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[Update: More info] Samsung set to face Dutch Consumers’ Association in court over updates

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Last updated: March 27th, 2018 at 19:09 UTC+02:00

Back in 2016, the Dutch Consumer’s Association filed a summary lawsuit against Samsung demanding regular software updates and transparency in the update schedule. The judge did not pass a verdict then as the issue was too complex for the legal process adopted.

In November that year, the Consumers' Association filed a more comprehensive lawsuit to pursue the matter further. The two parties are now going to face each other in the District Court of The Hague as the matter is up for hearing today.

Demanding timely updates

Though Samsung has improved its update policy in the last couple of years, it is still far from satisfactory. The Netherlands Consumers' Association is demanding Samsung to provide timely Android updates for four years after a device hits the market or at least two years from the date of purchase. The group is also demanding increased transparency and communication about Android updates.

The Consumers' Association has conducted several surveys to bolster its argument against Samsung's poor track record in software updates. According to the group’s most recent survey, only 22% of the Samsung smartphones sold between January 2015 and February 2018 had received a security update in the first two months of this year. Android feature updates are even rarer with little to no information about the update schedule.

However, the Association's demand doesn't make sense in its entirety. That's because it would be impossible for Samsung to track purchases and provide software updates for two years after the date of purchase. Samsung could do that for units that it sells directly but not for those sold through carriers and retail partners which tend to account for the bulk of its sales.

Having Samsung support a device for four years after it has been launched would make sense on paper but it would make little business sense for the company to do that for devices that don't make it a lot of money. So this is far from being an open and shut case. It will certainly be interesting to see what arguments are put forward by both sides.

Update: This is the second time that the Consumers' Association is going after Samsung for updates. It was ruled by the judge in the earlier interlocutory proceedings that the association had failed to demonstrate that there were concrete security breaches in the Android OS that had put Samsung device owners at risk due to the slow pace of updates. The judge, therefore, rejected all claims of the Consumers' Association. Samsung will certainly strive to achieve that outcome in the latest proceedings as well.

Via Source Phone Netherlands
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