fragmentation issues around Ice Cream Sandwich continue to surface as more handset manufacturers issue decisions regarding their recent flagship products. Today, Samsung
announced that despite user outcry, ICS wouldn't be coming to either the Samsung Galaxy S or the original Galaxy Tab. Both devices use a Samsung Exynos 3110 CPU, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, and feature 512MB of RAM.
The company released a statement on the Korean SamsungTomorrow webpage; we've taken the liberty of cleaning up Google's automated translation a bit. It reads: RAM and ROM capacity and available memory are particularly important in order to meet Ice Cream Sandwich's specifications and provide a stable experience.
Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab Nexus S are loaded with additional manufacturer-specific functions (Touch Wiz / Samsung Widgets / video calls) as well as country-specific functions (mobile TV) and carrier services. As a result, there's not enough available memory to provide an ICS upgrade while maintaining an acceptable user experience. Elsewhere, a Samsung spokesperson has noted that the devices are "fully optimized for the Gingerbread experience" already.
Everything but the kitchen sink (and Ice Cream Sandwich)
We've already discussed the fragmentation issues around Android and the Droid 3
, so we won't rehash the entire argument here. The biggest problem with Samsung's argument is that the Google Nexus S—a phone with identical hardware—has already been upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich. Samsung claims that other value-added features like Touch Wiz prevent it from upgrading the older devices, but that's a decision that should be left to end-users. Even if the limitations are real, owners who want to scrap Touch Wiz and Samsung's other value-added features should have the option to do so.