Following the past few days where Samsung was all but set to abandon the Galaxy S and first generation Tab with the confirmation that it would not offer Ice Cream Sandwich for the devices, now comes word straight from Korea that confirms that the conglomerate has decided to reverse its position on the matter after ongoing internal discussions and increasing consumer demand.
While the reversal is surprising, it does come with a few exceptions, mainly that the versions of ICS that would be developed for both devices would be developed taking into account the hardware limitations of each device in terms of lower RAM/ROM and slower processors compared to current devices that are more than adequate for handling Android 4.0, such as the Galaxy Nexus.Â This means that the versions of Android 4.0 for the Galaxy S and Tab may have select features removed to better fit the devices hardware profile, but to what extent isn’t known at this time.
The initial reason for not updating the Tab and Galaxy S centered on the inability to get its TouchWiz overlay and Android 4.0 to work together without significant performance issues. It remains to be seen exactly how they will deal with that issue as well as the update cycle for both unlocked phones and the variety of carrier variants with slightly different hardware configurations.
As the Galaxy S and Tab are almost two years old, the initial consumer outcry against Samsung for not initially offering Android 4.0 on the devices was justified, as they represented sizable investments in hardware in terms of cost and any carrier agreements at the time of release for each product.
With the trend heading towards ever more compressed release cycles for Android hardware , the downside is that forced obsolescence is becoming a bigger trend for Android manufacturers and is quickly leaving a bad taste in the mouth of those that happen to purchase flagship Android phones from select manufacturers and carriers under contract, which has the side effect of making customers wary about buying from the same manufacturer in the future, due to the insecurity regarding consistent updates.