November 24, 2014

The Android Community Means Nothing Apparently

IMAGE CREDIT: Android Community

To T-Mobile and Samsung that is.  Before I launch into my textual rant that has loving become known as “Ray-ging” (thanks to @technogasms), I need to put a disclaimer that this is an opinion piece, and my opinions may not reflect the opinions of Android Guys as a whole.  (as a matter of fact, I know at least one AG who disagrees with me).  Also, I want to state up front that I know that T-mo and Samsung are companies, with the goal of making money for their investors and such.  I know that when it boils down to the bottom line, words like “community” and “user base” don’t mean a thing.

That being said, let’s get into this current debacle that surrounds the T-Mobile/Samsung Vibrant.  A galaxy S phone, a phone that has sold over 9 million units worldwide in different forms.  One of the best selling Android phones out there, and one of the reasons that Samsung, for the time being, has surpassed HTC as the largest seller of Android based hardware in the US.

Yesterday, news leaked about T-Mo launching the so called Vibrant Plus, a Vibrant handset running Android 2.2, front facing cam and has the ability to access the HSPA+ that T-Mo is touting as their 4g network.

As a Vibrant owner, one that bought the unit on launch day, trumpeted Samsung and applauded T-Mo for launching such a sweet device.  When critics blasted Samsung over their track record of OTA updates for their devices, I stuck up for Sammy and T-Mo. I predicted the fact that it would one of their best selling devices, and the device that Samsung would use to restore their credibility with the user base as far as updates.  I think my quote was, “There is no WAY they will not update this phone to Froyo quickly.  This is their flagship phone!”.

Boy, was I wrong.  Was I wrong in every single way.  Go read this article over at Android Spin, then come back and find out why I am spitting mad, what we call on AGTN “Nilay mad”. They are reporting that Samsung and T-Mo were in cahoots to keep the 2.2 OTA update back on purpose, forcing Vibrant owners and others to upgrade their handsets to get the next flavor of Android.Now, usually, on a good day, on a day where I do not feel like I have been blindsided with a baseball bat, I would tell you that article is far fetched.  That is has basis in only rumor and has no legs.  I would tell you to take with a grain of salt, to wait and see, to watch how things unfold.

I am telling you none of those things today, because while the post from Android Spin is rumor, there are somethings that have happened which make me wonder if this rumor does not have some teeth.

In fact, if you are considering T-mobile or Samsung, I am tell you to go look elsewhere for satisfaction, because you will not find it with those two companies.  At least on the Android front.  If you don’t care about what flavor of Android you run, or really aren’t concerned with updates, odds are you are not reading this anyhow.  For the rest of us, it matters.

Why I am saying this to you?  Why have I switched my course and support so dramatically?  Heh, you know I am going to tell you.

Reason #1 – The Fleecing of the Customer Base with the “Vibrant Plus”.

If the Vibrant Plus comes to light, and I am pretty sure it will since we have heard whisperings for a while, then it is what the Vibrant should have been at launch.  The Epic launched on Sprint with a front facing cam, with access to their 4G network albeit without Froyo. When the Vibrant launched without these things, we were puzzled, we were all wondering why in the world would they take out the front facing cam and other goodies that the Euro version has.  We all just assumed that Sprint paid a good price to have that functionality exclusive to their handset.  We never really got a good answer to this question, but perhaps we have one now.  They did not launch the unit with these bells and whistles because they wanted to create a value added device to get repeat sales, and to force us to upgrade to get the latest flavor of Android.

It feels this way because it looks like Sammy and T-mo decided to capitalize on a very successful handset by using the same sales theory that has made the pokemon trading card game so successful.  Release the same exact product, just put a shiny foil glowy covering on it, change it’s name a little bit and give it better specs so that you can “do more” with it. Voila!  You have a new product to sell to the masses, but this one is even better than before (not really it just looks good on paper because really the majority of our customers don’t live in an HSPA+ area) so you really need to get it.  This would not bother me so much if they were not using Android itself as one of the “upgrades” to the unit to make it more attractive.  The Vibrant Plus having Froyo as it’s stock OS makes me feel like I did when I watched Bambi’s mom get killed.  The whole movie gave me fuzzy warm feelings, only to dash them away.

One of my buddies, whom I talked out of an iPhone and into a Vibrant said to me yesterday, “It seems like if I want an upgrade in the Android OS, I have to buy a new phone all the time.  Not sure I am down with that.”  I have to agree.  Especially in my buddies case.  He started with Android on the G1, then went to the Cliq, and suffered long and hard waiting for an OS update.  He was more hopeful with the Vibrant, especially after I talked it up.  He actually had an iPhone 4 in hand that he returned to get the Vibrant.

Dangling 2.2 out there as a carrot is an evil thing to do, especially in a unit that is not different enough to be called the “Vibrant 2″.  If this unit was a sequel, then you would not hear word one from me, since it most liukely would have been a year or so after the launch of the Vibrant.  This is nothing more than a money grab on Sammy and T-Mo’s part.  That is my opinion.  When I asked one of Samsung’s spokespeople on Twitter where the Froyo update is for the Vibrant, I got a  “We are working on it”.  Yeah.  We know.  It’s called the Vibrant Plus.

Reason #2 – The Leaked Info That Sammy has Not Allowed T-Mo to Push the Froyo OTA to It’s Customers.

Here is a quote from the Android Spin article, they got this info from a tipster, so this needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but it sure makes things make a whole lot more sense:

Quote from our Tipster:

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.


…Being that, Vibrant 4G and Vibrant have exactly same stats, added FFC and a new movie and the 4G. But i will tell you this, the original vibrant CAN utilize 4G FULLY. Yes FULLY. not what they are telling you.

If this is true, if this tipster is indeed being truthful, it is downright wrong.  Yes, it makes excellent business and marketing sense.  A Vibrant with Froyo on it would look really close to the Vibrant Plus, and it would be the cheaper option for buyers and people with upgrades.

This disgusts me.  It makes sense business ways as far as dollars and cents, but it does not make sense people wise.  Do you really want to galvanize the user base like this?  Is the user base big enough to really cause them to take notice?  I don’t know, but what I am sure of is the fact that as soon as I can I am switching my family to Sprint.  Not only do I acutally get signal with their phones in my home, but it seems like they may get the customer service side a little better than T-Mo.

What you should do if you have a Vibrant, if you haven’t already.

Root, root, root and more rooting.  Go get your phone rooted, find someone to root your device if you don’t know how to.  Get yourself a Froyo ROM that is floating around out there, test them out, have fun and have your Froyo too.  Don’t wait on T-Mo to give it to you, don’t wait on Sammy to say it’s ok to push out.  Go get it yourself, that is the beauty of having an Android device.

Now, you need to know, that rooting will void your warranty, is not officially supported and the whole nine.  But it really is not a difficult process to undertake.

The Bottom Line.

We as the Android user base need to understand that this is a game of money.  Scott Brown always would preach that to me when we did AGTN together.  Giving us an OTA update for the new flavor of Android does not make the carriers or manufacturers any money.  It costs them to do so.  I understand this and don’t fault them for it. What I find fault in the continued dangling of the “We are working on it” answer when asked about the Froyo update to the current Vibrant. What I find fault in is using Android as a carrot to get people to shell out more money on a unit they already bought.  It is called predatory marketing, with us Android users as the prey.

You may think I am whacko, or uninformed or ranting.  You may be right in all three areas.  But before you pass judgment, follow the money and ask yourself if I am not a tiny bit right.



  • hypes057

    Well I think that the Galaxy S Vibrant (T-Mob variant) is an awesome phone. One of the best things about the Android format is that you don’t necessarily have to wait for an OTA update. You can get a far better Froyo build anyways through Cyanogen or other roms, like Eugene_373’s Macnut of Sybionix’s roms.

    • the dude

      Was
      I don’t know why anyone would get a vibrant now that the nexus s ia out.

      • jdog

        Yeah that is true. I feel so bad for Ray. I also encouraged people (non geeks) to buy the Vibrant because the Nexus One was no longer available and now they all want me to root their phone.

        Google knows what the carriers are doing so they made the Nexus phones to give us die hard Android fans a real choice. Bloggers kept asking at first why would Google compete against manufacturers but I guess it is because they knew something we didn’t.

        FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU Manufacturers. Go Google.

  • Damon Mc

    AMEN

  • rayner

    Excellent rant.

    It is called predatory marketing, with us Android users as the prey.

  • http://www.knitpurlgurl.com KnitPurlGurl

    Honestly, all of the providers are doing this crud. I bought an HTC Droid Eris from Verizon 3 months after launch. And not even 6 months after I purchased it, it was slated for the dreaded EOL. They begrudgingly pushed 2.1 to the Eris only AFTER they’d promoted their new line of Android phones heavily. It’s not far-fetched to surmise that companies do not want to update your OS if that means you will shell out $500 in the middle of a contract. Further proof: With my little Eris, HTC & Verizon both blamed one another for the 2.1 debacle and BOTH said that it could never possibly run 2.2. I think the devs over at XDA would beg to differ. As I have rooted my phone and am running a very smooth Froyo ROM. I’ve even popped the Gingerbread ROM on my phone to peak at it.

    Bottom line: The wireless providers could care less about customer loyalty. They are all about the newest gimmick or latest technology. And the simple reason is DEMAND. When people will willingly give up $500 because they must have the latest, greatest device, then why would wireless companies ignore that. I don’t like it. I think it stinks. But, that’s the reality.

    • Prototype V

      Exactly. I agree with you 100% and Ray you got a valid point I love the concept of android but I’ll be the first to admit that with the iphone we didn’t have to put up with crap of this magnitude. Talk about buyers remorse and feeling betrayed. Google should really tighten the reigns but they are so hands off at this point that I just don’t see that happening. It’s a shame, I know android is losing loyal users due to epic blunders like this or putting people off android, which sad because android is so awesome but not like this.

      • jxk

        Really? IPhone users never “put up with crap of this magnitude”?

        Seems like Apple fanboys/-girls always whine all over their blogs every time a new iPhone comes out with features the old ones don’t have.

        • Prototype V

          True but seriously updates are the life of any good smart phone

      • Todd

        Didn’t you have to pay for the updates on the original iPhone? I know somebody had to pay for an update on an idevice. It might have been an iPod.

  • Jay Dub

    This is nothing new unfortunately.

    The best practice for buying phones is to buy one that ships with the features you want including the OS version. Now if a company states that a certain phone will get an OS in a certain time frame, that might be a safe middle ground. Otherwise, don’t assume that any phone will get an OTA update. Of course a company is going to delay an update on an older phone until after they sucker people into buying their new release.

    Another example: Sprint is obviously propping up it’s 4G infrastructure by making people pay $10 surcharges for upper end phones. That’s just a different spin on what’s described above. There’s no reason why the Shift 4G can’t be 3G only…but they want you to help them subsidize their new network (even if you only want a faster CPU without the data speeds).

    As long as phones in the US are carrier locked, companies here will feel like they can get away with murder.

  • @Katshead42

    Although I agree with some of the statements in the article I disagree that one will not find satisfaction with TMo. I’ve been a TMo customer for a total of seven years. The only time I was dissatisfied with customer service was the two years I was an AT&T customer. I support your urge to “rant” I just wanted it to be known that overall TMo has done a wonderful job at satisfying my android needs.

    • Billll

      I agree, While T-Mobile could do more to push updates, this issue isn’t a T-Mobile specific problem. Nobody in the US has gotten an official update to the Galaxy S phone.

  • http://twitter.com/mghtyred @mghtyred

    From your own OP/ED piece “The Leaked Info That Sammy has Not Allowed T-Mo to Push the Froyo OTA to It’s Customers.”

    NOT ALLOWED.

    You want to be pissed at Samsung? You want to call shenanigans on their actions? I’ll go get my broom.

    However, lumping T-Mobile into this when they have NO control over the situation is just bullshit, and misdirected anger. What are they supposed to do, break legally binding contracts AND THE LAW and just say “forget you, Samsung! Go ahead, call the cops!”

    While that may make them your personal heroes, actions like that would put them in real hot water with the government, other companies, and their shareholders.

    Grow up, open your eyes, see the situation for what it is, and lay the blame squarely where it belongs. SAMSUNG.

  • Winston

    Might sell my Vibrant with Froyo on it and get a MyTouch 4G.

    Oh, and IT’S is not the same as ITS. Please learn the difference when you are writing a public article.

    • Cheese

      And Buddy’s is the possesive of buddy. And whom refers to the sentence object, not the subject.

  • http://techhog.com TechHog

    Dude, I completely understand where you are coming from and support you completely. When your ready and EVO at Sprint will be waiting or possibly and EVO 2 when February 7th comes along.

    Best of luck with Sammy, not a fan personally.

    Mike of Techhog.com

  • bryan

    It seems to me like this is a Samsung issue more than a T-mobile issue. T-mobile has no control over when samsung makes software updates available. Given samsung’s track record no one should be surprised by the delays. Samsung has even refused to comment on the current Galaxy S line receiving 2.3 even though the Nexus S is almost the exact same hardware.
    Samsung released a 2.2 update to the Bell Canada Vibrant and it had to be pulled because it was making the internal storage inaccessable. So far none of the Galaxy S versions except for the european version have gotten a 2.2 upgrade.
    The original hummingbird chipset did not have HSPA+ support, Samsung had to add it into the chipset. Why would T-mobile not release a 4g compatible vibrant when samsung made it available (this is still unofficial but seems highly likely)?

    I’m not defending the situation at all, I just think your anger towards T-Mobile is misdirected and should be directed at Samsung.

  • joe

    What I don’t understand is why you are so angry at T-mobile? Are you just plainly ignoring the fact that thus is bc of samsung? I don’t think so bc you acknowledged the quote from the T-mobile leak, yet still seem to ignore the fact. Don’t you think sammy is doing the same for their other devices on the other carriers that will also get a new galaxy? Did you not read that T-mobile does not operate this way? You are painfully mistaken if you really think sprint has better service than T-mobile, and also how in any way would this while scenario benefit T-mobile? It doesn’t matter what phone sells as long as its activated, you think T-mobile doesn’t want that update to kill the competition with an updated device with near 4g speeds AND at a discount? Yea be mad at samsung and never buy a device from them again, but T-mobile is not of fault here.

    And about having to buy a new phone for an update…I’m pretty sure here on this blog I’ve read about that is what you have to do with the iphone for an update as well until recently. Not really sure why you are that frustrated really still, I have had a great experience even on 2.1 and just recently put a new 2.2 rom on here and its not amazingly better …

    What the heck is with every blog out there dissing T-mobile this week? And android as a whole? Feels great to read of nothing but bad news after ces for android, my iphoney friends are having a field day right now….thanks a lot.

  • mac

    want updates? get a pure google phone… ive own a g1 and a nexus one… never complained about update.. yeah i havent seen gingerbread on my nexus, but hey its been just few weeks since the launch, give a little bit of time and i can assure you the nexus one will be the first to receive the update

    I really would like to invite all android user to not purchase samsung devices, lets make them learn who dictates in the market the hard way, right where it hurts (money)!!!!

    • Todd

      Yeah, let’s all go get pure Google phones, the Nexus phones. Let’s see what’s available. Hmmh, the Nexus S made by … Samsung. So much for that idea. And it’s a pretty mediocre phone. It’s a Galaxy phone that with sucky features. You can’t swap the sd card?

      I understand what Google is doing. When they put out the N One, they were telling their partners, you shouldn’t be shipping anything that’s less than this. Now, they’re trying to keep from ticking off their partners by not making a phone that make all the others look like crap.

  • joe

    Oh and sorry for the typos and run ons lol I’m typing this at red lights on the way Home from my vibrant :-)

  • Jordan Fritzsche

    I don’t believe it.

    I know that Tmobile is the best carrier out there. Say what you want, but its true. Your wish is pretty much their command, they are the Nordstroms of cell phones. Samsung however ….. is notorious for not updating their devices OS. In my opinion Samsung makes devices without the intentions of making them great. Yes, they make some innovative products, but then they ride that wave out for as long as they can without catching something new. Call me crazy, but in my experience its true. I had a media player – the YPP2 from Samsung, it was pretty great, nice screen, bluetooth, video and audio, etc, pretty innovative. As I patiently waited for the next installment I was greeted by the YPP3 ….. hardly any improvements over the YPP2. I also purchased a bluray player from Samsung. Within the year the product was “upgraded” so the model I had was discontinued but continued with a new “better” model, it was the same thing as the first.

    I just will not believe this article or believe that Tmobile is to blame. All my experiences with Android phones from the beginning have been no different from they would be carried out on other carriers, as far as introducing phones and upgraded phones. Sure they don’t always put out the top of the line phones (Mytouch slide, Cliqs, Charm, etc) but that doesn’t mean they are trying to dupe you or force you into buying an “upgrade.” This is all my opinion.

    But I like Tmobile and will stay with them for a long time. I really would say the Mytouch 4G is their flagship phone and that the Vibrant never really was advertised as a flagship phone would be. This situation “carrier-wise” is no different from any other carrier – For example look at all the other carriers and their Galaxy S variations, what Android OS do they have? This is a Samsung problem, blame them.

  • http://www.bigroom.org/wordpress Epicanis

    I get the impression the HSPA+ support may be a “froyo” thing – When I upgraded my MyTouch 3G Slide from T-Mobile from the fair but interminably-delayed-for-upgrade HTC/T-Mobile OS to CyanogenMod 6.1.1, I suddenly noticed I was often seeing “H” instead of “3G” in the status bar.

    I was also previously a victim of the Motorola CLIQ™. I blame the CLIQ™ problems mainly on Motorola (and am not likely to ever buy a Motorola product again), but after the delays on other phones I’m beginning to wonder if T-Mobile is partially at fault (even if it’s just that they’re seen as a pushover who will acquiesce to demands of phone manufacturers to delay updates).

    • joe

      I don’t think so bc T-mobile just recently push the ota update to the original mytouch and the cliq. Both of those phones are about 100 bucks now if you can even find them in stores. So its hard for me to believe they would waste time pushing an update to an older phone to try and keep customers happy qs possible ….

    • jay

      The H on the Cyangen G1 ROM means you were getting HSPA, not HSPA+.

    • http://www.completecomputerco.net Matt Milsap

      H signifies speeds of 3g and higher.

  • http://@jeffsandroid Jeffsandroid

    I agree with this completely. I also purchased the G1 on launch date, then suffered the whole Cliq debacle, and gave my injured faith fully into the Vibrant. Only to be scorned yet again by these greedy companies. I can see how this makes business sense for Samsung, but T-Mobile is losing customers by the metric ass-load, and Deutch Telekom is looking to jettison them completely. I currently have five lines on T-Mobile and you can better belive I’m gone as soon as I can be. At least Verizon is upfront about being all about the money. They don’t bold-face lie about being “the family network” while doing their customers shady. And they also deliver quality phones and a reliable network as well. If Magenta’s days are truly numbered I can’t help but look at the Vibrant Plus as a liner for a few golden parachutes. Assess to T-Mobile. Assess to Samsung. Never again.

    • joe

      DON’T YOU THINK SAMMY IS DOING THE SAME ON VERIZON?! Come on now ppl T-mobile has done nothing wrong here read the comments. Mr. Ray is blaming T-mobile for no reason …

    • jxk

      What are you trying to “assess” exactly?

      DT is looking to jettison T-Mobile, their most profitable company? Really?! Verizon is better for being all about the money?

      I can see who the bigger ass is, and it’s neither Tmo or Sammy.

  • mark

    At least they’re not pushing out an update that cripples the phone the way a certain fruit company “allegedly” did…….that is predatory marketing; disable the current model to force users to an upgrade.

    But on a mini-rant; if the carriers/manufactures/google don’t slow this Android upgrade business down it will be its undoing.

    Consumers will begin asking: “Why would I get an Android phone when it will be outdated and EOL’d in 2 months?”. (I’d be surprised if sales aren’t already being lost due to this fact).

    • Todd

      Much better to buy a phone that has been around six months and won’t be replaced for another six months, even though every other phone that costs as much is at least half again as good, if not twice or more as good.

  • http://osireztech.blogspot.com/ Michael Malott

    I think the most important part of this article is that they dangled the update in front of us. In fact it was once a selling point in the beginning. That is immoral and unethical. And I’m sure Ray himself would say that was the catalyst to the whole situation.

  • mark

    Also, have any of the Galaxy S variants on the big 4 (att, verizon, sprint, tmo) been updated?

  • http://www.theviewfromspace.net abaggy

    Spot on.
    I, like you, was one of the early adopters and hyped this phone from day one (I do still feel that it’s a great phone though). I have it rooted and updated to one of the custom 2.2 ROM’s from Team Whisky. In fact there are a few devs working on implementing the FFC on the Vibrant to bring it up to where it should have been on release.
    So I’m done waiting for the “official” OTA release. Any advances to my phone will be done by the Devs of this community.
    And from now on I’ll be extremely hesitant to part with my hard earned $$ for their “latest” phone only to find that a few months down the road an “upgraded” unit is going to be offered.

  • Rob

    The problem is these companies have failed to get their head out of their ass. With the exception of HTC, companies like Samsung are pretty new to the smartphone game. They’re used to manufacturing dumphones that they never worry about updating and that’s how they’re treating their smartphone lineup. Back in the days BA (Before Android ;)) I had Samsung dumb phones and I never heard about an update. Just, ‘Hey, buy our new version of the phone you have’. They can’t seem to get their head around it. I’m actually kind of surprised the manufacturers haven’t taken the RIM/Apple model of coming out with a device once a year and updating the OS during that year. I hate to use the example, but iOS 4 has had going on 7 revisions in less than a year. Apple has no problem selling a phone and updating it. Google’s putting out an update on average of about twice a year. It can’t be that difficult to update for current devices they already have. Do you think if Apple open sourced iOS (I know, never gonna happen), do you think they would let the device manufacturers sit on outdated software? And WP7 people shouldn’t get all snarky either. Do you think they’ll update their device when WP7.1 comes out? Hell no! Ok, that’s my rant! :D

    • Todd

      But Eclair to Froyo is more like iOS 3.xx to 4.0. I’m sure Samsung has released patches for their Galaxy phones, and that’s more along the lines of what Apple has done with the iPhone.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mytharak mytharak

    Everyone should tweet their dissatisfaction @samsungmobileus

    • archboy69

      Agreed. Vibrant owners need to stop complaining and into action mode. Flood Samsung with tweets and emails. 10 million voices is hard to ignore so get typing people!

  • megalosdog

    I have been a faithful android owner for a year. This is the one of the reasons I am switching to an iphone on feb 10. Hate me if you want but I’ve had enough of the runaround and inconsistency of android.

    • mark

      If you liked Android, I would recommend a Nexus brand phone before switching to an iPhone. They get updated directly from Google which cuts the carrier/manufacture out of the picture.

      But if you’re unhappy with Android, then carry on with plan A :-)

      • megalosdog

        Thanks for the advice but I don’t have tmo, I’m locked on vzw. I like the mods and hacking on android, but I just want something that works smooth and don’t have to tweak it to make it work for me. I’m gonna try out this iphone, who knows it may be to boring for me!

  • Davest

    I’m sorry…I’m not getting the problem. New phones come out all the time. What exactly are you upset about…that Samsung released an evolutionary upgrade of a phone you bought seven months ago? Would it be better somehow if they’d made more changes to the shape of the phone, and changed the name?

    And as far as the upgrade to 2.2 goes, a two minute Google search and about fifteen minutes of work is all it would take to get you there. I couldn’t really recommend a ROM (I have the Droid 1 that Moto so rudely updated a couple months ago), but two minutes with Google should have you on the right path.

    • http://www.completecomputerco.net Matt Milsap

      Davest: CEO, Samsung USA?!

      • David

        Heh…I wish. No, really…I don’t see what’s wrong here. New phones are coming out every day, and only the lazy can complain about not getting a version update on a phone that can be easily rooted.

  • Usman

    Actually it makes horrible business and marketing sense, given the inevitable backlash against Samsung, and to a lesser degree T-mobile. T-mobile COULD have stood up to Samsung and said that they wouldn’t be part of a scheme to screw their customers. I think anyone with a Vibrant ought to call T-mobile once a day to complain… lock up their phone lines.

    That being said, after the Behold II debacle, the fact that anyone actually fell for the Galaxy claims by Samsung is laughable. I was one of numerous individuals telling people to skip these devices for precisely this reason. Hopefully you’ve learned your lesson by now. Never underestimate Samsung to f@#$ you. They’ll do it every time if they can make a buck.

  • ExecuServices DaddySays

    This is very true. One point you kind of touched on yet still missed is the fact that android is open source , so using an open source update to try and increase sales instead of actually updating devices that are already out is against the gnu license I believe. It would be hard to prove it with something like the behold 2 but not only does this new vibrant have the same hardware, like the nexus s, that has ginger bread, but they actually gave it the same NAME. There has to be something that the consumers can do. Doesn’t new versions of android include security updates as well? Bug fixes etc.

    not to mention if they left android like it comes from google and released all source right away they wouldn’t have to worry about it any longer. They change it JUST so they can pull this shit.

  • AdamP

    This is nothing new for Samsung. Any owner of the old Windows Blackjack series will be all too familiar with Samsung holding back updates to an OS. This is the reason I have stayed away from all Samsung android phones, and now stick with HTC. An added bonus is that the GPS actually works!

  • cenwesi

    I hate to say to say it but i think this problem is more of Samsung and it is only time before the people revolt. I recalled looking at the GS when it came out. I wanted it but because it lacked the FFC i looked away. Samsung is REALLY milking this GS line and i really did not get why it didn’t come with FFC while the European versions had it.

    On a side note since we are venting at these companies lets through Nokia & Sony into this as well. Nokia did the same exact thing with N900. They just flat out refuse to release any more update but to focus they energy now on so called MeeGo. The N900 is a powerful phone and Simple stuff like sms and maps were missing. They promised Maps, till today we haven’t seen none. Ovi store doesn’t even work… i mean i can go on an on but…..

    The Xperia Xia. First off Sony’s Ads where misleading and the wonder Xia did not even see wm6.5.x if memory serves me right. Look at the debacle going on with the X10….anyway let me not get into that…..

    PS: to make a long story I think i will be getting the Google Nexus S. Yes i am aware it is made by Samsung but i know Google will push out the updates when time comes.

  • Michael

    I don’t understand the people posting in defense of T-Mobile. The update chain of progression, as most are aware, is Google-manufacturer-carrier. While any of these entities can slow or stop the update process, only Google has NO motivation to do so. My carrier is Verizon. My first Android phone with them was an original Moto Droid. I, like most others, had to wait for many months to get Froyo. In fact, I only got it a week our so before the Droid Incredible, even though the D1 is stock Android and the Incredible has the Sense UI overlay. The ONLY reason that makes sense for this delay is that VERIZON thought 2.2 on the D1 would hurt Droid Incredible and Droid X sales. The carriers suck. They will hurt Android. Obviously, they won’t cripple it, but I believe they have gotten too greedy for their own good. I NEVER thought I would say this, but I’m seriously thinking about selling my Droid X and getting another Blackberry. Sick of Android/carrier bullshit.

    • joe

      The carriers, that’s your case? It all a lie and the carriers are doing it! Oh no! Please I want to read some sort of factual statement regarding your claims before you throw up everywhere like that. Ok so you think its mostly the carriers and not sammys fault? Or both? I don’t even know… why would the carriers want to delay updates? Think about it? Harder now…almost ok stop. Carriers have to pay for phones / devices just like we do, so what benefit would there be for the smaller carriers like T-mobile? T-mobile could make so much more money off of a cheap awesome device as long as the bill included internet. You see carriers like T-mobile and sprint cannot benefit more from devices like the optimus line. While verizon and att can actually care less bc they have such a stronghold on the market.

      • anakin78z

        Asking for factual data on an opinion piece usually doesn’t work out well.
        I think it IS on the carriers for not pushing the manufacturers enough. They’ve never really had this problem before, where people expected to have updates to their phones in a timely manner. I think the process they have in place to request updates and test them is just not really in place, and it causes month long delays, most likely due to process & communication.
        T-Mobile likely doesn’t care if they’re selling an outdated device that’s not getting an update. Most people walking in are probably just asking about 4g, not 2.2. It makes way more sense to them to get a new phone with 4g on the shelves. 2.2 is just a bonus.

        Note: Why is everyone asking for 2.2? 2.2 is already over half a year old. Anything coming out with or getting updated to anything other than 2.3 now is just sad.

      • Michael

        Wow Joe, how self impressed you sound. Ok, let me try this in your style of communicating. But first, go get someone to read this to you so you will understand. First of all, I never said it was JUST the carriers. I said people shouldn’t let the carriers off the hook. Why would the carriers hold up updates? Because some fools will then buy phones at FULL retail price to get the latest software. If they release the upgrades immediately, no one (carrier or manufacturer) gets anything. I’m sure the carriers do this in collusion with the manufacturers, but I’m sure the carriers are calling the shots. You can’t tell me that the manufacturers have that much sway, or there is no way Sammy would have let Verizon butcher the Fascinate the way they did (an effort to give the public the galaxy S as promised, but without having it compete with the flagship Droid line – 2gig onboard, please!)

    • megalosdog

      I thought I was the only one thinking that…lol. I’m tired of it too, I mean every android forum I read is mostly about how to fix a problem or ‘when do I get my update?’ 2.2 is really nothin great, i n fact I thought 2.1 was better……either way I’m seriously considering this iphone on vzw in feb. Had enough of this shit.

  • Cristiano

    When I was hit by the #MotoFAIL issue (Motorole Milestone not getting updated in Latin America), I’ve convinced myself that Android gives TOO MUCH power to phone makers, which continue to do what they’ve always done: try and sell NEW phones, because that’s what gives them money. Updating our already-bought phones updated doesn’t really seem a nice plan to them.

    The iPhone was the first to change that manufacturer game. Apple could do it because it is the OS maker and the hardware manufacturer. Microsoft took a long time to notice the trend, but now they directly update the Windows Phone 7 phones.

    The ONLY Android phones I would buy recommend is the “Google Experience” ones: a Nexus S or perhaps, a Nexus One, a cheap Huawei Ideos With Google, or even a used G1. Because, y’now, smartphones are EXPENSIVE in Brazil — I was NOT amused to spend R$2000 in a Milestone expecting that lousy consumer care.

    • joe

      Hmm yea I’m pretty sure samsung makes all of apples processors and many other parts. Coincidence, heck no.

      • joe

        And when I say processors I mean phone processors …

  • A Reasonable Vibrant Owner

    That rumor was obvious HORSESHIT and I don’t believe the writer honestly believes it.

    If you do, you’re a dope.

    And everyone else who reads these rumors from “sources” and runs with them, retweets them, and rages over them.. grow up.

    • jxk

      Imagine all page hits AG and AndroidSpin have gotten from all this though.

      I support both sites as good sources of news in general, but I’d be rich if I could get a nickel every time these sites pick up false rumors or random tweets and run with them as legitimate truths.

  • JTHC75

    I don’t think it’s upon us, the consumers, to correctly apportion blame for this debacle. Whether it’s Samsung or T-Mobile holding it up, we don’t know because they won’t tell us. We’re not in the position of having the correct information, so in all fairness they should both get the blame.

    They should also both get the blame because they’re business partners. They chose to manufacture and sell these phones together in a business partnership. If Samsung is doing something that hurts T-Mo’s reputation, tough. They chose to partner up with Samsung. Either do something about it or deal with the fallout.

  • 4G or Not To 4G

    Great Rant…feeling the same way myself…I strongly thought the Galaxy S2 was going to be my next phone, but not so sure now.

    They have got to be fools to think that many people with the Vibrant will buy the Vibrant Plus. These phones are expensive, so to spend a lot of money on a phone it should be a big enough change to make it worth while for the change.

    If these guys don’t want to support their upgrades, then stop putting these heavy UIs; go with the stock Android; and be happy

  • anakin78z

    Having an updated Galaxy S makes sense on T-Mobile, I think, as it sort of keeps up with the MyTouch 4G. I’m not sure that would affect any current owners of the Vibrant… rather it would appeal to people upgrading from dumbphones or just starting at T-Mobile.
    So I don’t believe the rumor. I do, however, think that Samsung is shooting themselves in the foot by creating all these different versions of the Galaxy S, and not supporting most of them. If not for the Super AMOLED screen, and the promises of the Hummingbird (which haven’t really panned out, have they?) almost nobody would be with a Samsung Android phone right now.

    Their plan should really have been: One phone. Make it your flagship, and support it. Tell the carriers to screw themselves if they ask for specific versions. One phone. (sure cdma, etc… but essentially one phone). How much better would it have been for cases, accessories, etc?
    I like my Galaxy Tab, but will stay away from Samsung in the future. I will avoid the Nexus S. I’ll likely stick to HTC, and whatever they create in the future (though Moto seems to really be pushing things this year).

    • Todd

      Well, at Best Buy, the screen protector sheet for an iPad is about $20. The same brand screen protector sheet for a Galaxy Tab is $40. So, because each version of the Galaxy S phone is different, it requires it’s own case, you can charge twice as much because you’re not going to make as many.

  • bucket

    Don’t you put custom roms on your phone? I have a Vibrant and even if it the official 2.2 update came out I would still have a custom rom on the phone. When the phone is updated shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

    I don’t know what I would ever use a FFC for….so that one really doesn’t matter. A faster network would be nice but it isn’t that bad as it currently is.

  • ct

    You’re complaining that a new phone came out and obsoleted your current phone.

    It’s a pitiful complaint to get so upset about. Don’t purchase an with the expectation that it will turn into a .

    You’re fleecing yourself if you believe you can buy an apple today and have it turn into a unicorn tomorrow.

    • ct

      Apologies, that didn’t format correctly. The second paragraph should read

      It’s a pitiful complaint to get so upset about. Don’t purchase an item with the expectation that it will turn into a different item.

  • rev2redlineguy

    I really enjoyed your posting. I can see your point because this is what I am processing right now. Samsung releases the Galaxy S phone (Vibrant) and says that they are going to update their “flagship” smartphone quickly. 6 months later, nothing and…oh, wait….what’s this…..another Vibrant 4G plus coming out? What….Froyo….FFC…Flash…more bells and whistles? And then wait….what’s this little rumor going around about delaying the Froyo update for the original Vibrant because it might “hurt potential future sales of the Vibrant 4G plus?” This is definitely a slap in the face to the consumers from Samsung. You would think after the Behold II debacle they would have learned their lesson but yet here we go again with that same scenario. And look…..T-Mobile, with open arms, is falling for their crap and going to sell these products to their customers in hopes that they will simply fork over more money and forget about their old Samsung Vibrants. Hey, it’s just money, right? Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with T-Mobile and finally ditched my Vibrant and got a G2 so I’m happy right now but I still get a little upset thinking about how Samsung and TMO could of fixed this problem a long time ago but instead they are just adding more fuel to the fire. Oh well, that’s what a money-hungry company like Samsung is all about.

  • boriqua2000

    isn’t that what apple does with the iphone??slap a new coat of paint on it,add a new number and viola.the suckers come a running.isn’t capitalism great??”

    • http://www.completecomputerco.net Matt Milsap

      Some would say they bricked the iP3G with iOS 3.0. Not even sure if/how downrev is supported by crapple

  • http://www.completecomputerco.net Matt Milsap

    If its true about the hspa+ then you can expect someone will hack the hell out of vibrant “1.0″. How do I know my MYT4G can’t get the same speeds as this vibrant+? Right now the only real distinctions between the myt4 and vib+ is the amoled screen. When I get hspa+ speeds on muh myt4g in this city where I live, then we can talk. Plus, no camera flash. What? I would still get the myt4g even if the Vib+ was the same price and I could get it right now. LMAO. The whole thing is so stupid. Important business strategy for Sammy –and TMO? Maybe. All to spite the fact it seems they want to push out the froyo ota against the better judgement of the manufacturer.

  • thegerm

    Just wanna throw this into the round…

    A friend received an OTA (froyo) for his HTC Magic bought in autumn 2009.

  • Bill Oawney

    The reason I’m pissed at this is not that I want “The latest and Greatest” os available. Hell I still have a couple of Win98 Boxes at the office! I’m pissed that my $250 phone that is 2 months old can’t send audio to the bluetooth headset for voice mail. I had a Palm Treo 650 that handled that trick without any problems. Froyo is a point release not a version release. It fixes some serious bugs and adds missing features that should have been working from the beginning. I understand they want to sell phones but if they think they’re selling me another one (Samsung) they are sadly mistaken. Why should I not complain when people who buy a mid tier phone have better software than I do after spending double not to mention paying a $1200 a year for 4G that isn’t available anywhere I go… I like the hardware a lot but the software support sucks! I’m going to root this puppy and move on. So what my warranty is void, with the support experience I’ve had so far I’m sure their warranty service is much the same. I think I’m going for a Trak-Fone next. I’ll get a 3G dongle and Skype from now on. Also the GPS is shit in these Samsung phones and they haven’t fixed that yet either!

    • Todd

      You’re paying $100 a month for 4g that you can’t get? Who’s the idiot?

  • http://tech.desiblogs.net A S

    This is why we should buy phones like Nexus One and S, show Google that there is a real market for these and encourage them to release more phones that are not tied to the manufacturer’s or carrier’s whims for updates.

    – Nexus One Owner waiting for my Gingerbread update

  • Darkseider

    Buying a Samsung phone was everyone’s greatest mistake. The Nexus S while being a Galaxy phone IS a “Google Phone” so OTA be damned you have what you want. As for the rest of the Samsung customers out there, I feel sorry for you. I really do. You best bet would be to root your phone and install a custom Froyo ROM if one is available. If not just keep hoping the fine folks at XDA get one working for your particular device.

  • tracksforhire

    This is not a T-mobile problem this is all a SAMFUCK doing. i to bought the vibrant on launch day and was upset that froyo still has not arrived i left SAMFUCK for the HTC Mytouch 4G i would never ever buy another SAMFUCK phone i dont give a damn how super their Amoeled is.

  • http://andrewensley.com/ Andrew Ensley

    You’re absolutely right, and this is not isolated to T-mobile. Why do you think NONE of the Galaxy S phones in the U.S. have Froyo yet; even though Samsung has promised it since JUNE!?

    I’m never buying another Samsung phone again after seeing how they treat their existing users.

    My next phone will probably be a Motorola or HTC.

  • colorado_al

    Um, if it is basically the same phone, you should be happy that the new one is coming out with froyo. Rip the rom from the plus and put it on your phone!

  • the1who

    The one thing I see could have been done in the first place…provided both handsets at the same time.

    Give someone the option to buy a phone with the FFC or not, give the option for the 4g or not. Yeah sure one phone would have sold more than the other, but don’t come like 6-8 months later with a phone practically identical and make it seem like we could of had that phone all along.

    If the two were really offered at the same time, I most likely would have chosen the Vibrant I have now anyways, because I don’t have anyone to really FFC with except my wife. Even then if I need to webcam it up I could get a cheap camera for my laptop to fill the void.

    I feel that they hold some water trying to hold the update to get the new phone out as a marketing perspective, but if they really have an update ready, they should just release it. For those that want to have the FFC and the 4g name, then they will still buy the phone, and I am sure the phone would be offered at a great discount to a new contract account. It is not like the newer phone wouldn’t get some great sales, they probably figured offering them at the same time.

    • Todd

      I’m sure at the time the Vibrant was first released, T-Mobile was concerned about the effect of video calling on their network, or didn’t think there was enough demand for it to add the cost of the camera to the phone. And they weren’t selling any 4g phones. Now they’ve got 4g and FaceTime has made people want a front facing camera, so Samsung showed T-Mobile an updated phone, and T-Mobile said “we’ll take that.”

  • anon

    Hmmm sounds like what Apple does to all their customers…honestly I really don’t care that much for t-mobile because I don’t think there all good but Samsung is wrong and trying to be Apple I guess…but Android is better than that and shouldn’t have yo be taken down to such a level…Damn you Samsung

  • reob

    nexsus s and tmo. take control of your life. nobody is making you purchase a vibrant.

  • http://[email protected] Miguel

    Seriously, if updates are so important to you why didn’t you stick to Nexus products?