Samsung responds to claims of holding back Vibrant's Froyo update
by Bonnie Cha
(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)
This post was updated at 5:27 p.m., PT with comment from T-Mobile.
There's a story circulating the Web today that's causing an uproar among Samsung Vibrant owners and putting Samsung in the hot seat.
According to AndroidSpin, they received a tip from a reliable source that claims that Samsung is preventing T-Mobile from releasing the Android 2.2 Froyo update to Vibrant users in order to push the next-gen Vibrant 4G.
The tipster, who appears to be from within the T-Mobile organization, writes:
"Some disturbing things have happened the last week or so concerning our "Vibrant." Samsung has NOT allowed us to push the update OTA for 2.2 because they feel it will decrease the value of the upcoming Vibrant4G +. While from a marketing aspect I totally understand, as the Vibrant 4G is what the original Vibrant should have been in the 1st place. But to shun off and bold face lie to customers is NOT what T-Mobile is about."
The source goes on to say that the Samsung Vibrant 4G is largely similar to the current model, except it adds a front-facing camera, and new movie and 4G capabilities.
We reached out to Samsung for comment and a company spokesperson sent CNET the following response:
"Samsung Mobile does not comment on rumors or speculation. With regard to the Froyo update, we recently issued the following statement: "Samsung feels it is important to make the Android 2.2/Froyo upgrade available only after we feel that we can give the millions of U.S. Galaxy S owners a simple and reliable upgrade experience. Due to the complexity and unique functionality of each Galaxy S device, we are performing additional testing and are working to make the Android 2.2/Froyo upgrade available to all U.S. Galaxy S owners, including the Samsung Vibrant, as soon as possible."
The noncommittal answer surely isn't satisfactory to Vibrant owners, but what I'm more concerned about here is Samsung's general delay in releasing a Froyo update to all of its Galaxy S smartphones here in the States.
When the Galaxy series of Android phones was unveiled in late June, Samsung said that the entire portfolio would be upgraded to Android 2.2. Though it never promised a delivery date, some of the models have been out for about seven months now with no sign of an update. Meanwhile, other handsets, including the Motorola Droid X and HTC Evo 4G, have received the Android 2.2 update.
It's all a little too reminiscent of the Samsung Behold II fiasco, where Samsung stopped pushing updates after Android OS 1.6. Though the company never officially said it, we suspected the TouchWiz interface was to blame, which is why we were concerned when we saw an even more customized TouchWiz UI on the Galaxy phones, but at the time, Samsung assured us updates would not be a problem.
We appreciate the thoroughness in testing, but this doesn't help Samsung's cause. I really hope for its sake that all Galaxy owners get a helping of Froyo soon.
When asked for comment, T-Mobile referred us to Samsung's official statement shown above.