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
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’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.
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
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.