Opinion: Samsung needs to update its multimillion selling devices for longer than 18 months

Google has a simple policy that all Android manufacturers follow: any Android device will get a software update for 18 months after its launch. That is usually enough to get every flagship device two major updates, something that has been true for all of Samsung’s flagship phones since the original Galaxy S took the smartphone world by storm. The Galaxy S III, a device that has sold more than 50 million units, started at Android 4.0, and thanks to Samsung skipping Android 4.2, it now runs Android 4.3. People were expecting it to get KitKat as well, but alas, due to memory issues, Samsung decided to axe the update for its best-selling phone.

Now, we realize that the memory issue could actually be the case here – the Galaxy S III is a flagship device and hence has more software features than mid-range or low-end phones, so adding newer ones over the existing features could have resulted in a very poor experience on the 1GB of RAM that the phone has. It wouldn’t be a good move to strip the phone off features to fit KitKat on it, which is supposed to play well with as low as 512MB RAM but only on devices running Google’s version of Android, which is minimal and more optimized than Samsung’s or any other manufacturer’s customized version.

But it’s clear that sales is also one reason Samsung is looking to stop updating the Galaxy S III any further, as that would mean it would lose some consumers who would otherwise think of upgrading to a newer device. However, we think it’s something the Korean manufacturer needs to rethink and go beyond what Google’s policy dictates.

There’s a simple reason for that: the Galaxy S III sold 50 million units. That’s a huge amount of consumers that are rocking the device, consumers who spent their hard-earned money on a phone Samsung told them is the best thing ever, “designed for humans” and better than that iPhone everyone keeps talking about. For those who bought the device in its second year only got updates for six months, and when you consider the fact that the phone is still available for purchase, there are many who will only be updating to an OS version that early buyers already have.

Compare this to Apple, who managed to update a three year old phone like the iPhone 4 to iOS 7, and you get a good picture of how poor the situation is in Android land. Samsung needs to understand that the only way to keep all your consumers is to provide them with continuous support – in case of the Galaxy S III, those 50 million customers mean more people expect an update than with other phones, but will have no option but to buy a newer device if they want to enjoy the latest and greatest.

Our advice? Well, first of all, stop selling the Galaxy S III and take it off the market. Second, and more importantly, offer a longer support scheme for flagship devices. The 18-month rule is all fine and dandy for an ecosystem where there are a plethora of diverse hardware, but when you’re selling millions of phones, it would be a nice gesture to go against the norm and give those software updates that a vocal part of consumers want, or risk losing them to the competition (which, to be fair, isn’t any better than Samsung in terms of software updates.)

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2 years 6 months ago


Lessons Learned about solving knowing problems.

When you have just one user point a call at your support, it is just an “ISSUE”. You can take a while to solve it.
When you have a lot of users with the same problem at your support, it is a “PROBLEM” that should have your attention, and quick solve solution!

In Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:55:27 +0000 (Build date), Samsung delivery their Android 4.4.2 version (Product Code: ZTO, PDA: I9505VJUGNH2, CSC: I9505ZTOGNH1, MODEM: I9505VJUGNH2) to all GT-I9505 users in Brazil.

This version was delivered with some problems that have been pointed out by users in Samsung support site, and various websites specializing in Android. However, so far, Samsung only suggests users to wait for a new version of the OS that will fix the problem, but not informs WHEN this will happening!

The IR Blaster problem is a knowing issue (BUG), but there are others problem with this OS version,like: “com.google.process.location” process stops.

I have no idea how many devices were sold in Brazil but, as far as I know was a lot. Which mean, many users with the same problem! Which should draw the attention of Samsung to quickly solve those problems, isn’t it?

Strangely, even after 54 days, Samsung has no provision to resolve the problem, and let all your users literally unsolved.

Possible quick solutions:

The best one: Identified the problem (not functioning IR Blaster), compile a new version of the OS with the problem solved and immediately deliver to all users (via Kies or OTA);

The second one (workaround): Compile the previous version of the OS with a new number and immediately deliver to all users;

The third one (the worst): Leave everything as it is, because this is really the intention of the company (SAMSUNG) remove intentionally the functions of devices, so the users consider buying a new device, which is ILLEGAL! Or maybe users choose to change its choices and buy others companies devices!!!

For me, or they show a solution, like first or second presented here, or it will be consider relevant when I will change my device to consider other players. I still believe Samsung is better in hardware and software, but after that episode I start to consider other options!

Or I’m taken in serious, or I’ll not take them as well.

2 years 10 months ago

es injusto que la variante internacional del galaxy s3 no se actualice a KITKAT, solo porque Samsung quiere impulsar las ventas del galaxy s4 y su “GRAN” Galaxy s5, eso de que el s3 no soporta KITKAT por la ram son puras patrañas…….

Una pregunta al famoso droopyar, me imagino el galaxy S3 Neo si se actualizara a KITKAT ya que se puede decir que este equipo esta dentro de sus 18 meses, o es que Samsung planea burlarse otra vez de sus clientes y dejarlo ahí nomas como al s3 mini

2 years 10 months ago

when CM relases CM11 stable I will switch my S3 to it, and never again buy a samsung device. Last week my dad bought a Nexus4 that have same or better hardware than S5 for less than half price of a contract free S5, and it will have official android updates for at least 2 more years.
Damsung is killing itself wth this crappy desicions…
If they cant fill the firmware with all they crap bloatware, relase a official firmware of S3 google edition. 4.4.2

2 years 11 months ago

iOS 7 is slower than crap on my old iPhone 4. It always crashes or just won’t load apps. Apple shouldn’t have pushed an update to the 4.

2 years 11 months ago

Never more plastic Samsung! I give HTC ONE M8 – it’s perfect!

2 years 11 months ago

maybe just release your failure project to us, so at least we can help you to build a best kitkat rom for S3. we don’t need rubbish touchwic and app installed, we need your better kernel and driver. release it!!

2 years 11 months ago

Bye bye Samdumb. You have only releasead one decent software for S3, and it was 4.1.2
Then 4.3 was a SHAME , it seems to have been created by an idiot. And now you are not able to upgrade to 4.4 and come out with a bullshit about RAM.

Next device? Nexus.

2 years 11 months ago

The firmware debacle on Samsung phones has already made me dump the Android platform for phone use. When I contacted Samsung about KitKat for my Galaxy S4, they told me it was not them delaying it but my carrier. The only problem with that excuse is that my phone is not locked to a carrier and was bought outright.

Right now I am using my Nokia Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8.1 until I see what what the new Lumia 930 or 1030 is like. Apple will also entice me with their new iPhone 6 with a larger screen. I doubt I will ever buy Samsung again.

Fool me once Samsung, but not twice :P

2 years 11 months ago

I have a better idea. Switch phones for cheaper price. I mean there are other companies trying to give us phones with cheap price and performance as the S5. They are also premium phones. I regret buying Samsung phone. Switching to hauwei or xiaomi or LG. And they give updates also.

2 years 11 months ago

“Google has a simple policy that all Android manufacturers follow: any Android device will get a software update for 18 months after its launch.”

And is there any conctract that manufacturers have agreed?

Lets talk about N8000 and the “the policy of 18 months updates”. I thought so…

2 years 11 months ago

yes, there is an internal contract. All manufacturers must check their devices against google verification center before launching it.

2 years 11 months ago

samsung idiot.my not samsung

2 years 11 months ago

Wrong. The 18 month update is a pledge of commitment,not a binding contract.

And it is also not possible for Samsung’s updates to be a complete rewrite of the code as that will take far too long. They simply modify and adapt the code to the New Android version. Take some programming lessons before defending them with unfounded claims.

With regards to Apple’s iOS upgrades, unless you are an Apple employee working on iOS you Will be most unlikely to be privy to their code, so how can you say that they merely changed the version number? The fact is New features did arrive on the iPhones with each major iOS upgrade though not all are available on every model due to hardware limitations.

I would say back your claims with evidence and logical arguments if you expect people to buy your pitch.

2 years 11 months ago

First of all I got an i9305 and I hope it will get kitkat so you all can port the drivers and kernel.
But as S3 and Samsung update policy all I can say is that they are doing it wrong.
As long as you still sell S3 or you sold a device over 50 mil the your updates shall last at least 36 months.
Because you need to understand 2 things first is the best selling device on the market and 2 there are lots of country’s where people only make 200 euros or less a month and even an year so S3 is so hard to get and people only dream for s4 or s5.

2 years 11 months ago

I no longer buys Samsung mobile phone including their Tab/Note because of poor updates I am switching back to Apple products.

2 years 11 months ago

Apple updates are cosmetics. just version number change and icons. If you use an android and an iphone, you will see android is superb.

2 years 11 months ago

#NoMoreExynos and #NoMoreSamsungAndroid

2 years 11 months ago

I wonder how long it will take Samsung to release Android 4.4 for the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, this is becoming mediocre! A top line device takes so long to receive the most updated OS.

2 years 11 months ago

Please don’t make me change my mind about Samsung devices…

2 years 11 months ago

I bought I9000, I9100. I9300, I9305 and I9500 I use now, and my wife enjoys I9505 and my whole family enjoys Galaxy S4
but I do not buy samsung until they will not remove the stupid regional lock because I give to their relatives every year new Galaxy and now I have to unpack it and use it to unlock it.
very stupid idea from Samsung, they had the best record sales have not done that stupid thing
I personally would not buy anything until they fix this lock …!

2 years 11 months ago

I bought I9000, I9100. I9300, I9305 and I9500 and now I use my wife I9505 and my whole family enjoys Galaxy S4
but I buy samsung nebudu more until they will not remove the stupid regional blokirovkub because I give to their relatives every year new Galaxy and now I have to unpack it and use it to unlock it.
very stupid idea from Samsung, because they had the best record sales have not done that stupid thing
I personally would not buy anything until they fix this lock …!

2 years 11 months ago

The solution is to stop the shit out of Samsung, definitely by strategy I’ll buy the new smart phone brand new Chinese one plus one, the company update it for 2 years but the advantage is that your operating system is a version slightly retouched by one plus the Cyanogenmod-11 (kit kat android 4.4.2) therefore would follow even supported by Cyanogenmod for much longer

2 years 11 months ago

I’m going back to Motorola, Samsung Bye, 50 Miloes … make sure that you will lose more than that ….

2 years 11 months ago

Where we saw, Moto G is lower and KitKat wheel!!

2 years 11 months ago

Motorola now is lenovo a bad chinese manufacturer. Better keep samsung

2 years 11 months ago

LG Optimus L9 II vs Samsung Galaxy S III.If we compare these two mobile phones.You will see that they wear almost the same spects,just L9 II has a lower front camera and dual core(but Qualcom) so not so big differences.The sarcasm in whole history is that LG updated before couple of days that mobile phone on KitKat.And Samsung just lie so make it client go and upgrade their phone. GJ Samsung

2 years 11 months ago

Samsung can’t get the KNOX Spyware to run on 1Gb Ram, that’s why!

2 years 11 months ago

18 month should be counted from the day the company stops production of that model!
Customers who bought this phone in Europe two month ago,
are within their two year warranty and entitled for updates and bug fixes too.
SAMSUNG must remember that they issue bugged devices!
Customers are their Q.A.
We are entitled for these fixes!

I will boycott them if not.

2 years 11 months ago

Disagree. From launching date is ok.

2 years 11 months ago

I am both Apple and Samsung user. I have a 3 years old Iphone 4S and 2 years old Samsung Galaxy S3.
It is really shame that Samsung stopped supporting this device in 2 years while Apple continues giving updates after 3 years.
Samsung really disappointed me by neglecting 50 million buyers of S3…

I believe Samsung is not updating S3 to KitKat in purpose, for selling new released models…We should have received at last 4.4 KitKat update.

I was already upset with Samsung when my S3 burned microSD card for 3 times, but with Samsung abandoning S3 users made me more upset.
From now on, I decided not to buy any Samsung mobile for future uses. I will continue with Android of course, but it won’t be Samsung anymore…

2 years 11 months ago

Again, your iOS update is a fake and cosmetic. They change the version number and adds some new icons thats all. Instead, android updates adds many new features, new layout complete code rewritten, etc.

2 years 11 months ago

Seriously, you are drunk you moron. I am sick of your crap comments. I read 300 comments and all i see is your piece of shit comments everywhere.

Sorry moderators but this guy should not be allowed to be born as human being.

2 years 11 months ago

in 18h month will come more than 3 new version of android

2 years 11 months ago

After 2 and a half years with Samsung (Tab 7.7 and Note8) I have to admit: I am an idiot.
How could I buy the Note8 (GT-N5100) after my experience with the Tab 7.7 (GT-P6800)?
Tab 7.7 was soon not available anymore on the EU market and Samsung support with OS-updates was poor. Ater a few month of using it, I tried to sell the device on Ebay: But price I could achieve was so low, I decided to give it as a present to the 10 year old sun of the neighbors.
Then I purchased the Note8. Again I experience a dramatic loss of price and now, not even 1 year after buying a new Note8 I can just throw it away: Price of used devices is so low, because, who will buy a used device, which has an old software? When you can get used devices with up-to-date OS.
Now, I feel like an idiot, because in the same timeframe I changed by selling on ebay iPhone4S and iPad2 agains newer devices (iPhone5S and AirPad) and could achieve good “return on my inverstement”.
Since I really do not like to be an idiot, I promissed myself: NEVER AGAIN SAMSUNG.

2 years 11 months ago

If you don.t update the s3 you will lost much consumers , i will never buy samsung mobile .