Samsung Mobile has denied recent reports that it is charging mobile network operators for OS upgrades to its Android based smartphones, a move which was speculated as being the reason why Samsung smartphones seem to be slower at deploying OS upgrades than other handset vendors.
The matter emerged following a report on the handset software website, XDA Developers, which claimed that agreements struck between the networks and the handset manufacturers usually offered free OS upgrades, but that Samsung was trying to charge for them.
It was noted that critical updates are usually free, maintenance updates have some maintenance fee associated with them, and feature updates are usually costly.
While most manufacturers consider an OS upgrade, such as from Android 2.1 to the 2.2 (Froyo) release as a maintenance release, it was claimed that Samung treated them as feature updates, and charged accordingly. Samsung later sent a statement to Phone Scoop denying this.
“No. Samsung is not charging carriers for Froyo updates to Galaxy S. We hope to have more detail on status shortly. Promise!”
The delay in deploying the OS upgrade has been causing increased complaints on handset discussion forums, and the lack of explanation has sparked conspiracy theories about the company’s handset policies. It is actually possible to upgrade Samsung phones to the latest version of the Android OS, but only by rooting the phone. Most users would need to wait for an authorised over-the-air upgrade from their mobile network operator.