Is a deadlock between Samsung and carriers stagnating Android updates?

Froyo on SamsungThings continue to look bleak for Samsung Android customers. Last week, a T-Mobile insider accused the manufacturer of purposefully putting off the Android 2.2 update until the Vibrant Plus is introduced. And despite protests from Samsung, it’s difficult to dismiss the fact that only one of its Android phones was privileged enough for the latest Froyo OS.

Now we’re hearing that a standoff between Samsung and its carriers could be what’s between users and an updated Android OS. An anonymous source wrote into XDA Developers, claiming that Samsung requires carriers to pay a fee each time its smartphones are eligible for an Android upgrade, and carriers have simply refused.

It almost seems like enough of a headache to switch to an iOS device. Apple simply requires its users to plug in their phones and open iTunes; Android devices rely on carriers for its OS upgrades. These overhaul “feature” upgrades aren’t cheap, and thus Samsung passes the buck to its carriers – and they apparently aren’t having it. “Most US Carriers aren’t very happy with Samsung’s decision to charge for Android updates as feature updates…As a result of perhaps, corporate collusion, all US carriers have decided to refuse to pay for the Android 2.2 update, in hopes that the devaluation of the Galaxy S line will cause Samsung to drop their fees and give the update to the carriers.”

Before shooting off any livid letters to Samsung, though, it’s important to note that this latest news first originated from a forum posting. So while it does seem to line up with what the T-Mobile insider claimed last week (and the fact that the source is allegedly an insider and in breach of an NDA), we’re going to take it with a grain of salt. Still, there has to be some reason that Samsung has done such a poor job upgrading its users’ Android devices.

And maybe the anonymous statement will serve a purpose other than enlightening users to the situation. According to a Facebook post from US Cellular, the Galaxy S will be ready for its Froyo update in March (the post mentions the Mesmerize, which is US Cellular’s Galaxy S phone).

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