The Samsung Galaxy S3 is facing yet another delay in the arrival of the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean system software update, half a year after 4.2 was released for some other Android devices. Even as Samsung works to repair the fragmentation farce it’s created by forking the Android OS over the years and making its own hardware forward-incompatible with stock Android releases by showing off a new Galaxy S4 running stock 4.2.2 just to prove that it can be done, millions of Galaxy S3 users have been left in the dark. It’s enough to make a jaded S3 user ask if the 4.2 update was delayed by Samsung on purpose until after the S4 launch just to try to motivate S3 users to buy a new phone.
Karma has blown the other way, with initial Galaxy S4 sales bad enough that analysts are warning it may impact the company’s finances. But regardless of the reason for the ongoing delay of Android 4.2.2 and whether Samsung or Google is really to blame, it raises doubt as to the practicality of buying Android devices from a hardware vendor which not only doesn’t make the OS, but doesn’t stick to the guidelines laid down by the OS maker. SamMobile reports that Jelly Bean 4.2.2 is now in the wind as far as when it might arrive for the Galaxy S3, leaving users trapped on 4.1.x even if they bought their S3 after Google had released 4.2.2.
The fragmentation farce is getting increasingly hard for any of the Android partners to explain with a straight face, which may be why Google and Samsung are suddenly working together to try to fix this going forward. But that doesn’t help Galaxy S3 users who thought they were buying the flagship phone of the Android platform.