Samsung: no ICS upgrade for Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab because of TouchWiz
Samsung has just distributed the worst news of this Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade cycle: the popular Galaxy S smartphone that sold 10 million units last year and the 7-inch Galaxy Tab tablet won’t be upgraded to Android 4.0. The company’s argument is that they lack sufficient RAM and ROM to run the new OS alongside TouchWiz and other “experience-enhancing” software. This will come as a massive blow to the great many users of the Galaxy S, who would have rightly expected the 1GHz Hummingbird processor and accompanying memory to be able to handle ICS — it’s the same hardware as you’ll find inside the Nexus S, and that phone is receiving Android 4.0 over the air right now.
Samsung addresses that inconsistency by again pointing to the differing software provision; the Nexus S only has to run the basic Android OS, whereas the Galaxy S has to deliver TouchWiz, carrier services, video calling software, and, in some markets, mobile TV.
This is the big problem with Android - it allows manufacturers to develop their own skins and “experience-enhancing” software which can greatly impede the upgrade cycle for many devices. These in particular were some of the most popular devices sold last year and less that one year later, they are already obsolete. I can hear Vizzini from the Princess Bride screaming “Inconceivable”. Go ahead and buy an Android device - but make sure you are not married to the idea of ever updating that device. No thanks.