No ICS for 20mn Galaxy S users; is this how Samsung wants to build brand loyalty?

Samsung today officially announced that the latest Android version ‘Ice Cream Sandwich” will not be coming to Galaxy S. Company also tried to justify the decision by giving a poor excuse. Before we come to that, I must admit that it was fairly expected from the Korean manufacturer, but the sheer number of device users should have deterred Samsung from making this decision.

By Samsung’s counts in October 2011, company was just about to sell the 20 millionth Galaxy S and with today’s decision, I am pretty sure that those 20 million consumers aren’t going to be happy. Coming back to Samsung’s lame excuse, according to the firm, Galaxy S would not have been able to give satisfactory experience with ICS because of the available memory on the smartphone (both RAM/ROM) and the size of firmware (ICS + Touchwiz).

I can hear those 20 million users shouting right now that this argument is flawed and Galaxy S indeed has all the required hardware to give a rocking ICS experience – remember NEXUS S. Coming to Samsung’s dear Touchwiz UI, which seems to be the root cause of this problem, why can’t company just get rid of that for the sake of giving people what they want and need.  Touchwiz might be necessary for Samsung to differentiate its devices from hundreds of other devices in the market, but not after consumers have already bought a phone. On the user experience front, I am pretty sure that no one would say that ICS needs Touchwiz on-top to improve any kind of user experience.

So, if ICS does not need Touchwiz to improve anything, then there is no need for this to hinder the update. At this point, Samsung needs to learn from HTC’s similar goof-up with Desire Gingerbread update. Earlier this year, HTC had announced that it would not be able to update Desire because of low disk space and presence of HTC Sense, but later retracted and removed the unnecessary Sense crap to accommodate Android 2.3 on OG Desire.

There is another argument about the economics of updating an over 18 months old device in this market, when that device has already got two major Android updates. Well, this is where Samsung needs to step up and say yes we are ready to update Galaxy S for the third time and this is why we are the leader in the Android market and this is the reason consumers should get our phones not our competitors’. If you want fans to lineup for your devices and develop a brand loyalty, decisions like Galaxy S ICS update matter the most. You might be making rocking phones and great tablets, but that does not mean you can’t support them year after year.

Samsung should not update Galaxy S because it has been sold these many times or it is a popular phone or consumers need their money’s worth, but it should update because this phone is capable of supporting the update and company needs to set an example.

PS: Samsung might or might not learn from the backlash around the blogosphere, but I am sure, within a few weeks, our dear developers will release a stable Ice Cream Sandwich build that will work perfectly fine on Galaxy S phones.

Post Author: Gaurav Shukla

Gaurav Shukla is the editor of If you'd like to reach him, drop an email at '' or connect with him on Twitter (@gauravshukla).

11 thoughts on “No ICS for 20mn Galaxy S users; is this how Samsung wants to build brand loyalty?


    (February 2, 2012 - 12:55 pm)

    This is how Samsung poorly treats its customers, what will happen to those users who have just brought a news galaxy S. If the galaxy S does have much memory and processor to get this update, then why does Samsung still sell these handsets in the market. It is like a new phone but with the old technology, but Samsung keeps on advertising the galaxy is with the latest technology.
    It is a very poor news, i guess millions of people might be distracted by this news.


    (December 26, 2011 - 8:27 pm)

    Android has come out with its latest update, the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), but it is NOT available for the Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy Tab. The users of these devices are obviously frustrated with this news, as they have spent huge amounts of cash for these expensive devices. Is it too much to ask for full support when one buys high-end devices like these? I believe not. But Samsung begs to differ. It is clear that they do not bother about their customers. It is just not right, specially for those who have just recently bought these phones, that they won’t be getting these updates anytime soon. Samsung is going down!!


    (December 26, 2011 - 8:26 pm)

    There is bad news for all Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy Tab owners. The latest Android update, the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), is not available for those devices. Having spent so much of cash on buying these devices, which cost anywhere between Rs. 20,000 – Rs. 30,000, the customers feel cheated as they quite rightly had expected full support for them. But this news has really spoilt the mood among Samsung users and they must bee feeling so frustrated right now. Samsung has completely fleeced its customers.


    (December 25, 2011 - 2:05 pm)

    Good article, might have bought another perspective when iPhone3GS gets IOS5 and thats more than 2 years old with much lessor h/w specs than GalaxyS, something is wrong with android vendors; first HTC & now Samsung. I guess it makes the iPhone with all its premium still look a better choice.


    (December 24, 2011 - 11:39 pm)

    Nicely written Gaurav.


    (December 24, 2011 - 6:30 pm)

    I hope Samsung will take this decision back and provide ICS for Galaxy S. 🙂
    New year gift !!!!!! 🙂

    kartik nadar

    (December 24, 2011 - 2:17 pm)

    @Gaurav Shukla- Samsung is the worst in terms of brand loyalty and the reason is simple..WHY THERE IS STILL NO UPDATE FOR GALAXY SII IN INDIA? there are so many problems in galaxy s2 like camera pink spot, less responsive,battery dis-connects sometimes while charging,battery life sucks etc…..GALAXY SII is its major product but still no errors rectified !!!!!!!


    (December 24, 2011 - 8:58 am)

    this is very disappointing. but f**k samsung, lets build our own ICS without touchwiz.

    (December 24, 2011 - 5:56 am)

    very good phone Galaxy S


    (December 24, 2011 - 2:07 am)

    i being an owner myself am pissed about the fact that i wont be getting ics but if they give one for phones like galaxy y …….im going to htc \m/

    Frustrated Galaxy s user

    (December 24, 2011 - 12:41 am)

    Samsung – Stupid

    Coming back the Samsung’s lame excuse, according to the firm, Galaxy S would not have been able to give satisfactory experience with ICS because of the available memory on the smartphone (both RAM/ROM) and the size of firmware (ICS + Touchwiz).

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