Galaxy S3 KitKat Update Officially Cancelled: What You Need to Know

The Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update for the international model has been officially cancelled by Samsung but that doesn’t mean that the entire Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat roll out is cancelled. Here, we take a look at the important things that Samsung Galaxy S3 owners need to know about the situation.

When the Samsung Galaxy S3 first arrived back in 2012, it was running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, an update that was Google’s latest and greatest piece of mobile software. It has been nearly two years since the Samsung Galaxy S3 touched down on shelves and unsurprisingly, Google has released several new additions to the Android update family.

First it was Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, an update that rolled out to the Galaxy S3 starting in September of 2012. Next it was Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, an update that arrived with the Nexus 4 at the end of the year and an update that skipped both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 due to issues that Samsung was having behind the scenes.

Late last year, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update rolled out, bringing Galaxy Gear support and Galaxy S4 camera features along with it. Of course, in true Google fashion, Android 4.3 hit the Galaxy S3 at the same time that another Android update made its debut.

Android 4.4 KitKat is the current version of Android and its an update that has hit a number of Android devices in recent months, including the Samsung Galaxy S3. Yes, the almost two year old former flagship recently got Android 4.4 KitKat. And from the look of things, the update is poised to spread out in the next few weeks.

Since the initial roll out, we’ve learned a great deal about the Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update and where it’s heading and here, we take a look at it all.

Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-I9300) Android 4.4 KitKat Update Officially Cancelled

Galaxy S3

Advertisement

Yesterday, the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update looked dead in the water. A report from SamMobile stated that Samsung had killed off the update due to performance issues and that it would not be arriving for the GT-I9300 version of the Galaxy S3, the international version of the device.

This was not surprising given that Samsung Poland announced that it would not be pushing out a Galaxy S3 update to the 1GB version of its Galaxy S3. It stated that its 1GB of RAM was not good enough. It did, however, state that it would push the update out for the Galaxy S3 LTE, a device that utilizes 2GB of RAM.

The situation has been a flashpoint for weeks but it has now come to a head. Yesterday’s report was based on leaked information and today, Samsung came right out and confirmed it in a statement provided to SamMobile:

“In order to facilitate an effective upgrade on the Google platform, various hardware performances such as the memory (RAM, ROM, etc.), multi-tasking capabilities, and display must meet certain technical expectations. The Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions come equipped with 1GB RAM, which does not allow them to effectively support the platform upgrade. As a result of the Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions’ hardware limitation, they cannot effectively support the platform upgrade while continuing to provide the best consumer experience. Samsung has decided not to roll-out the KitKat upgrade to Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions, and the KitKat upgrade will be available to the Galaxy S3 LTE version as the device’s 2GB RAM is enough to support the platform upgrade.”

And there you have it. The Galaxy S3 GT-I9300 Android 4.4 update is officially dead and it looks like it won’t be developed for any of the 1GB variants of the device. This explains why we haven’t seen any international carriers confirm it. The update, will, however, push out for the 2GB Galaxy S3 in the future.

Galaxy S3 Update Release Still On the Way

Samsung Galaxy S3 wireless charger Review - 006

Samsung’s Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is not completely cancelled, that’s the part that Galaxy S3 owners need to understand. The update will be rolling out to 2GB versions of the Galaxy S3.

Yesterday’s leak revealed that Samsung is in the final stages of testing its Galaxy S3 LTE GT-I9505 Android 4.4 KitKat update and that it’s prepping the update for a May release. A specific date remains out of reach but it’s clear that the start of the push is going to take place at some point later this month.

Right now, Sprint’s Galaxy S3 is the only device with the Android 4.4 KitKat update on board. That should change in the coming days as carriers work with Samsung to deliver the update to the LTE model.

“Coming Soon” To Other North American Carriers

Unlike the Galaxy Note 2 Android 4.4 KitKat update, we haven’t seen many early confirmations. The usual suspects like French carrier SFR have remained silent about the Galaxy S3 situation.

One carrier though has confirmed an upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat upgrade. Rogers, a Canadian carrier, says that its Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update is “coming soon.” We don’t know how soon but typically when it lists that it means that the update is a few weeks away. The carrier will be required to test the update internally for issues and that process typically takes some time. It’s also why the carrier doesn’t list a specific date.

We imagine that the playing field in Canada will be pretty even, in other words we expect other carriers to get the update around the same time Rogers does. Thus, we expect a massive Canadian Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat roll out in the days ahead. We saw something similar happen with the Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 roll out.

There is little chance that Rogers will be the only one to offer the update, so, owners on TELUS, Bell and more should be prepared for an upgrade to Android 4.4.

Same goes for users in the United States. Samsung USA confirmed the update which was followed by a Sprint confirmation and roll out. Samsung USA’s confirmation points to a release across all carriers including AT&T and Verizon. Of course, those carriers likely won’t reveal any early details so owners should expect to be in the dark up until the release day.

Predictable Features

android_kitkat-575x383

The Sprint Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 KitKat update confirmed what we expected. The Galaxy S3 Android 4.4 update isn’t a massive overhaul and it delivers the same features that we saw arrive for the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 many weeks ago. Don’t expect Galaxy S5 features but we could see carriers deliver unique fixes and enhancements.

This Is Probably It

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Android 4.4 KitKat is probably the last update for the Galaxy S3 and owners will want to prepare as if this will be the case. Samsung probably won’t confirm anything until much later in the year but given that Google recommends 18 months of support and the fact that the Galaxy S3 1GB has been shut down, the chances of another update happening are slim to none.

That’s something to keep in mind as we inch closer to the arrival of another Android update, rumored to be Android 4.5, and the expiration of many Galaxy S3 contracts.

Galaxy S3 Mini Android 4.4 Update Cancelled

Advertisement

Finally, it’s worth noting that the Galaxy S3 Mini Android 4.4 KitKat update has been cancelled as well. The Galaxy S3 mini in the U.S. uses 1GB of RAM so the chances of a roll out in the United States have been crushed by Samsung’s comments.

Comments

  1. Peter Mathews says

    Has downloaded the update but then PC says does not recognise the phone May have been bricked — Thanks Samsung What a mixed up disorganised company

  2. samsung prick head says

    samsung, you are responsible for what youve done here… you launched an updated which caused destruction to our phone!! even the battery doesnt even last for 6 hours!!! what kind of junk is this?! if you cant update the software for us, FIX the bloody 4.3!!! or I assume you are tired of having customers!! AND make sure you have a very clear PR to enhance your company image!! so far Samsung has been capricious on informing customers about updates!! that reflects how disorganised Samsung is as a company!

    • pipo says

      So it’s good that I didn’t upgrade to 4.3. Funny I assumed that from 4.2 with the included “butter”-project every iteration of JB after 4.1 would have been better.

      Samsung isn’t a company. It’s an open floodgate of consumer products. They release a new phone every goddamn week. How the hell can they keep track which device needs what upgrade.

  3. odinbolt says

    I’ve been checking my AT&T Galaxy S3 ‘check for updates’ for several weeks now and it has given me the typical ‘software is up to date’ message. today (as i recall it did prior to the last update) it gives me a ‘you can check again in 2 hours 20 minutes’ message. i’m not sure if this is based on some algorithm due to so many people now checking for the update or because the update itself is in fact close and this is something they turn on, but it’s different behavior so i’ll take it as a good sign.

  4. Johan says

    Since a week, I am running the CM “installer build” 4.4.2 firmware. A breeze to install, at least on my phone (i9300), and it is not heavy on resources at all. So I doubt whether “performance” is the real reason for cancelling the upgrade.

  5. Jill Duren says

    My S3 lost all data connectivity! My carrier is Verizon, so I went to an official store and they did a factory reset. They KNEW ABOUT THIS ISSUE!!! THE FACTORY RESET DID NOT WORK AND I LOST TEXTS, HISTORY, MY CALENDAR, ETC. Then proceeded to say it was a warranty issue. Spend $100 or $1.08 for an Ellipsis JetPack and get wifi anywhere. I did this and the salesman assured me that my history shows I would never come close to my data usage allowance. I used it all in ONE DAY!!! What pisses me off is that they know that this is an issue and used it as an opportunity instead of being honest. 2 YEAR AGREEMENT FOR MOBILE WIFI!

  6. pipo says

    funny that some shops still list the S3 as having kitkat 4.4

    see here: http://www.pdashop.be/product/181408/samsung-galaxy-s3-16gb-blauw.html

    I did notice that this is GTI9301 and not the GT-I9300 model.

    @Johan: “So I doubt whether “performance” is the real reason for cancelling the upgrade.”

    No “performance” isn’t the reason, not enough RAM is the excuse they use. While it is true that certain variants had 2GB RAM while the most sold version the international non-LTE GT-i9300 has 1GB RAM (in reality 832MB RAM). From what I read only the LTE-variants with 2GB RAM might get the kitkat-update. The weird thing is that KitKat is supposed to be optimized for low-memory devices according to google. So there’s is really no excuse for Samsung (or anyone else for that matter) not to push kitkat to their entire portfolio.

  7. Clayton says

    I have a T-Mo GS3 (SGH-T999) and I like many many others am still waiting for the kitkat update. At this point Sprint, Boost, Virgin and At&t have their update, not sure what the malfunction at the junction is with t-mo. Anyway, it’s lame that the international S3 isn’t getting the update with samsung using 1GB of memory as the excuse. I have a Galaxy S (vibrant) (SGH-T959) which is just over 4 years old. I installed a kitkat rom on it and it has NEVER worked so good and it only has 384MB of RAM, so I think they are just lazy.

Leave a Reply