I’ve just read an extremely interesting post by a person who claims to be a Samsung insider. In this post, the insider explains how Android updates are provided by Samsung, yet Carriers have to pay Samsung for them. The insider says there are three types of updates available to Carriers to push out: critical updates, maintenance updates, and feature updates. Here’s how each works.
- Critical Updates: A Critical Update is an update that is pushed out ASAP for a major problem with a device (eg, overheating, GPS not working). These updates are free-of-charge to Carriers.
- Maintenance Updates: A Maintenance Update is a fix for bugs in the software pointed out by users, carriers or Samsung. These updates cost the Carrier a small amount to purchase off Samsung and then push out to their devices.
- Feature Updates: A Feature Update is what Samsung defines as additional apps or an Android version update. These updates cost the Carrier a fair amount of money to purchase on a per-phone basis.
So what Samsung is doing with these, is charging the Carriers for the updates so they make more money from them. The Carriers are inclined to purchase these updates as they want to show their customers that they have the latest and greatest software. But what we’re seeing in the US, for example, is that all the major Carriers aren’t paying Samsung for the ‘Feature Updates’ to Android 2.2 to persuade them to make Android Updates free of charge (or cheaper) for them to push out to their customers. This may explain why some of the 2.2 updates for Aussie Galaxy S owners took a while. Hit up the source link for an interesting read.