Why the Galaxy S III might never get an update to Android 4.4 KitKat

Every time Google unveils a new version of Android, it’s followed by months of questions from smartphone owners about if and when their particular device will get an update to said Android version. Android 4.4 KitKat, arguably the nicest version of the OS yet, was announced in November last year, and naturally, the same story enfolded soon after. Galaxy S III owners have been among the most vocal in inquiring when Samsung’s 2012 flagship will get KitKat, and we thought it would be a good idea to write this article to answer that query with a disappointing “no”.

Now, this doesn’t come officially from Samsung, and many will cry out that it’s unfair that one of the best-selling Samsung devices might spend its lifetime on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Alas, it’s something that seems unavoidable, for two major reasons: the Galaxy S III is now more than 18 months old, and it has already received two major Android updates already.

Google and all Android manufacturers follow a a standard rule: every Android device will get up to 18 months of support when it comes to software updates. Now, while that’s a pretty short time period (especially when you compare it to Apple, which updated even the 3-year old iPhone 4 to iOS 7 last year), it’s unfortunately the rule manufacturers follow quite literally. Even the Galaxy Nexus, a Nexus device, was dropped from support by Google as it was more than 18 months old when Android 4.4 came out (and because the maker of the phone’s processor chip was no longer offering updated drivers and binaries for its chipsets.) Samsung will no doubt follow the same rule with the Galaxy S III, which is on its way to complete 24 months on the market.

However, the bigger reason is the fact that the Galaxy S III has already received two major software updates. If you look at history, no non-Nexus Android flagship has ever received more than two major upgrades, including Samsung’s existing flagships like the Galaxy S II and the original Galaxy S. The Galaxy S III has actually received three major Android updates, from Android 4.0 to Android 4.3 – yes, it was because Google released 4.3 too soon after Android 4.2.2, but the fact remains that the Galaxy S III is currently on an Android version three major generations newer than the one it launched with.

It is these two reasons that indicate that the Galaxy S III will no longer be seeing any software updates and will be stuck at Android 4.3 (at least for those who don’t flash custom ROMs like CyanogenMod.) The Android 4.3 update for the device has been found to be quite buggy, so we do hope that Samsung works on addressing any lingering issues (and, of course, we hope Samsung and other manufacturers will consider increasing the software support lifecycle, to at least two months), but as far as KitKat is concerned, we would suggest not waiting for it to arrive on your Galaxy S III at this point of time.

P.S.: Some will rightly point out that Samsung does this just to make people upgrade to a newer device, and we’d have to agree. Unlike Apple, Samsung (and other manufacturers) make quite a few phones, so continuing to offer support for longer makes little sense in terms of manpower and sales. It’s something that is quite bad for the consumer, but since corporations aren’t running charities, it’s something we can only raise our voice against by voting with our wallets and not spending money on their products until they come around. 

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  1. Samsung announced that it would upgrade the Galaxy SIII for android 5.0.
    Samsung never

    • Samsung announced that update 1 and a half year ago. just to encrease the sales on that model. but like sammobile said, i don`t think this device will be updated to 4.4 kitkat. 4.1.2 is the most stable version official firmware. if you want 4.4 you have to root the device

    • But when google announced kitkat in November, at that time galaxy S3 was within 18 months period ?? So Samsumg waited for the the update period to pass and then say it has passed its update timeframe ? Wtf

    • Yeah…That was a year ago so they lied. :(

    • MotoFail did the same, they announce ICS on a large number of phones and they revert back to ‘stay to GB’ (in other words “F**K U customers !”

  2. Can anyone provide me with a link of the most stable version of KitKat ROM available for i9300 which could be used as a daily drver?

    • Try mokee ROM. Search for it on google. Once you flash it search for boeffla kernel for omni based ROM. Its current version 2.2 flash it. You will get as good back up as stock samsung ROM and its hundred times smooth n fast.let me know once you try

  3. I rolled back to 4.1.2 for my S3 because the firmware was stable without any issues. 4.3 has lot of issues the major was battery back and lock screen lag. I agree that Samsung follow the some kind of rule for the upgrades. There are million users for S3 all over the world as it was a flagship mobile, obviously they will be disappointed and for the people who buys S3 now. Its not a good idea to compare companies like Google and apple with Samsung for the upgrades.Sure we can accept a stable version of 4.3 in future.

    Last thing, I lost my patience for software upgrades from Samsung. 4.3 update was delayed for a long after customers got irritated then they started rolling out the updates but buggy and lost the customers trust on Samsung. I’m not any more Samsung hardcore fan, will switch to other brand soon.

  4. Samsung needs to understand two important issues:
    Public opinion and expectations.

    Regional lock reactions were a warning sign for them.

    Ignoring too many customers that await this update, will not bring them more business.
    It will just create more antagonism.

  5. Well, back to iOS then.

    • Dude, know what you are going to miss. No more customisation, no more “outside of play store apps, no more open OS. By the way, Apple did indeed update the iPhone to iOS 7. Have you however also worked with it since then? It is terribly slow, buggy and it doesn’t do shit. Sometimes hardware is also not updated for another reason, it’s called technological progress so the hardware isn’t powerfull enough for the software. Good luck with Apple, which means you will have to do everything with Apple. Good luck with the announcement: look at our new iPhone, we didn’t change sh*t and now we need you to give us 700 dollars. Again, good luck!

      • The s3 is good enough to handle the 4.4, and samsung already did a lot of shit, i’m done.
        going to iOS then.

  6. really ? oh my god :( kitkat firmware :( leaked test ?

    • Asked my Vodafone NZ carrier and said that they haven’t received any Kitkat Kernel from Samsung yet. Don’t know why?

      Guess they’re neglecting their obsolete best ’2012′ Smartphone.

  7. So what should I do? Flash GS4′s firmware?
    Is it a good idea?

    • Really? I guess if you want to turn your S3 into a shiny glassy brick, you can give it a go…

  8. If I (my gs3) dont get update from this shi…. troublemaker 4.3 (BUY THE WAY IT’S MOST OF THE TIME I SERVICE, AFTER 4.3 UPDATE), I will toss in garbage and get one apple iphone

    I am so angry on samsung !!!!!!!!

  9. I don’t understand why so many are still complaining about v4.3 release. In the last three months samsung have released a lot of new 4.3 roms that runs great, starting with the MK6 release. Actually I’m running XXUGNB6 (one of the latest) and it runs perfect.

    • 4.3 jellybean i9300xxugnb6 run very stable and smooth :)in my s3

      • Same but it tends to lag like H3LL! :)

  10. Why do people get so CRAZY about updates. My Note 3 was updated from 4.3 to 4.4 and frankly, I can’t tell the difference. People act like they’re going to have an amazing new phone experience if they can only get KitKat.

    • you didn`t see anything about your device,others know the difference and upgrades

      • Huh? Could you repeat that in English?

        • Hell, the son has freaking right, it has MANY differencies between 4.3 and 4.4 under the hood (memory management improvements, NFS and printing service and storage access improvements, SMS providers, new app themes, Chromium in WebViews, security enhancements, etc. Many if them you won’t see within years because of fuckin’ fragmentation of OS version. :-(

    • Well, all I know so far is that software updates solve at least bugs,glitches, performance enhancements & added a few new features.

      That is the good thing about it. ;)

  11. so that means, if I buy the Samsung S5 now….. after 18 months, I will stop receiving newer android version on S5 even if I had supported systems in the phone…. right?

    thank you so much samsung :)
    s3 is my first and last samsung mobile phone for now…. :)

    • Yeah, because Samsung will be updating their 64-bit Galaxy S6/S7 instead of their 32-bit Galaxy S4/S5 device… -.-

  12. NO KK update-there are so many custom roms,…..but there even are so many other brands.In fact, my next phone would be LG or HTC

  13. I might be wrong, but didn’t the S2 also get three major updates? I remember when I first got it it run 2.3.6, then it got 4.0 and then 4.3.
    But I might be wrong, lots of flashing on that little buddy…

    • not 4.3, just 4.1.2

      • Oh, you are right. But it was three updates nevertheless?

        • No.

        • Nope, please count it again: it’s 2 major update and this is even more what you would got at other manufuckturers. :-(

  14. my s3 run pretty well in 4.3 jelly bean shit i wished i have known note series before buying s3 never buying s-series again my fault :( – the galaxy s1 never updated to ice cream sandwich because the ram 512mb it seems the same thing happen to s3 lack of ram to run kit-kat.

    • Kitkat has better RAM management and it has support for 512 MB RAM.

    • Still lags like H3LL on my 4.3 Jelly bean GS3. Better upgrade my one to the next big thing! :)

  15. Tired of samsung bullshit and other manufacturers who are making tones of money from us and never listen to what we want for our money . Fu*k them all !

  16. Samsung never more… S3 luach in Q2 Aprox 2012.. Kitkat Q4 2013 ( 18 months ??!!! )
    Bye bye Samsung, Hello HTC, Apple, Nexus… Sony?
    S3 is my first and last samsung mobile phone

  17. But when google announced kitkat back in November, at that time galaxy S3 was within 18 months period ?? So Samsumg waited for the the update period to pass and then say it has passed its update time limit ? Wtf

    • The 18-month period is the “period within which companies usually provide updates.” Basically, by the time the KitKat update would have been ready, 18 months would have easily passed.

  18. by not upgrading s3 to kitkat we all can see the samsung is starting to fall down like nokia , blackberry , and other great companies in the past
    s5 design was awful , it`s front is like grand 1 !!!
    samsung`s chipsets flopped by qualcomm chipsets
    i have used samsung devices from s2 till note3(s2,s3,note2,note3 n9005)
    but if samsung doesn`t release kitkat for s3 i can`t rely on samsung to support my device
    i would buy a great nokia lumia phablet because nokia`s support is great(from 8 to 8.1 and …)

  19. ROM’s will fix this

  20. Terrible! Absolutely terrible! I thought Samsung would update the GS3 to Android 4.4.2 Kitkat, since it uses up to 512mb RAM only. Am I correct on this or not? Or should I just blame the amount of bloat-wares that’s been eating away the availability of Ram & internal memory.

    As a Galaxy SIII user, I will upgrade to the next big thing, Galaxy S5, this year, since it’s worth upgrading from an mid-spec device to the latest high-spec Galaxy S device.

    Looking forward to owning it soon! :)

    • The S3 has the same amount of RAM as the S4 & S5.

      • No, I’m referring to the international version of the GS3. Only has 1gb Ram…;)

        • galaxy ace style 512 mb ram and kitkat :D

    • The fact that a device *can* run KitKat because it needs only 512MB of RAM has nothing to do with whether it will get the update. Lots of devices have 1GB of RAM and are capable of running KitKat, but if companies will start updating them all, people won’t buy newer devices. Sad, but true.

      • This asumption is where they are WRONG.
        A consumer will NOT buy another SAMSUNG when he KNOWS the company just wants his money.
        S3 users will either update to cm or buy a non Samsung device.
        Can you please explain why so many working s3 platforms needs to be either crippled or fill the dumpsters?
        Sell by innovating and supporting. Not by forcing and patronising.

  21. How about ditching Android OS for the Galaxy S3 for TIZEN? I highly doubt it since their hardware is not designed for it.

  22. To everyone here, try androdi revolution v51. Is samsung’s 4.3 firmware but with lots of mods that fix samsung flaws. I’m currently using it and it’s great.

  23. What about Samsung USA that announced that s3 will upgrade to kitkat!!!!!!!?

    • Indeed. At least the 2gb phones should expect an update. And don’t forget, while the S3 was released 18 months ago, it is still being sold.

  24. Google seeks enemies? In Portugal the mandatory warranty for electronic equipment is two years! So far I’ve always been a supporter of Google, from this attitude can not guarantee ..

  25. U lie me ;( I hate u :@

  26. s111 owners should obligatorily updated to 4.4.2 as the 4.3 is purely shit

  27. I agree with the final comment, no more Samsung phone. Sick and tired of their exorbitant priced flagship phone, which Samsung forgets after a year.

  28. GFX Bench Samsung Galaxy SIII ! Sammobile false news don’t making !!!

    Android 4.0.4
    Android 4.1.1
    Android 4.1.2
    Android 4.2.1
    Android 4.2.2
    Android 4.3
    Android 4.3.1
    Android 4.4.2

    • from where did you get these

    • I’m sick of this GFX Bench crap!

      Read this very carefully, there are already custom ROMs out there with Android 4.4.2 KitKat and there are many people who have flashed their devices with the KK ROMs. Now, when they did perform a benchmark, GFX detected the OS as KK. So, it doesn’t mean those are Samsung builds.

  29. Two major updates,
    4.3 is nothing but pile of crap

    They updated S3 to 4.3 b’coz they we not able to deal with the problems of 4.2.
    And it was their fault that took so much time or else we would be on 4.3 a long time back waiting for 4.4 to arrive

    One more thing.
    keep the phones one for everyone in the world
    learn something from Apple ( sorry guys praising apple 1st time ) they keep their every handset same for people anywhere in the world.

    Not like you sammy Snapdragon for this country Octa bullshit for this do hell with that strategy.

    If there’s no 4.4 for S3 then there’s a complete boycott to samsung phones.
    Dont forget there are many players in this world.

    • It’s YOUR problem. Many S3 owners are using latest 4.3 JB (as me) and it works great, all runs fine and fast.
      And beside this, will the sky fall if we don’t get the KK upgrade ??, our S3 will stop running some day full of sadness ??, or we can still do the same things that we would if we were running KK ??
      Stop crying for such an insignificant thing, you can’t expect forever upgrades, use and enjoy your device instead of looking desperately for the latest X.Y.99 software version.

  30. Are you guys stupid? It has been said that S3 got past it’s 18 months support! Pretty logic,isn’t it?
    Yes,I have S3 too,and only half year passed since I bought it,so for me it’s also bad news,but when it’s said,it’s said! Stop whining and writing such a stupid comments!

    • With your line of reasoning, Samsung wouldn’t have to provide any updates. Just wait 18 months and then say “oops, too late”.

      • Agree with you assassin. Will these guys be able to sleep at night if finally the S3 will not get KK ??

  31. 2 things said to remember from that article :

    1- it’s unofficial, so no reason to be childish about samsung for the few ppl commenting byebye etc..

    2- it’s not only Samsung, it’s also google and every other Android manufacturers.

    I had a S4, i couldn’t tell the differences too with kitkat update. S4 wasn’t a buggy/laggy phone compared to S3.

  32. It should be 18 months from when a produce is discontinued. If companies are not going to support their devices, we’ll go to a company that will.

  33. I have an Galaxy S3 and now i bought a Note 3. Its sad that the Galaxy S3 will probably not get KitKat. Other Android manufacturers do the same to their flagship devices.

    Although S3 should be able to run KitKat, it is not always a good way to upgrade old smartphones to new software. A good example is that the Iphone 4 should not have received the IOS 7 upgrade since, it runs pretty badly on the Iphone 4.

    I do agree that the last upgrade for the s3 should be KitKat.

  34. A source from Samsung announced the upgrade galaxy s3 and note 2 to android 4.4 kitkat … and now comes to say it will not be updated! fuck samsung

  35. Shit shit and shit… 4.3 is a worse update for samsung galaxy s3 samsung should give us one more major update to fixed that buggy lockscreen issues :(

  36. I am using samsung galaxy s devices from Galaxy S to Galasy S3 (include s2) and i made buy my many friends the galaxy s devices. But first sam didnd’t get the ICS for galaxy s and now doing the same. We are not silly Samsung! I promise you if you won’t give us updates anymore (include 5.0) this device will be my last samsung. And i am sure that millions people have the same idea for me. You know… (4.3 is totally shit, don’t say “major update)

    • Add me to that list LOL never again another Samsung device if all Samsung does is hope I might buy their newest Flagship…

  37. I totally agree with “tahasmarty” version 4.3 for GS I9300 is a real shit, slow, battery does not hold, and full of bug. Thank you Samsung have dragged with the crappy 4.3, as it avoids update in 4.4

  38. Samsung c’est bien foutu de notre gueule !!!

    Depuis le temps que la mise à jour 4.4 est sortie Samsung nous a fait croire qu’on pourrais en bénéficier et à attendu que les 18 mois passé pour nous dire le contraire. C’est franchement dégueulasse de leurs part !!!
    A la maison j’ai deux galaxie S3 et deux galaxie note 2 mais je vous assure et je vous jure que c’est la dernière fois que j’achète un appareil Samsung quelque sois !!!
    Il m’ont beaucoup déçu depuis ses derniers temps et je déconseillerais tous les gens de mon entourage d’acheter leurs appareils parce ce qu’il se foutent trop de la gueules des client..


  39. My next cellphone will be an iPhone, samsung no more

  40. Gonna get Project Ara next year, so I will never have to deal with bad software support anymore :D

  41. There has to be a limit to the amount of support for each handset, BUT Samsung should continue to support handsets for at least 12 months after the handset is removed from sale.

    Simply put, if Samsung want to continue to sell the S3 (you can still buy it today), they need to continue to support it with updates.

  42. this is from justaboutphones website as i have read..it confirms kitkat update for GT-19300..My comment indicating the link still waiting for moderation..there’s also the picture of the leaked document..just visit the site and search for it..See below what the site says..

    “A long list of leaks from past few weeks has been indicating the future of 2012′s two most popular smartphones around the globe, the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. To sort things out once and for all we have a new leaked document from our “Insider” which should make most of the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 owners happy. The Android 4.4.2 update for the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 has gone under “final testing” and shall be released in the following month if not April itself, the insider also tells us that the Galaxy Note 2 will start the update cycle to Android 4.4.2 from India, while the Galaxy S3 will most certainly be getting it in Russia first.
    The previous leak that indicated the Galaxy S3′s Android 4.4.2 update to be “Unstable” has been clarified too, surprisingly the issue with the Galaxy S3 wasn’t the low amount of RAM or the Exynos SoC, but Samsung’s home cooked security feature know as KNOX. This isn’t something strange or even new as we also saw the same problems with the Android 4.3 update for the Galaxy S3, which later resulted in Removal of KNOX for the GT-I9300. The details on the Samsung KNOX been excluded in this update too are still Hazy, but it doesn’t really matter to most customers as long as they are getting treated with KitKat.

    To add to this the Galaxy Grand 2, Mega 5.8 and Mega 6.3 are now under Testing for the Android 4.4.2 update and they are indicated to get the update in April-May time span too, I would say May knowing how much time Samsung takes with it’s update testing due to Touchwhiz compatibility issues. Also the Galaxy Note 3 Neo’s android 4.4.2 update may show up anytime soon this month, so keep your eyes on it if you own one.

    • Based on the document, this is legitimate since as per roadmap, Galaxy Note 3 Neo will receive Kitkat this April adn now its receiving kitkat updates..Just visit justaboutphones.com for more details..

      • this is the title of the blog on justaboutphones.com…..


  43. ByeBye Samsung…never again…

  44. Due to lack of supply update for Galaxy S III Kit Kat, I’ve moved up three months to five other LG phone Nexus: (

  45. This is real.. check another update to the link..


    just add www to the link above since when I paste the whole link my comment is still waiting for moderation.

  46. shit

  47. i purchased Samsung Galaxy Grand2 Duos SM-G7102 no one knows such device exists …. in world… lol… i was shocked.. poor firmware support for samsung and too many samsung blotwares… in this device…

  48. link..


  49. april fools day NEWS !!?

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