Firmware

Samsung’s doing it again: No security updates yet for unlocked Galaxy S9 in the US

It’s been nearly three months since the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ hit retail stores across the globe. Samsung has released a couple of software updates for its latest flagships in that time, including security updates that are expected to be released for the S9 and S9+ on a regular basis in the foreseeable future. Well, that’s unless you happen to own an unlocked Galaxy S9 or S9+ in the US, in which case you’re probably wondering why your phone is still on a security patch that’s four months old. And, as it turns out, you’re not alone.

Unlocked Galaxy S9 security updates missing in action

Samsung seems to be ignoring owners of the unlocked Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ in the US at the moment, just like it initially did with the unlocked Galaxy S8. A few publications have written about it, and we have been receiving emails from our readers complaining about the same. Samsung is yet to release a single security update for unlocked versions of its newest flagships in the US. Unlocked units continue to be on the February security patch, and even carrier variants have received updates sparingly, with at least AT&T yet to release a single security update.

When questions were raised about the Galaxy S8 Oreo update for unlocked units, Samsung made the claim that updates for unlocked units take longer because they have to be tested to work properly on all supported networks. But three months is a long time for testing security updates, which are significantly smaller than a major OS upgrade, so it’s a rather poor show of support by the Korean giant for owners of unlocked Galaxy S9s in North America.

Unlocked units on a quarterly update schedule, perhaps?

Now, Samsung does note in the terms and conditions over on its dedicated website for security updates that some carriers may follow a quarterly schedule even for devices that are supposed to get monthly updates. It’s possible, then, that we could see an update for the unlocked Galaxy S9 and S9+ in the coming weeks. But nothing is certain unless that update starts making the rounds, and one should hope the Korean giant won’t be displaying the same callousness when it comes to the Android 9.0 update.

We have reached out to Samsung for a comment on this matter and will update the story when we hear back. Have you bought an unlocked Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ in the US?

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robertkoa
robertkoa

I am concerned that the ‘ security patches ‘ June download is almost .75 Gig and will probably increase the size of my Operating System , and use more RAM and lower Battery Life by a few percent ( or more ). I am getting very long Screen On Times on 4GLTE …unfortunately I have the Update stuck in my notifications screen… I would like to see the call pop up option working in the call menu. And a way to lock Camera onto Pro Mode and maybe less tendency for Camera to overexpose…but my S9 after one week works… Read more »

kayyes
kayyes

Our S8+ and S9 from Verizon get monthly security patches promptly. But my unlocked US S9+ is stuck on Feb 2018 security patch. Note that even if there are no software updates, it is best to push security patches in a timely manner. Why can’t Samsung do it for their unlocked version when Verizon can push security updates for the same Samsung phone? Shame on Samsung. This is the last Samsung phone I am going to buy — and this is coming from someone that had been using Samsung phones long before they made Android phones. I have used almost… Read more »

Biransahin
Biransahin

Android is not the same as Windows. There is no correlation between the two. In 8 years of having Android devices I’ve never had a virus plus knox which is used as military grade security and encryption coupled with McAfee anti virus offers levels of protection that don’t need timely security patches, unlike iOS where a 5 year old can bypass its security. There is too much hype about nothing. We should remember that very few of the 80 million or more customers who buy these phones care at all. Most don’t even know what OS they have, never mind… Read more »

Martin DAYI
Martin DAYI

Exactly. And there are some people like me who never updated their phone after first 7.0 update. It’s still the best for S7 edge, it’s done and tested in betas. Some other security patches made it a little bit slower and battery runs a little bit worse. And about scurity privacy and virus, I’m not supid enough to have dic pic or child prn in my phone or internet connected device. I have many friends who uses their phones for banking NFC credits card etc and they’re on 4.4.4. Security patches are just baby bottle for geeks who think when… Read more »

Ac42
Ac42

I can tell you really know your stuff. Thanks! … smh.

RoadRunner99
RoadRunner99

Just because you’ve got money to burn on $1000+ phones doesn’t mean everybody else has.

utvic99
utvic99

I received a small update for my S7 edge today, but it’s still on April patch, and it has been ever since Oreo.

Ac42
Ac42

Thank you for this article! Samsung’s behavior with regards to security updates is unconscionable. Even if unlocked s9s in the US were on quarterly updates we’re 6 weeks behind on that. If so it’d be every 3 months. We’re 4 and a half month out of date running the February 1st security patch. For those individuals who reflexively think it’s no big deal, it’s a moronic position to have. Android phones get hacked every day, yet they blindly go on thinking that Android is somehow totally free from danger. It’s situations like this with Samsung letting the S9 slip so… Read more »

samsunggalaxy82
samsunggalaxy82

expected from Sammy. They hardly pay attention on software features.

krakajap
krakajap

I don’t personally see this as big an issue as many claim. Smartphones are generally more secure than desktops yet we’re perfectly accepting of lengthy security updates there. There’s virtually no noticeable gain. Maybe the root community has more to worry about here? Yet that’s already been proven to be a very small group in comparison and even then they’re likely to flash a custom rom anyway that update more frequently. And what’s the average ownership life of a phone these days, a year or two? So what’s really at stake here, setting everyone’s minds at ease? The only concern… Read more »

davebwi
davebwi

Security updates and phone performance are two different things!
Don’t you wonder why your Windows 10 computer gets updated monthly? It always for security, and sometimes additional software additions

Ac42
Ac42

Lengthy security updates on desktops? Really? I get daily Defender definition updates, and monthly and even bi-monthly cumulative updates (ie bug fixes and patches) on windows 10. Microsoft is one of the best when it comes to staying on top of the security of their OS. People expect that as a rule.

stondec
stondec

And despite the prolific updates the Windows desktop is still far less secure.

Ac42
Ac42
Ac42
Ac42

From the article linked above: “68 percent of all devices that were infected in the past year were running Android, followed by 28 percent running Windows, and around three percent running iOS.

Biransahin
Biransahin

I agree 100% with you. People keep thinking of Windows and try to correlate it with Android, usually people who know very little or absolutely nothing about how the Linux based OS actually works. They merely display their own ignorance to the world. As someone who is an experienced engineer and Linux developer I find it all very amusing. To save repeating myself, you can read my latest comment here. It’s sad that 7 people disliked your comment. It really illustrates the lack of knowledge amongst many here. You ARE correct @krakajap. THEY are wrong.

Ac42
Ac42

I don’t think contrasting their update cycles is somehow ‘correlating” android and windows. And there’s nothing inherently more secure with linux code. Being an open source operating system, having a relatively small user base and a nonhomogeneous array of distributions is what makes linux more secure. The only thing that android can claim is that it uses the linux kernel – a modified one at that. It’s not even truly open source. Aosp is, but everything else is proprietary, ie all the baked in Google services. The android that the end user recognizes has little in common with aosp, and… Read more »

SAMgalaxyXXX
SAMgalaxyXXX

Samsung really needs to sort out this level of inconsistency with the updates in many areas. What’s happening with the unlocked S9/S9 plus is unnacepatable.
Samsung also keeps neglecting the Note line. I still don’t understand why Samsung hasn’t even bothered to update the camera app and interface of Note 8 to its latest version like in S9/S9plus and is giving it to some mid range phones and even the recently released low end J6. Note 8 is Samsung’s most expensive phone in the market right now until Note 9 is released.

got2trythis
got2trythis

First, thank you for writing this article. I am glad to see how quickly you responded to your customers unlike Samsung. It is really amazing how Samsung is paying more attention to the A line which gets the monthly update on the clock vs the flagship S line. Even if they decide to do it on quarterly basis it would be a huge disappointment and against google recommendation for keeping phones secure. How does it make any sense that the flagship more expensive model is less secure than a cheaper model. Anyway, I hope you get a response from Samsung… Read more »

plonko
plonko

I was hesitant to purchase the unlocked S9+ due to Samsung’s track record updating unlocked devices in the US, but I fooled myself into believing Project Treble would solve that problem. Nobody believes their explanation…there are a lot more European carriers than US ones and they can get updates. It’s just not plausible. There are a lot of little issues they need to fix with the firmware (i.e. fingerprint sensor randomly not working unless you turn the screen on first, screen touches randomly not registering, etc.). I would expect this level of support for a $200 handset, but certainly not… Read more »

NicuPit
NicuPit

I heaven’ received the oreo update yet, i’m so pissed with Samsung, i’ll switch to other brand like Huawei, at least they provide security updates on time.Not like SAMSUNG NOW, I DON’T KNOW WHEN TO EXPECT A UPDATE FROM samsung

davebwi
davebwi

Yes I have the SM-G960U1, I completely Froze Buying ANY more Samsung Phones Because they have confirmed AGAIN that The Unlocked phones are NO concern.. I am very upset, They have lost 8 purchases because of there lack of Promised Support. I was shocked to see them offer larger memory phones that are unlocked version only… That seems like a stupid move when they don’t support the ones they sold..
They also have no phones listed on Google enterprise system.. That will are hurting themselves… Pixel 3 of LG is what I am looking at for employees…