Samsung announced today that it will update its flagship Galaxy S III phone to Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android.There’s no specific time frame for the update, with Samsung only committing to the update the phone in “the coming months.” Google released Jelly Bean in July, so it’ll be at least half a year old by the time Samsung is able to update the Galaxy S III.
Plus Samsung will have to wait for each of its carrier partners to approve the software update, meaning some Galaxy S III owners are likely to get the update before others.
It’s the same old story Android device manufacturers tell over and over again. Google comes out with a new version of Android. Google’s hardware partners promise an update. We hear nothing for a while. Then the hardware manufacturer promises an update again. Then we wait a few more months.
In some cases, manufacturers go back on their promise and decide not to update their phones. Motorola is probably the biggest offender.
What’s even worse, it seems like Samsung has abandoned software updates for last year’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S II. When asked if the Galaxy S II would get the Jelly Bean update, a Samsung rep dodged the question and instead focused on the Galaxy S III. That’s PR talk for “probably not.” (We saw this happen last year when Samsung eventually came clean and admitted it wouldn’t keep the original Galaxy S updated. We’re still trying to get more details from Samsung, but we’re not holding our breath.)
As good as the Galaxy S III is, it’s troubling that Samsung is developing a pattern of abandoning its flagship hardware within a year of release. Why buy a phone that you know won’t be supported as soon as the new one launches? And if you do happen to have the current hardware, you have to wait months for the latest software updates.