Samsung’s Galaxy S2 ICS mess

bought a SIM-free Galaxy S2 from Samsung. I was kicking around the idea of waiting on the Galaxy Nexus, but at the last minute I went with Samsung’s highly rated S2. I assumed at the time, with the Galaxy S2 being the most kick-ass phone on the market and Ice Cream Sandwich (the latest and greatest version of Android) being around the corner, it would only be a matter of a month or two before I received the update.

Christmas came and went before finally Samsung anounced that the Galaxy S2 would get ICS in Q1 of this year. Today is April 1st — and I have synced my G2 with the its Kies software and still no update.

I am pissed.Last month Samsung released its Galaxy S2 ICS update in certain territories in Europe and promised imminent roll out to its UK customers. The code was passed to UK carriers, some of which have already released the update to their users. I understand some SIM-free S2’s in the UK have received the update, suggesting a staggered roll-out, but I and many more hacked-off users haven’t.

How can Samsung be in a position where contract carrier-based users get a much anticipated firmware update before people who bought the device unlocked at full price?

I buy my Android phones unlocked. I like the freedom of having no carrier limitations. This is because I like to tinker and run the very latest software. I am still shocked that I haven’t installed an insecure kernel and loaded a custom ROM. It was only a matter of weeks before I had dumped HTC Sense on my Desire handset for the Oxygen ROM. I liked Oxygen, but the lack of an ICS build for the G2 meant that I sat and waited for Samsung to send me an official update. I was a good boy.I am a good boy no longer. I will be rooting the phone today. And this will be the last time I buy a handset from Samsung. I have always disliked the iPhone fanboys criticism of Android’s many forks and slow updates, but they have a point. Less than 2% of Android users have ICS and it’s been out for half a year. Half a fucking year.

Gruber, Brooks, Speirs, Blanc and the rest of the Apple blogging royalty are damn-right, the Android user-experience is a mess. Apple’s universal annual roll-out, with generation specific builds, is lightyears ahead of the god-awful mess that is the Android ecosystem.

I have a dual-core phone that was the best in its class 6 or 7 months ago, and I can’t even run Chrome because my OS isn’t up to date. Not good enough, Samsung. Not good enough at all.

Naturally this has been a PR disaster for Samsung UK. The twitter feed, @samsunguk, has had its ass handed to it over the past 3-weeks, and I sort of feel sorry for the guys handling the account. But it’s the nerds like me who buy unlocked phones — we want the best tech and we don’t want to be locked into a 2-year contract. You piss these nerds off at your peril. We all have twitter accounts and busy keyboards.

Anyway, as I said, me and Samsung are done. The phone gets rooted today.

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