Consumers want their mobile gadgets like cellphones updated to whatever is the latest software OS patch is in the offing until they get dumped the into the hand-me-down box in favor of a new one. We’ve seen such upgrades from iOS 2 to iOS4, Windows XP to Windows 7 and Android 1.5 Cupcake to the latest thus far, the Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
But something awful happened in the upgrade road and if we are to believe the latest pronouncements from one of the leading makers of Android smartphones Samsung, the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich won’t be ported to older Android generations. That users of Samsung Galaxy S smartphone and Tab users will never see their gadgets upgraded to the more delicious Ice Cream has many tech savvy Android users dismayed, angered and generally feel shortchanged.
In a post on a Korean blogsite run by Samsung, the two popular devices won’t be getting an Ice Cream update, the latest, most powerful and anticipated iteration of Google’s highly successful mobile OS.
The reason Samsung explains is that there are simply too many customizing software layers on the current Android 3.0 like the TouchWiz UI, video calling, widgets and other features that consume hardware resources to a point that it becomes next to impossible to upgrade the kernel OS without diminishing the user’s Android experience in the new OS.
Released in October, Ice Cream Sandwich offers several new features with the unification of the smartphone and tablet as the standout feature. As with new OS releases, the new software does require some hardware sophistication that leaves older gadgets stuck to their OS versions. But it is interesting to note that the recently released Galaxy Nexus that will come with the Ice Cream is on paper a close sibling to the Galaxy S. It makes the non-upgradability a bit tenuous to say the least. Why couldn’t they just ship the Nexus customized version for zero-based upgrade on the Galaxy S?
Despite the official reasons sounded off, there’s a good chance the truth is more familiar than it sounds. The driver for such an unpopular decision could well be closer to the pocket, and the heart – Money. Users generally prefer new devices with the latest OS and technical support costs to customize a new OS for older devices cost money. So why bother?