Jan 03 AT 8:25 PM Dustin Earley 60 Comments

Samsung Galaxy S won’t be updated to Android 4 – “value pack” or otherwise


Shortly after Samsung announced they wouldn’t be updating their Galaxy S line of handsets to Android 4, Ice Cream Sandwich, word got out that the company was working on some sort of enhancement package for the device known as a “value pack,” or ICS-lite. Unfortunately, a Samsung spokesperson speaking with The Next Web has said that no value pack is expected and that older Galaxy devices will not be updated beyond Gingerbread, Android 2.3.

Citing memory issues and hardware inadequacies that are “limited to and fully optimised for the Gingerbread experience,” Samsung will abandon their older handsets and focus on newer models like the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note.

The value pack that was rumored for the Galaxy S would not have been a full-blown Android 4 update, but it would have brought some of the more coveted features from Ice Cream Sandwich, like multitasking improvements, face unlock and Android Beam, to the device. Instead, users looking for these enhancements will have to turn to alternative software and the Android community.

Right now on XDA, the “Android Development” section of the Galaxy S i9000 sub-forum is chock full of Android 4 ROMs. The Vibrant, Epic 4G, Captivate and all US variants of the original Galaxy S have Android 4 ROMs on the way as well.

It’s unfortunate to see Samsung abandon the some 10 million users who bought the Galaxy S, many of whom are still tied to a contract with the device, but it doesn’t look like Samsung is going to budge on this one. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on any updates to the situation and will let you know if anything changes.

Source: The Next Web

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • oddball

    I can understand this from a normal consumer view. Without touchwiz a standard phone user will have a huge adjustment if they get 4.0. Power users will or already have rooted and rom’ed so this has negative effects for a VERY small percentage of users and that group is far outweighed by the number of calls and complaints they will get of “you sent me this update and now my phone doesn’t work”. It sucks and the excuses of the phone not having the hardware for 4.0 is ridiculous but I can understand it

    • thenefield

      I can completely understand where your coming from. But they have the King of Cyanogenmod employed, so anything is possible right?

      • redraider133

        they already have roms for most of the galaxy s line with ics anyway so people can go that route and will probably be faster and smoother than anything samsung puts out anyway

      • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

        Just because Cyanogen works there doesn’t mean he has any significant political sway in these decisions. He was hired as a developer, not a C-level title.

  • ihatefanboys

    SAMSUCK strikes again !! Does anyone really have to be told ” I told ya so”. The horrible track record of updates continues, yet people will line up to defend them because they made 2 NEXUS phones. Makes me sick.

    • redraider133

      The galaxy s got 2 updates which is more than most would expect out of samsung. You act like they are going to update it for ever come on this is almost expected at this point.

  • https://profiles.google.com/jefmes jefmes

    I have to agree with this actually, the original Galaxy S is old enough that 2.3 feels like a natural stopping point for development. Normal users won’t care, and like oddball just said, power users will either upgrade or find another path.

    That’s where I get concerned these days – I want that “other path” to be open without a bunch of hackery and workarounds. If all the manufacturers would allow simple, official root and unlock (even if the warranty is void) I think most of the tech community would be satisfied.

    • redraider133

      That’s why so many love the nexus phones, offer both of those and do not need to rely on an exploit for root like other phones.

    • kazahani

      I agree with you. 2.3 is a good place to stop. However, the Vibrant and Fascinate are both still stuck on 2.2.

      That makes me sadface.

      • https://profiles.google.com/jefmes jefmes

        Yeah I would hope it would at least get to 2.3 before they stop, that’s crap if they’re still on 2.2. Which goes back to my regular argument against so many models. Grrrrr.

        Which btw redraider – that’s why I have the Galaxy Nexus now. :)

      • redraider133
        • clocinnorcal

          The Vibrant does not have 2.3! Come on Tmobile!

          • Aladdin

            The thing that really bugs me is that cyanogenmod and other aosp type roms don’t have support for 911 on the vibrant so you can’t even update to gingerbread or pics yourself. I was really looking forward to install a custom for my dad but I don’t want to risk him not having access to 911

      • LukeT32

        And the continum! Or however you spell it…

      • R.S

        @ kazahani

        Way to stay informed, the Samsung Fascinate received Gingerbread last year.

        Granted it was just last month but none the less, the Fascinate did in fact receive Gingerbread.

        The Fascinate, Captivate, and the Epic each received Gingerbread while the Vibrant didn’t. Do you honestly think Samsung is responsible for that?

    • George

      They were still selling it 4 months ago in Europe. Support it, or don’t sell it.

  • Jeremiah Akin

    This is exactly the type of thing that made me sell my last Samsung phone.

  • http://pixelswim.com Steve Heinrich

    Well this isn’t too surprising but it is disappointing. Hopes have been dashed. It is the lack of updates that lead me to finally root my G1 to get Froyo. Damn history, always repeating itself. For shame Samsung, for shame.

    • ihatefanboys

      I honestly think the GS2 will never get another update, especially with the GS3 on the horizon. The G1 was really an experiment, to see if the OS would take off, it was never meant to push the boundaries it had, so rooting was the only way. These are all modern phones with resources, not the under resourced G1, so there really isnt any excuse. I may let the samsung lovers have the argument that the GS1 is old, but what will they say when the GS2 gets one update, then nothing ? Then ill hear, oh, its old and it cant handle it…6 months after the phone premiers it wont take another update…mark my words people. Ill make it simple people….when my G2 gets ICS ill be here to tell ya so, HTC is awesome.

      • redraider133

        with that logic the sgs should have never gotten updated from 2.1 since the sgs2 came out.

  • Avior64

    Sounds like my next phone is a Motorola Razor Max!

  • Trinhbo

    Understandable but it still sucks to hear this. Honestly I’d rather Samsung focus resources first on the newer devices than to try to update older ones. And by newer, I mean the SG2 first because that’s what I have.

  • 00quantameister

    When you’ve got the XDA community making usable Galaxy S ROMs featuring Android 4.0, Samsung has absolutely ZERO excuse. My Nexus S 4G has identical hardware & it’s getting upgraded to ICS according to Google. There is no defense for Samsung if the XDA guys are getting it done but Samsung with their greater resources cannot? It is a cop-out for Samsung who simply doesn’t want to honor the pledge made at Google I/O

    Hugo Barra announced that several companies — HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and Vodafone — have formed a team to “create guidelines for how quickly Android devices will get updated after new platform releases.” For those Galaxy S users, it sounds like a broken promise. Many brand new Galaxy S devices were sold in 2011 & I don’t blame any Galaxy S user for jumping platforms because of this.

    As someone who onwed a Samsung Moment, I know what its like to get burned on an update. It’s why I switched to a Nexus device. I’m still waiting on Google to honor that ICS update.

    If Android doesn’t solve the upgrade problem, I guarantee you many will defect to other platforms. I’m going to personally push this issue with the Android team until they resolve it the way Apple & Microsoft have or I’ll switch platforms in 2013.

    • ihatefanboys

      Resolve what ? This is a Samsung problem. Besides, what updates has Apple pushed, its the same software with minor tweaks since 2007, and Microsoft biggest claim to fame is the XBOX360 and Windows….the Windowsphone is crap. So switch in 2013, there is no quick resolution. The only possible solution is to make only high-end phones instead of releasing low end phones that cheapos that use Metro POS and Boost need to get because theyd rather spend $200 on a pair of Jordans than to get a good phone…But that will never happen. Plus no one on the Android team cares if youre “going to personally push the issue” who the heck are u ?

      • lfc

        “what updates has Apple pushed, its the same software with minor tweaks since 2007″

        What planet do you live on? Pretty amusing to read from someone with the name ihatefanboys.

    • redraider133

      Most normal consumers do not know about the latest os or care about updates. Ask around and see how many non tech people know about ICS or even what version their phone is on.

  • Mark barlog

    Samsuck bailing on the 10 million that helped them. Idiots

  • GrendelJapan

    That stinks for GS owners. I upgraded my Nexus S to ICS and it is an awesome improvement. GS owners shouldn’t be denied it.

  • tarman

    Sometimes you have to wonder if it’s the manufacturer saying they can’t/won’t update to ICS or if it’s the carrier that doesn’t want another pure android device on their network without “their” bloatware.

    There are a few ICS ROMs running pretty sweet on single core phones, so what’s the problem?

  • TaoRenCe

    No surprises here……..

  • Fulaman

    No Surprises here like everyone else has mentioned, that said, I’m so grateful for Teamhacksung and JT for Cyangenmod 9 on the Galaxy S devices. The power to root is all we need. who needs Samsuck.

  • mcopeman23

    {rant box}

    So. I am only going to be blunt because i hope others had a far better experience.

    I spent $250 on the epic 4g. for the specs. I was going back and forth on whether or not i was going to go jump ship and go to iOS because i had android phones in what i will call their alpha period (myt3g,cliq). I was also sort of excited because i had the vibrant on t-mobile (no t-mobile where i am now… so needed to switch) so spec-wise, the epic 4g (galaxy s) was the best android phone you could get on sprint – then the problems started.

    I had every single problem that the editors here wrote about and individual users ranted about.
    I went through 4 PHONES! kept getting the run around…are the problems stemming from samsung or sprint yada,yada,yada. the phones literally failed me at the most important times. gps failed on trips to unknown places. dropped calls on interviews as well as conference calls.

    Then i got the nexus S. completely forgot it was a samsung phone because it was pure android. I no longer felt left out by my friends who had the droid x, x2, incredible- essentially every (4th) generation android phone.

    But i traded the nexus s in for the epic 4g touch based off a editors suggestion from here. and i’m loving it so thanks for that. This phone is a beast!

    But seriously if 10 million phones (and by that account users who probably still have the phone) and only 14 months after the phone originally came out later (that’s about right, right?) it’s out of date? seriously? the specs are the same as the nexus s and it’s getting ics. that means the skin is bloated. they didn’t plan ahead. they didn’t do what’s in the customers interest. to me they are jeopardizing an important product (android) because we are throw away. they are trying to “Brand” all of their stuff for a better experience…and doing a crap job for consistency.

    I find it hard to commit to someone who obviously has commitment issues. and i’ve given samsung a lot of time and money. many chances and they still do this stuff. I honestly think the galaxy s2 is looking great and with the s3 around the corner i think samsung will continue to make great devices…but aren’t i a fool for giving samsung my money after all of my problems with the product and now this news?

    For all i know they may say the 4.2 or 4.5 is too big for their galaxy s2 phones and will dump it after 14months too.

    I think i’m taking this phone back. it’s awesome, but samsung abilities to deliver on the customer service of a product… I don’t trust that they can deliver and i’m not a techie enough user to root my phone ( more afraid that i’ll brick it). If that seems dumb that i wouldn’t, think of me as a super mass user. i know a lot about these products and that’s a big reason to love them, but i’m not equipped or feel comfortable rooting my phone. so i’m probably the wheel house for them.

    I have like eight more days with this phone to decide if i’m going to keep it or not. i’ve played with the evo 3d and photon now…they aren’t options compared to the epic.

    does anyone else there have the epic? new or old? if you had the option, would you grab a different phone on sprint? which one?

    I’m seriously considering trading this phone in for the iPhone 4s and getting the prime.

    • Fulaman

      Samsung Phones are near impossible to brick and one of the easiest to Root. Feel free to email me and I should be able to help.

    • honourbound68

      i’ve had the epic 4g since it came out. i’ve loved the phone’s hardware but hated the software and bugs that came with it. i’ve had my phone rooted a month after i got it up til present and i’m am extremely grateful for the devs at xda. because of them, the gps lock issues were fixed, i haven’t had to deal with ciq for a long long time, and the keyboard skips were taken care of. but, the most annoying bug i still have to deal with is the loss of signal bug where my phone randomly goes into airplane mode. the newest rom i’m on now seems to have reduced the occurence rate. i’m glad that samsung has gotten better with updating the software for their phones but i will not get another android phone unless it’s a nexus. i too have considered trading in my phone for the 4s but i’m going to hold off. only have 6 more mos til my contract expires. hopefully sprint will have the nexus by then or i’ll be switching to big red.

  • aranea

    Scratch Samsung off from the manufacturers to buy any phones in the future!

  • spazby

    I had the epic, it was a great phone… I will have to go pure google going forward, why can’t manufacturers give us a choice of having their skin or pure google?

  • Danny Calderon

    If the phone makers would just make the phones super easy to hack, than it wouldn’t be a problem. I have a MT4G and I’ll probably be stuck on 2.3 unless I can root it.

  • TruFactz

    Ok, here goes. I think Android has to really beef their hardware department as a whole to actually pull a proper update system off, mainly, in MEMORY. most devices that ship out right now have 785+ in RAM, thats what hinders the device…but to other companies…HTC…it does not, here’s why:

    HTC’s Sense UI is designed to use an appropriate amount of memory no matter how many upgrades it gets HTC Sensation 4G ships with 4GB of memory, only 1GB is available to the user, FOR APPS, the 3 alone can handle any installation of future updates. Mean while, it ships with 768MB in RAM, that coupled with a 1.2Ghz processor is above average.

    Meanwhile, Good ol Sammy here, fits a phone with a 1Ghz Dual core, and only 528 in RAM……of course its not gonna run ICS with that kind of specs…especially with the all consuming TW on the OS.

    The standard here should be:
    1.2+Ghz & 1.5GB+ in RAM for high end
    1+Ghz DC & 1GB+ Mid Tier
    1+Ghz SC 768+ Low End

    This way, devices will be more update rich and feature lasting. This is very disappointing, but very like Samsung. I don’t know when they will learn their lesson in making devices that will be update friendly. Samsung get it together.

    • redraider133

      actually the sgs has a single core and 512mb memory. The sgs2 has dual core and 1gb ram….

  • cxandroid

    If they release fully open source kernel / drivers / RIL for the SGS phones, I bet all will be forgiven.


    Take to the social networks and barrage themdaily

  • Stella

    I’m not surprised but I was still hoping. I’m happy that they did update the device twice. However, I still think they should compromise and let users decide if they want to use the ICS without TouchWiz “enhancements”.

  • Nathan D.

    Well I know what I’m doing for my friend this summer

  • alexanderharri3

    Samsung, predictably backtracks on it’s backtrack. No updates for you Samsung non-nexus users out there yet again.

  • http://sean-the-electrofreak.blogspot.com/ Sean the Electrofreak

    Unfortunately this is why my next phone is going to be a Google phone.

  • slimx30

    fully optimized for gingerbread huh? how about updating the samsung vibrant to gingerbread then! we got one update to froyo and were forgot about while the other variants got a gingerbread update. I have run miui and cm7 for the past 2 months but the bugs and call quality problems had me go back to 2.2.

  • jeff.j1990

    Why are you doing this Samsung? :(

  • jenskristian

    That’s really disappointing to see them abandon two very high profile devices so early. The original Tab (obviously) was a rushed product to have something to put up against the iPad. They now had the chance to make right before moving on, and I’m sorry to see them not take that “responsibility”.

  • Mil

    Another reason to dislike manufacturers customising UIs. I think having a stock Android UI with better support is so much better than a custom UI with poorer support. Handset manufacturers need to wake up to this fact.

  • Joel Bird

    No excuses. The Nexus S has identical hardware. For shame. I have a Galaxy Nexus so it’s no biggie for me, but it’s crap like this that make everyone cry fragmentation. There are many out there who won’t be able to update because they are inexperienced at modding. I can understand other unpopular handsets not getting ICS but this is one of the best selling Android phones of all time, and its hardware is capable. Upgrading the GS would bring a huge chunk of people forward to bolster the numbers of those running ICS, which would be good for everyone.

  • ward

    This and my still broken GPS is why my next phone and all my phones afterward’s will not be samsung, I bought a broken phone and still have a broken phone. I am rooted and running Bionix 1.3.2 @ 1.2ghz. It runs better then samsung could ever make it. The DEV’s still can’t fix broken Hardware.
    Thanks samsung! I love you HTC!

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    I’m assuming this is for those who bought it on contract and not those who bought it unlocked? Or does this go for everyone?

    Either way it blows, what happened to that commitment there Samsung? And everyone else in the mobile industry? I guess they were just blowing smoke up our asses. If only everyone could just update within a six month period… as a Droid 3 owner I wonder if I will get the same treatment for ICS 4 – a big “no soup for you!”

  • Oskar Wismierski

    Well it’s not like SGS1 users will miss out on much.. ICS does come with touch wizz which makes it look just like gingerbread except for small tweeks .. I bet people who really want ICS won’t like the touch wizz version and will root anyway to get a vanilla rom and you will be able to do that with the SGS1 so what’s the problem?

  • http://www.neilcalvin.com Neil Calvin

    That’s funny because my Vibrant has been running ICS since before it was released :D

  • Chris

    What about the SGS+ GT-I9001 model?

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=583695634&ref=profile Rahul Singh

    We knew that already that galaxy s will never upgrade to ICS.

  • Paul

    That’s ok, they’re abandoning me then i’m abandoning them. I’m sick of all the lies and bullshit Samsung has been spewing since I got this stupid Captivate. Not to mention that the phone lags horribly a few days after I re-flash the OS. It’s locked up while texting, playing music, even when it’s just sitting on my nightstand. I had to wait forever for them to push out 2.2 which solved many of my problems but not all, I’m still waiting on 2.3. Now I hear they are just abandoning their customers while in contract. Dear Samsung due to your horrible business practices I will be forgoing purchase of the new Samsung Galaxy S 2 Skyrocket and and Instead be purchasing a HTC Vivid when my upgrade comes in 2 months. Sincerely A pissed off Captivate owner.

  • oditha

    After XXKPA beta firmware Samsung released a much stable ICS version for galaxy s2, It is dubbed as XXLP2 firmware. This firmware is build on 10 January 2012 and it is based on latest android 4.0.3
    Samsung guys really working hard to make fully stable ICS , and after continues ics versions it is proved. Samfirmware.com also posted a video of this firmware , it is working fine .

    here is source- http://goo.gl/I8MwW

  • phill

    to much fussing just download odin and the new 4.0 ics and install your self thats what i done and happydays works great