVO 4G.
The first Galaxy S phones (Captivate and Vibrant) were released in July, so that means Samsung customers have been patiently waiting for about six months. So if you said “Samsung is four times slower than HTC at delivering software updates”, that would be a true statement.
Adding more insult to injury was the recent Android 2.2 update for the Samsung Intercept on Sprint.
To be fair to Samsung, they have released several updates for the Galaxy S in other countries. We also know that some of the U.S. carriers are currently working on their Android 2.2 updates because several test builds have leaked out.
I guess since Samsung has delivered Galaxy S updates in other countries, maybe we really should blame the carriers. I mean, that’s what Sony Ericsson did to AT&T.
What frustrates Galaxy S customers the most is the constant stream of new Samsung devices coming out, which feature newer Android builds. First there was the Galaxy Tab with Android 2.2 and now the Nexus S with Android 2.3. All devices are built around the same Hummingbird platform, so we know Samsung already updated their hardware drivers to support the latest version of Android.
Another depressing thing about being a Galaxy S owner (in the U.S.) is the sheer size of Samsung and their large advertising budget. We see constant ads like the latest What Does Santa Really Need? and wonder if the company should put more focus on upping their resources in the software support department.
Right now I don’t even know if it matters when Android 2.2 is coming out. Samsung customers see the Nexus S with Android 2.3 and are already asking for that. Maybe Samsung should just scrap these updates and move on to Android 2.3 before they fall even further behind.
I don’t really know if we should blame the carriers or the handset maker, but customers in this situation are clearly pointing the finger at Samsung as the problem when it comes to the Galaxy S updates. Can you blame them?
Is this really a problem or do you think the average customer could care less?