back to article Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

Samsung is being sued by a Dutch consumer group for its alleged lackadaisical approach to security updates for its Android phones. The Dutch Consumers’ Association (DCA) claims that an incredible 82 per cent of Samsung phones do not have the latest version of Android installed. It blames the Korean giant for failing to prod …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Move along, nothing to see

    Data security is a top priority and we work hard every day to ensure that the devices we sell and the information contained on those devices are is safeguarded

    Meaning:

    Data security is a top priority and we work hard every day to ensure that the devices we sell on that day and the information contained on those devices are is safeguarded for the whole day. But after that you're on your own.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: Move along, nothing to see

      Exactly why I dumped my Galaxy S3 for a Nexus. (That and the increasingly crappy Samsung software.)

      1. yoganmahew

        Re: Move along, nothing to see

        Dream on with your Nexus. Or do you like to be forced to repurchase?

        They've stopped shipping updates for the 2012 Nexus tablet. I expect my 2013 will cease to be upgraded some time this year. http://www.androidheadlines.com/2015/09/no-android-6-0-nexus-4-nexus-7-2012-nexus-10.html

        Not as bad as Samsung, though, my Galaxy S has never been updated in the near 4 years I've had it. I can't quite believe that it is hackproof. I have to keep it now because it works and because it has rounded corners!

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Move along, nothing to see

          Sure, you will get updates, but they will effectively cripple your device after a certain date.

          Sincerely - a disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7 which became unusable after an update to 5.0

          I had to hack the bootloader (the posted downloads on Google website brick the device) to downgrade it to the last 4. It now has updates disabled as there are no more 4.x updates and any update will cripple it by updating it to 5.x

          1. david bates

            Re: Move along, nothing to see

            Then unlock it and drop whatever third-party ROM you want on it. I'm running a Cyanogen Kit-Kat variant on my 2012 Nexus 7 and a Frank build of Marshmallow on my Nexus 4.

            Thats pretty much the point of a Nexus...

          2. Lamont Cranston

            Re: disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7

            f2fs (thanks, Samsung!) and Cyanogen - you'll be glad you did. If you're not keen on hacking your device, the Nexus Root Toolkit will do most of the work for you.

            My Nexus7 is damn near as wizzy as the day I unboxed it, now. The latest Cyanogen available when I nuked it was KitKat, although I think Lollipop is available now (something to do at the weekend).

            1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

              Re: disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7

              I have the 2nd Gen Nexus 7 (Nexus 2013?). I was pretty happy when it received the latest updates, although I'm pretty sure that these are the last major updates it'll receive. It's still recognised as one of the best budget tablets even now.

              1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                Re: disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7

                Google probably put better flash in the Nexus 7 Mk 2. However, they also upped the price A LOT! I'm not sure I would categorise it as a budget tablet any more.

            2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7

              You forgot to mention what version of Nexus 7 you have.

              I put Cyanogenmod on the Nexus 7 v1, and it didn't help at all.

              It can barely serve as a simple one app only Kindle reader now. Forget app switching.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7

                There's also the matter that rooting isn't as handy as it was, given that Android and apps are increasingly root-aware, especially in Marshmallow. I had to unroot my S4 because of root-aware apps.

              2. Simon 26

                Re: disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7

                That is not my experience after putting Cyanogenmod 12.1 on 2 Nexus 7 v1 tablets in recent times - they are both jogging along nicely, and capable of running multiple apps.

        2. WatAWorld

          Re: Move along, nothing to see

          So only 3 years of support? Thank you for warning me.

          Mind you, what is the average service life of a cell phone? Turns out in both the USA and Canada it is 18 months.

          https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca02267.html

          http://www.informinc.org/pages/media/the-secret-life-series/the-secret-life-of-cell-phones/faq-secret-life-of-cell-phones.html

          Still, you have a good point. If 18 months is average, some are lasting over 3 years. And even though a cellphone does not have the longevity of a desktop computer, there should be security updates for it for 4 to 5 years.

          (And as cellphone technology plateaus, that average of 18 months will extend somewhat.)

          1. leexgx

            Re: Move along, nothing to see

            but the problem is mobile operators are selling New 1-3 year old phones that are not going to be supported for more then a year or not at all (as not everyone gets £50 contracts) think about the samsung Ace phones or phones £40-120 most of them are years old when sold to begin with

            and on top of the mobile operator not pushing updates out as well, most operators stop updates for phones after a year (the phone was officially released not when it was sold) don't expect any more updates, unless its an iphone or windows phone (windows phones Upgrades can only be delayed for 6 months and security updates can not be blocked on windows phone even if its sold from an Mobile operator)

          2. DropBear

            Re: Move along, nothing to see

            No idea what the average service life of a phone is, nor do I care; my phone is getting five years old right about now, and it will stay in service indefinitely unless it breaks or they come up with one that can make and bring me breakfast (now get off my lawn)...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Move along, nothing to see

          Well, the original Nexus 7 is a POS anyway.whou would have thought that the darling device of that year would turn into a molasses slow worse-than-no name-China-tablet POS? Something to do with substandard flash, I believe.

          It was plasticky anyway. Before it arrived I foolishly thought the silver rim was metal. The Hudl is a masterpiece in comparison.

      2. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Move along, nothing to see

        Yeah it's one of the reasons I'm getting less than happy with my Note 3 - I did manage to get lollipop onto it and although it's an 'official' Samsung release, it's not officially for the UK.

        It really hacks me off that they are so poor about their updates. Now I wouldn't want to go back to Apple but my experience of their handsets was that the updated iOS would support a good three generations back and often more, although sometimes with limited functionality.

        I've been scractching my head what to eventually replace the N3 with. I want something that I can put a microSD card into for one thing. I'd _like_ a stylus. It isn't essential but I do use it occasionally.

        I would quite like to see this lawsuit go through to be honest. I am not too fussed about the latest OS but I do want my device to be as secure as possible for as long as possible. Otherwise, it becomes less and less likely it'll be another Samsung.

    2. Smooth Newt Silver badge

      Re: Move along, nothing to see

      Data security is a top priority and we work hard every day to ensure that the devices we sell and the information contained on those devices are is safeguarded

      Meaning:

      Our PR department is located in a parallel universe containing an alternative reality.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's to prod?

    It's not like Samsung offers security updates for any of it's phones or tablets that are more than roughly a year old. Neither my Samsung Phone nor tablet are very old, but Android 4.1 is all Samsung has ever offered on them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think it's about time manufacturers of all electronic devices that connect to the internet should be forced to provide security updates for 5 years after manufacture has ceased.

    1. Smooth Newt Silver badge

      I think it's about time manufacturers of all electronic devices that connect to the internet should be forced to provide security updates for 5 years after manufacture has ceased.

      Suppliers (I am not sure if this would be the manufacturer or the retailer) should be obliged to provide security updates for the anticipated lifetime of the product. If they only expect the product you buy today to last until 2 August 2016 then fine, but they should clearly say so in the health warning on the outside of the packaging.

      1. asdf

        hmm

        No fan of Samsung and own an iPhone but Apple would probably fight that the hardest. They are legendary for being ambiguous on how long they will support their products and allow you to stay in the cool kids club. Its one of the reasons why enterprise has such a love (VPs) and hate (IT) relationship with Apple.

        1. dehildum

          Re: hmm

          Apple at least is very specific about iOS support for phones. Updates will be provided for two years after the device is last sold. Since the older models continue to be sold for a year or two after the newer models are introduced, in general iPhones are supported with upgrades for four to five years after the model is first introduced. From Apples perspective, the iPhone is an evolving platform so is continuously supported.

          Samsung, LG, and the other manufacturers generally build their phones on a one-off process. A team is brought together to build a phone device for one or more carriers. The hardware is designed, and the software ported to the hardware, normally with extensive customization for each carrier. (In fact it is possible that the same "model" phone sold for two different carriers could also be completely different hardware internally as well as being heavily customized software.) A few hundred phones are built for final verification and testing by carriers and regulatory agencies, then, once approved, the production lines are turned on to build a few hundred thousand phones. Once production is complete, the factories are turned to other hardware, and the design teams, both hardware and software a broken up and assigned to the next projects. Three months later, there is no one left to update the software with security patches or update to the next version of Android. It is also likely that the additional software components, games, utilities, media codecs, and the like were licensed only for the initial production run, and are not available to be used in a subsequent update. Even if this was not a problem for the manufacturer, every update would also have to go through a full carrier review process, and carriers would have to be willing to accept the risks of damaged phones because people will try to update on 5% battery.

          I have not even touched on the accounting aspect of this - accounting rules may also make it difficult to release a free update, especially if it provides new functionality, if the revenue from the sale is recognized at sale. (Unlike others, Apple changed its accounting practices to allow iPhone sales revenue to be recognized over the expected lifetime of the phone, which means it can offer free updates and upgrades. Steve Jobs ordered this accounting change when he had to charge for an upgrade he wanted to supply for free.)

          Sorry, updates of Android phones are not going to happen the way iPhones are updated.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        There are two problems: the length of time for which OEM's should be obliged to provide security updates and the frequency at which such updates are released.

        This is separate to the issue of major Android releases. So just as with other software products, a security update isn't necessarily an update to the next major version. Hence whilst a vendor may patch KitKat (the version of Android shipped with the handset), there is no obligation on them upgrading it to Lollipop or Marshmallow.

        I find it interesting that the DCA are going after Samsung and not Apple...

        1. paulc

          Updates should be split into the absolute core underneath and the manufacturer's overlays... that way, the core OS can be easily updated without the manufacturer having to do a thing...

      3. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Updates forever?

        With this internet of things mania, there will be an increasing number connected devices that perform some mundane function for years, and are forgotten most if the time unless they malfunction. The "server in the closet" situation, but worse.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Unhappy

      but

      if you force the manufacturers to support the thing for 5 yrs, then how will they sell the latest iShiney to an unsuspecting public?

      1. cbars

        Re: but

        Easy. Charge more.

        I'll pay over the odds for a guarantee that I'll be supported for 10 years (and I'll probably need 5-8). I expect a few other commentards would too.

        1. Marcel

          Re: but

          This is what Fairphone is doing (see https://www.fairphone.com/roadmap/design/). Their phone costs a bit more and it's not as shiny as an iPhone, but it will last longer, can be repaired, can be upgraded and no children were harmed during production.

        2. Planty Bronze badge

          Re: but

          However many peoples expectations would be to get the latest version of Android, not the security patches on the version of Android their device shipped with.

          This is the unwritten thing going on here. Many see security updates as a way to force vendors to give them a newer OS, but its far cheaper, easier and lower risk to patch original version.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I think it's about time manufacturers of all electronic devices that connect to the internet should be forced to provide security updates for 5 years after manufacture has ceased."

      Not quite as good, but Google is updating Chromebooks for 5 years from date of entry to the market. Mine EOLs in 2017, and for a cheap laptop I consider this ample. (It is a Samsung but the updates come from Google, and so far not a single one has presented a problem.)

    4. JLV

      >security updates for 5 years

      Worth considering seriously.

      But what about name & shame? Force manufacturers to officially file, for each model, when manufacture has ended as well as the date of their last security update. Then publish the data for all the manufacturers together, allowing easy comparison, and let the public decide. Consumer Reports would have a field day with this.

      Methink Samsung might not be so thrilled with their dirty undies being aired out in that case. And how about the unlucky Winphone 7 customers?

      Kudos to the Dutch for kicking them in the gonads.

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: >security updates for 5 years

        And how about the unlucky Winphone 7 customers?

        As one, I am actually happy MS wont be pushing a half-baked W10 version on it.... The last version of WP7.8 is pretty stable, and as a small niche OS now, it not so interesting for attackers. Also, I suspect the very tightly closed (and limited) nature of WP7 makes it a bit harder to attack. For example, only apps written in C# are supported, no native code, and it supports no side-loading or alternate app shops.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and those updates should be for the version of the OS that came installed on the device, not a newer version that may or may not usable on the device.

  4. Bill Stewart

    My Samsung Galaxy S4 mini is running 4.4.2 (which was an upgrade that got installed shortly after I got the phone), and as far as I can tell Samsung's abandoned it since then. (My Coby tablet running 4.0.4 was abandoned about the time they put it in the box, but I'd expected better from Samsung than from a noname.)

    I've never been a fan of the Nexus phones, but they seem to be the only way to always get the latest Android version your hardware's capable of supporting - are there any other manufacturers who do that?

    1. BenR

      Yes, there are.

      To be fair, I think Samsung is one of the worst of the bunch. It seems to all be tied in to the amount of deep code-level twatting about the manufacturer does with the build.

      Samsungs have always been poor, because of all the additional Samsung bloatware clones and replicas of functionality they whack on (read SMail, SCalendar etc.).

      HTC suffered from the same issue, primarily because of SenseUI.

      The manufacturers that don't mess with Android too much do a much better job of getting updates out. Sony were pretty decent with my previous Z1. My Lenovo Yoga 2 updates fairly frequently, and this is after they've had to transcode the updates from ARM to x86. My Moto X updates regularly too.

    2. scudcraft

      Not that simple. You will not get Android updates on an unlocked Nexus if you have an AT&T (for example) SIM in it. That's because the carrier doesn't like costs, like OTA updates.

      1. Stuart 22

        " You will not get Android updates on an unlocked Nexus if you have an AT&T (for example) SIM in it. That's because the carrier doesn't like costs, like OTA updates."

        My Nexus 4 & 6 gets its OTAs via WiFi. The only practical way unless you have an unlimited 4G SIM. So does the Nexus 7 - which doesn't have a SIM. How does AT&T disable this?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The answer is easy, the devil is in the details

    Take away all control of the OS and locking of Android phones from the telcos and phone manufacturers as they have ALL done a crappy job with security and updates.

    Put the onus back on Google. Maybe they should buy Cyanogen.

    Make them split Android out as a separate, not for profit entity whose sole responsibility is to provide Android to the manufacturers in the various flavors and DIRECTLY AND AUTOMATICALLY UPDATE all Android operating systems for all devices for 10 years after the sale.

    1. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: The answer is easy, the devil is in the details

      It's not Google's fault, nothing stops manufacturers from separating their crapware from OS, they just don't want to.

    2. RyokuMas Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: The answer is easy, the devil is in the details

      "Put the onus back on Google."

      So basically, you're proposing to have one single giant corporate entity responsible for updating and maintaining the OS across a suite of devices from various hardware manufacturers?

      ... because that's oh-so-popular with Microsoft, Windows and PCs, isn't it?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: The answer is easy, the devil is in the details

        Oh, that's how Apple works, and they're still competitive. Google's already heading in that direction due to legal pressure after the Stagefright exploit was revealed. If they can't show control of their OS, they could end up in court over the matter at a later date.

  6. Youngone Silver badge

    What I learned.

    The bit I got out of the Samsung press release is:

    "We have made a number of commitments in recent months to better inform consumers about the status of security issues, and the measures we are taking to address those issues."

    Which I read to mean:

    "We'll tell you that we're no longer supporting your year old phone.

    After you've paid for it of course."

    Bastards.

  7. Bob Dole (tm)
    Mushroom

    About time

    This, more than any other reason, is why I carry an iPhone.

    Most of the big manufacturers - Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC, etc - absolutely do not believe that they should support devices for longer than about 6 months. They treat them as disposable items and all but force users to replace devices on an annual basis.

    Apple took a completely different approach and that's why they are sitting on 100b+ in cold hard cash. People will happily pay a bit more to get something that lasts far longer, is actually supported by the manufacturer and isn't riddled with adware. Rather than get a Samsung this year and a LG next year then a HTC the following - I buy one phone and keep it several years.

    Honestly, I don't know why people continue buying Samsung crap. Nothing they sell is really supported for longer than it takes for you to walk out of the store. I've owned TVs, blue ray players, sound bars, laptops and some computer components from them. In all of that the *only* things I was ultimately happy with was desktop RAM. Everything else was a pile of crap that barely worked with anything else even though it was all labeled Samsung.

    So, kudos to the Dutch. Hope they win.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: About time

      "Most of the big manufacturers - Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC, etc - absolutely do not believe that they should support devices for longer than about 6 months"

      Sony?

      My Xperia Z1c was released on 4.3, currently on 5.1.1. It won't be updated to 6 but it's 2 years old. Its successor is 16 months old and will get 6. I reckon with security updates there will be at least another year of life in mine. If Sony decide to stay in the business it will probably be another Sony then, because both the screen and the battery life have proven superior to equivalent iPhones. (I've just checked mine, it's 10pm and it is sitting on 83% after an average day.)

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: About time

        Two years is a short time, FYI!

        Let's say someone buys it second hand after 18 months. Then 6 months later it's not supported any more.

        I detest the throw-away culture we live in today.

        WTG, the Dutch! Why can't UK consumers grow some balls?

      2. harpingon

        Re: About time

        I was going to mention Sony. I had a Z1 for two years and it got plenty of updates in that time, minor and major versions. If I was staying with Android, I'd buy another Sony after that, they're pretty good. Pretty good with their open source contributions too.

        I have Windows Phone 10 now, in the shape of Lumia 950 XL, and loving it. Should get updates with that for a long time also.

      3. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: About time

        Sony?

        Had a Sony Xperia Mini and then an Xperia U. For two years apiece. The only Android phones I've had that NEVER received any updates.

        By contrast, my Galaxy S5 Mini has had two minor updates since last year. I presume for security issues but samsung doesn't bother to specify what the update actually changes...

        Given my experience with Android, I consider this "above average". Hmmm.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: About time

          Ha ha ha ha!!

          My Xiaomi (classed as "landfill" since it only cost £94), is now two versions out of date, yet I still get WEEKLY updates.

          The latest update DID kill the MIPC Suite connection, but when informing them, they got back to me within hours and said they will fix the issue for the next weekly update - apparently only happens if the phone is set to English on the Global ROM.

    2. DropBear
      WTF?

      Re: About time

      "Honestly, I don't know why people continue buying Samsung crap. Nothing they sell is really supported for longer than it takes for you to walk out of the store."

      Mate, far from me to try to defend Samsung (they absolutely deserve everything they get on this) but you're seriously talking out of your ####. My Galaxy phone was released with 2.3.4 (Gingerbread), was later upgraded to 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and is now running an official 4.1.2. (Jelly Bean)...

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: About time

        4.1.2 Jelly Bean is hardly very current, is it?

        I belive it came out in 2012.

  8. Palpy

    All the world is queer --

    -- and more so the swot

    that Robbie B.

    never got

    a chance to see.

    In particular: the fact that a relatively tiny project -- say, the team that makes the Arch distro Manjaro -- pushes out regular updates and rolling OS upgrades to anyone using the distro, while Samsung, with maybe 40,000 software engineers (according to Ars T), can't do just security patches in a timely fashion.

    Caveat: Yeah, OK -- it's an apples-to-potatoes comparison. But to me it seems amusing: the difference between what motivated people will do for free, and what unmotivated people will neglect for money.

    1. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: All the world is queer --

      Samsung engineers are too busy building crap UI and duplicate Google utilities no one wants to use.

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: All the world is queer --

      Microsoft has let bugs slide for decades, no doubt because some management type couldn't see the point of doing something right for a change. Colour management comes to mind.

      The thing with Apple is that they at least have some pride in delivering quality.

      I only mentioned MS as an example of one of many companies that seem to lack pride.

  9. Federal

    In all fairness

    My 3 year old Samsung Note II had a patch from Samsung for the stagefright vulnerability - that was pushed out via an OTA update from T-Mobile.

    Which is better than some other mfgs. Are these guys running into a carrier issue rather than an mfg. issue?

    1. Boothy Silver badge

      Re: In all fairness

      Not sure about these days, but a few years back I had a contract Samsung on Orange, and OTA was disabled, even over wifi.

      The only way to update was to install their horrible PC client, and do the update over USB 2.0, which seemed to take forever!

  10. WatAWorld

    Excellent and long overdue

    Excellent and long overdue. I'm surprised US lawyers haven't already started a class action suit along these lines.

    Of course here the cell companies would need to be sued as well, because they are a second roadblock to updates. Any suit would need to name both the phone maker and the cell company as respondents.

  11. nilfs2
    Happy

    Samsung S3 mini running 5.1.1 here

    Thanks to Cyanogen and these good fellas: http://maclaw.pl/

    One more reason that shows that Planned Obsolescence is very present on the market, and that Open Source rocks!

    1. ashdav
      Thumb Up

      Re: Samsung S3 mini running 5.1.1 here

      I'm running Cyanogen on a Samsung S2. Perfectly fine.

      Everything Google has been removed (thanks Link2SD) and any apps are downloaded from the Playstore onto my computer (there is a way if you search) and side loaded to the phone.

      Might need a new battery soon but they're peanuts.

      Old but not obsolete. (No Arni icon unfortunately)

  12. WatAWorld

    Lack of security updates for Android is the big opening for Microsoft

    Lack of security updates for Android is the big opening for Microsoft to grab cellphone market share in non-luxury cellphones.

    (Of course Apple has the luxury 'snob goods' cell market sewn up.)

  13. arc_ie

    Consumer laws, Right to security

    Every manufacture has an obligation to produce defect free product (software and hardware).

    If there is a software defect which is evident, it must be replaced or patched instantly.

    All consumer laws guarantee a life time of such warranty.

    If android hardware manufacturers cannot maintain the customised OS updates, and can risk a life of a human by having the security holes, they must be brought to the book... Should be fined similar to Volkswagen in US !

  14. Sieton

    No (software) maintenance = device soon written off

    A real problem here is the commitment of the manufacturers. The do not even state clearly how long they intent to support their smartphones for updates. After (I believe) pressure of some consumerorganisations slowly things are changing. By hard I know two 'Manufacturers' who state clearly how long you will get updates (Security updates at least). Thats Google (Look at their nexus page). And Fairphone.

    For instance Apple may support their devices for a long time in practice. But you don't know, you can't count on it. No good communication, no transparency.

    In many cases the carrier is a major hurdle as well. But the manufacturer is responsible in the first place. By the way, the role of the carrier is in the Netherlands different. The Dutch are lucky: Only a relative small part of the smartphones sold in the Netherlands is locked / maintained by the provider.

    There are some more interesting efforts on the Consumentenbond (DCA) website. In their still young online community there is a growing topic about which smartphones are already updated for all of the 9 stagefright vulnerabilities. You can find it in Dutch here (If you don't speak dutch, scroll down, you will probably understand the information in the table)

    https://www.consumentenbond.nl/community/forum/consumentenzaken/elektronica-communicatie/patch-stagefright-lek/

  15. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    This attitude from Samsung forced me to try and upgrade my two Samsung phones to something better.

    My original S-GTi9000 is now running Cyanogenmod 11, which is way better than the stock Android, and also does not have the **** applications Samsung pushes off on its customers, whether they want it or not.

    My S3 mini (S-GTi8200) took a while to upgrade as ROM's are very scarce, but I managed to pull it off. It also runs much better without all the bloat Samsung pushes out on their phones.

    I also have a Nexus 2012 (wifi) which also is running CM11 ~ tried upgrading to CM12, but it was a disaster. CM11 works quite nice too.

    And also a Huawei MediaPad T1-701u, still waiting for upgrades... at least the urge to upgrade it is not so strong as Huawei installed a lean stock Android on it, which works fine. If they can push out a CM12 ROM then I'll be happy...

    Wife's upgraded to a Galaxy Neo (against my wishes, but it was her choice) and there's one or two niggling issues with it... but what the hey, that's her problem and not mine...

    I will never purchase any Samsung phones.

  16. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    And just one offtopic question : why is the i8190 more popular than the i8200? Both are S3 minis, but different... :(

    I have the i8200, and it is a battle to get a good, working ROM...

    bleh

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      why is the i8190 more popular than the i8200?

      I think the i8190 has NFC, the 8200 doesn't, so operators that want to plug the bonk-to-pay model prefer the i8190.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor support

    Never understood how a manufacture believes that poor software support encourages you to buy from them again. My Galaxy Note II stopped getting updates 16 months after purchase.

    It is not technical reasons that prevents it from getting upgrades, as third-parties offer upgrades to Kit Kat, and shortly to MarshMallow.

    1. fnusnu

      Re: Poor support

      Already to Marshmallow :)

      http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-note-2/orig-development/rom-cyanogenmod-13-0-n7100-t3267758

      Amazing that one Croatian hacker can do this and a giant Chaebol can't...

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Poor support

      "Never understood how a manufacture believes that poor software support encourages you to buy from them again. My Galaxy Note II stopped getting updates 16 months after purchase.

      It is not technical reasons that prevents it from getting upgrades, as third-parties offer upgrades to Kit Kat, and shortly to MarshMallow."

      Cartel behaviour. ALL the phone makers know they need repeat business to stay alive, so no one rocks the boat. And now, thanks to things like KNOX and SafetyNet and dm-verity, customizing phones is frowned upon as more and more apps become root-aware.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just the manufacturers

    The problem isn't just with the manufacturer, its the carriers as well.

    For a time I had 2 phones which one the same but on different carriers (one was a personal phone and one was a work phone)

    One was with Vodafone and one was with T-Mobile

    The one with Vodafone had a lot more updates than the one with T-Mobile.

    The manufacturer can release updates as much as they want, but will be useless unless we can get the carriers to update or stop having custom firmware which just sets their logo on the boot screen.

  19. Colin 29

    OnePlus

    I've had a good experience with my OnePlus One. I've probably had 6 or 7 updates over its lifespan and it's now on 5.1.1 (originally 4.4.2).

    Certainly different to my past experience with Samsung.

  20. EJ

    USA wants in on this

    In fact, I'm surprised we haven't already tried this. BTW - it's an open and shut case as Samsung is crap with regards to Android patching.

  21. daltonr

    So rather than just not buying the phones and encouraging people not to do the same, it's better to just sue the company to make them act... and somewhere along the line the dutch replaced free markets with lawsuits.. sounds like Obama's America

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Going without is not an option in a connected world. And if it isn't Samsung, it's someone else because ALL the phone manufacturers are acting in a cartel of Planned Obsolescence. They figure you'll come crawling back eventually because you find everyone else does the same.

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