Is Samsung Gaming Android Upgrades?

This rumor is about as shaky as they come, but Android Spin is accusing Samsung of deliberately withholding the Android 2.2 upgrade from T-Mobile's Vibrant just to drum up sales of the Froyo-equipped Samsung Vibrant 4G. The report quotes an unnamed source, supposedly from within T-Mobile.

While I have my doubts about that report -- at least, I don't want to believe Samsung would stoop so low -- AndroidDose points out one irrefutable fact: Samsung has not upgraded any of its Galaxy S phones to Android 2.2 in the United States (including T-Mobile's Vibrant, Verizon's Fascinate, AT&T's Captivate, Sprint's Epic 4G and U.S. Cellular's Mesmerize). The company hasn't even announced a timeline, six months after the first Galaxy S phones launched stateside on AT&T and T-Mobile.

In fairness, Samsung has said that it's still working on the updates, but the company is among the slowest of all Android superphone vendors to push out an upgrade. HTC's Droid Incredible and Evo 4G were updated in August. Motorola's Droid X got the upgrade in September.

Still, Samsung may not deserve all the blame here. Wireless carriers are ultimately responsible for sending out updates, and Samsung has updated its Galaxy S phones in the Nordic region, the United Kingdom and Canada. The company has cited "complexity/unique functionality" as reasons for the delay in the United States, which makes me wonder whether carrier bloatware is to blame.

Even so, Samsung is the one whose reputation takes a hit. I like to think that enthusiasts, such as the ones who run Android blogs, trickle their product recommendations down to the masses, so it's bad news for Samsung when one blog accuses the company of intentionally short-changing its customers and another says that it no longer trusts the company.

The solution? Samsung ought to explain in detail what's taking so long and when, honestly, Galaxy S owners can expect their upgrade. Nothing like a little clarity to put out incendiary rumors.

For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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