It is IMPOSSIBLE to understand Samsung’s way to handle updates for their ‘older’ devices.
Every single variant of GT-I9000 (Galaxy S) was released this year or at the very end of 2010 and the following models either match or even tops GT-I9000 hardware specification what makes them capable to handle official ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ update. Why i am so sure of that? It is in fact very simple, Samsung in cooperation with Google released Nexus series phone called Nexus S (GT-I902x) and this device in terms of hardware is a clone of GT-I9000 with addition of NFC and Flash LED (was released in November’2010). Wrapping thing up main components like CPU, GPU, MEMORY matches and that is the reason why all the porting was always done from Nexus S to GT-I9000 and further as usual and what is understandable Google released latest updates to it’s flagship device first. And guess what Nexus S was the first device after Galaxy Nexus (new Google flagship smart-phone made in cooperation with Samsung) to get official ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ update and new Google system simply fly’s – what that means is that Nexus S is well fitted to run latest system update. So lets set a ground points, Galaxy S was released in June’2010 what makes it currently 18 months old and considering hardware specification it is 100% capable to run ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ update.
Now think for a second how many units are purchased in first months after lunch. Thanks for the internet we have that information: it took 4 months to sell 5 million Galaxy S devices, another 3 to hit 10 million and as announced in October this year Galaxy S was closing to end the year on 20 million units sold, although it is not clear if those numbers reflects total number for whole family of devices that was created on GT-I9000 base or is it for Galaxy S variant only – but looking at the total number of sold devices by Samsung as reported by Gartner at 24 millions for Q32011 this might be a number for the whole family.
So we can tell that approximately 3 on 5 of those devices that are fully capable of running latest Android update was purchased in one year period or less since Ice Cream Sandwich lunch this year – witch was in October’2011.
It is also very important to mention that at this years Google I/O a committee of Android OEMs (Verizon, HTC, Samsung, Sprint, Sony Ericsson, LG, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Motorola, and AT&T) was formed. In what could prove to be a landmark agreement, they have revealed that they have committed to updating their devices to the latest Android OS for 18 months after release. So keeping in mind that ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ update was officially announced in October’2011 that gives us 2 months top for GT-I9000.
Question arises: Should a manufacturer that tops every chart of smart-phone sales and has tripled unit sales number in one year, take the risk of disappointing 20 million (what makes it still their best selling device) of their users that have purchased one of their top-shelf devices over the period of last 18 months by what is nothing more that dropping support for their device. Also why is this happening if the device is fully capable of running this update and the manufacturer signed to an agreement acknowledging that the update will happen when certain requirements will be met (and they are). For now it seems that Samsung wants You to change smart-phone every year as after that period you are unsure if it will get latest updates (that also includes security updates!) despite the device is proven to be capable of handling such update.