Customers who bought SIM-free versions of the Samsung Galaxy S2 could face a much longer wait to receive an upgrade to Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), the phone-maker has acknowledged.
Speaking to CNET UK, Simon Stanford, VP of Telecommunications and Networks for Samsung UK, revealed that ICS will be rolled out for Galaxy S2s purchased off-contract "once we've got all of the operator pieces on board".
"We work in conjunction with our partners to bring ICS to the existing base – that's primarily what needs to happen, whatever network operator that may be,” he explained.
However, although unlocked handsets typically skip lengthy network tests for first dibs on the latest OS refresh, things look to be changing this time around, with most UK networks already rolling out ICS while many owners of the vanilla edition continue to wait.
"As an open-market customer [owners of a SIM-free version] you will be on a variety of networks, so it's got to work on whichever network you have chosen. We were working with our operators to make sure that we brought it out to as many people as we can,” said Stanford.
So it appears that now it is not enough to simply issue a new OS update even if you’re free from the networks’ shackles. If anything, it complicates matters further for manufacturers, as they have to ensure the update works with all the major carriers, as opposed to working with just one.
The conspiracy nuts among you might claim Samsung is deliberately putting off the download to appease network partners. However, Stanford says no foul play is involved.
"We don't want to disadvantage anyone, we don't want to say that they have to buy it from anywhere, we want everyone to have the same experience, whether or not it's open-market, network, to us they're exactly the same.”
ICS is currently being rolled out in small batches around the world to unlocked units of the S2. However, reports are already beginning to emerge that it messes with the handset’s USB function.