After the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, some Galaxy Note 3 reported that their third-party accessories no longer worked. Samsung today issued a statement denying that Android 4.4 KitKat was responsible for the issue.
Yesterday, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 owners reported that the Android 4.4 KitKat update brought a nasty surprise along with it. Owners of the Spigen S-View Flip case claimed that the device stopped functioning after Android 4.4 KitKat was installed, something that seemed to point to Samsung finally introducing a dreaded feature that we heard about back in October.
In October, a report from ETNews suggested that Samsung embedded an authentication chip inside the Galaxy Note 3 that would prevent some third-party accessories from working with the device without proper certification from Samsung.
While a simple fix was discovered yesterday for rooted users, the perceived issue drew the ire of Galaxy Note 3 owners around the world as it appeared that Samsung had indeed started to lock down the accessory ecosystem. We expected Samsung and Spigen to shed some light on the situation and today, they relayed comments to Droid-Life.
According to Samsung, there is no correlation between the Android 4.4 KitKat update and third-party accessories failing to operate. Here is what the company had to say in full:
To ensure a pleasant and smooth user experience with Samsung products for our customers, we recommend that only original accessories from Samsung be used. Of course, customers can continue to rely on third-party accessories. The full functionality of our devices and accessories, however, can only be ensured with genuine Samsung components, since only in this way it is ensured that equipment and accessories are perfectly matched. A correlation between the Android version 4.4 and the supposed incompatibility of third-party accessories does not exist.
The statement still doesn’t clear the situation up completely as it’s still not clear why third-party accessories suddenly stopped functioning. Perhaps Android 4.4 KitKat was not the culprit and that a bug is to blame. Perhaps it’s not Android 4.4 KitKat itself that is blocking accessories but TouchWiz. It’s not clear and there are all sorts of theories flying around.
Accessory maker Spigen offered up its own response to the situation, saying that it plans to further address the problem at some point next week:
In regards to Android KitKat, Spigen will continue to support Galaxy devices and their smart functions. We’re currently looking into the issue and will have a more detailed plan of action by next week.
At this point, the situation is far from resolved, even with the two statements from the companies involved. The one saving grace is that the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is limited to just a few countries at the moment, so if this really is a bug, Samsung can work it out.
Given the information that emerged about Samsung’s plans for third-party accessories, it’s certainly a little hard to believe the company at this point. And while we should give Samsung the benefit of the doubt right now, Galaxy Note 3 owners who use third-party accessories should proceed with caution.