Global rollout of Android 4.1 will prove Samsung role.
Just a few weeks ago, Google reveal Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, to the world. And it comes with many improvements to Google’s OS platform, especially in the performance area. If you own a Galaxy S3, you already appreciate the speed at which functions are performed, so an improvement is going to make it that much better. There are other features as well, including Google Chrome as the default mobile browser. With this announcement, the clock starts as to when the rest of us are going to see Jelly Bean installed on our smart phones. In the past, getting updates rolled out across phones and carriers has been a significant challenge.
Once the Galaxy Nexus gets the update for Jelly Bean, then we all start wondering where our copy is. Well, the Galaxy Nexus is starting to receive the update and the Nexus S is to receive it tomorrow. These are for international version, so we do not expect things to move that fast here in the US. Verizon has a very bad track record of rolling out OS updates to smart phones. For the record, I am a long term Verizon customer, so I would know about that. The Galaxy Nexus owners are going to have to wait a while before they see an update.
But, this now raises the question about the Galaxy S3 getting the Jelly Bean roll out. Given the popularity of the Galaxy S3, a large majority of people are not going to be up for rooting their phones and installing a non-official copy of Jelly Bean. We would hope that Samsung works to get all wireless carriers around the world to roll out Jelly Bean to all Galaxy S3 phones at about the same time. In the past, the updates could be spread over many months and this has to change. In Samsung Figured Out How To Fix Android Fragmentation, the idea that Samsung has rolled out the Galaxy S3 similar to the iPhone roll out would logically follow that software updates would roll out the same way.
It is that kind of coordinated distribution which now gives Samsung some leverage to attempt to keep all the wireless carriers in check so that things do not get out of hand when it comes time to update the Android OS on the Galaxy S3 phones.
Android fragmentation has been very problematic. Just look at the Galaxy S II roll outs around the world and the length of time that it is taking. Yes, it is taking, as it is still going on. Samsung has the leverage to try and force wireless carriers to roll the Jelly Bean update out within a very narrow window.
Apple has shown that it can be done. Microsoft has shown that it can be done. It is time for Samsung and Google to work together to show that a software roll out can be done across all the Galaxy S3 smart phones within a window of 5 to 6 weeks. We can all hope.
Current rumors have Jelly Bean coming in Q4 for the Galaxy S3.