Users of the Samsung Galaxy S III take note: Samsung has officially announced that the device will not be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat. Yup, and for a pretty lame reason too, if we’re honest.
SamMobile recently published an internal document of the Android 4.4 update timeline for its older devices, including the S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S4 Mini, and Galaxy Grand 2. Each of these devices show an indicative due date for release – except for the international Galaxy S III. More telling is the footnote at the bottom of the table:
PS: GT-I9300 update has been canceled due to unsolved problems.
Interestingly, the LTE variant of the S III is undergoing final testing, and is scheduled for a release this month. So what’s the deal? Here’s a statement from Samsung Mobile UK:
“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.”
Essentially, Samsung is stating that because the S III “only” has 1GB of RAM, the device could not support the platform upgrade. That does sound rather lame, considering that Android 4.4 KitKat is designed to work better on devices with slower hardware – with as little as 512MB RAM.
What’s the real reason then? According to a developer report, the TouchWiz apps are preventing system apps to load on a test build of the S III’s Android 4.4.2 test build. So, while more RAM would help overcome the issue, the real issue behind this is simply something that we have all known for some time: TouchWiz – at least the older versions – is a memory hog, and as a result, development for the Galaxy S III’s Android 4.4 update has been stopped indefinitely.