It’s Android’s not-so-secret shame. While Apple’s iOS updates tend to upgrade a large portion of their customers to the latest version within a week or two, Android users are at the mercy of their wireless carriers and device manufacturers when it comes to operating system upgrades.
Carriers and manufacturers have to make sure the restrictions they place on the Android OS are still working in the upgraded version, re-tool the OS to put their “flavor” of user interface on top of everything, and double-check to make sure their bundled-in crapware still runs. So, a majority of Android users are still using pre-Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich versions of the OS on their smartphones, and only a few Android users (mostly Nexus owners) are using the newest version, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
So, when Samsung stated that its flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S III, would be getting an upgrade to Jelly Bean sometime in October, users took a skeptical outlook on the possibility.
Today, the AndroidGuys blog pointed out that Samsung keeps an FAQ page updated with what devices on which carriers are able to upgrade to Jelly Bean. The page currently lists only Nexus devices as being able to upgrade to Android 4.1, as those devices run a relatively pure version of Android. The entries for the Galaxy S III under every major U.S. carrier all say ‘Coming Soon!’.
So, Galaxy S III owners can now have a place on the internet to check obsessively and point fingers if Samsung misses its October deadline for the upgrade. Of course, they could use that time to do something more productive, such as rooting their device and installing one of the many Android 4.1 mods available for their smartphone. It turns out that Samsung smartphones are some of the easiest to root, and the creator of one of the most popular Android mods, CyanogenMod, was recently hired by Samsung.