No Ice Cream Sandwich for Samsung’s Galaxy S and first Galaxy Tab


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Samsung on Friday confirmed that yes, the original Galaxy S phone and Galaxy Tab tablet won’t receive upgrades to the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich.

The disappointing news seemed to be coming after Samsung announced which of its Android devices would get the Ice Cream Sandwich update on Tuesday, while leaving the popular Galaxy S and first-generation Galaxy Tab off the list.


But on Friday, Samsung explained itself in a company blog post on its Korean website, which was reported on by the websites Xataka Movil and The Verge.

In its post, the South Korean company says that the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab won’t be upgraded because the two devices lack the necessary hardware, namely not having enough RAM and ROM, to power Ice Cream Sandwich after Samsung puts its TouchWiz user interface changes over the top of the software.

The argument seems understandable for the sluggish performer that is the first Galaxy Tab, which launched in U.S. stores November 2010. But the Galaxy S, which launched in June 2010, isn’t a performance dud by any means, with a 1-gigahertz processor, 512-megabytes of RAM and either 8 or 16 gigabytes of built-in storage.

As noted by The Verge, the Galaxy S has the same internal hardware found inside the Samsung Nexus S, which has been upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich.

So why is the Nexus S getting Ice Cream Sandwich and not the Galaxy S? The reason, according to Samsung, is that the Nexus S runs a pure version of Android with no third-party changes to the operating system, while the Galaxy S has to maintain TouchWiz and other carrier-specific software additions as well.



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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+