Consumer protection agency sues Samsung over Android updates

Consumer protection agency sues Samsung over Android updates
Earlier today, the largest consumer protection watchdog in The Netherlands, The Dutch Consumentenbond, filed suit against Samsung. The world's largest smartphone maker is accused of failing to provide timely software updates to its Android smartphones. The agency says that it has previously discussed the matter privately with Samsung but that a lawsuit remained the only path forward after failing to reach an agreement with the manufacturer.

The Consumentenbond accuses Samsung of unfair trade practices, claiming that the company does not explicitly mention for how long customers should expect to receive software updates. Furthermore, Samsung is also blamed for not being transparent regarding critical security updates, such as the one required to fix the Stagefright exploits. The watchdog remarks that it is only focusing on Samsung first due to the manufacturer's firm grip over the local market, as other manufacturers are also guilty of the same practices.

According to the agency's own research, 82% of the Samsung phones examined "had not been provided with the latest Android version in the two years after being introduced".

At this point, we should mention that these are valid claims. Samsung, like most other Android manufacturers, does not provide timely updates to all of its devices. Sure, the Galaxy S6 series has received timely Stagefright patches, but the manufacturer largely remained silent when it comes to Stagefright fixes for its vast array of mid-range and entry-level devices. Furthermore, none of Samsung's devices currently runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, three months after the OS officially launched.

In the light of these accurate claims, what the Consumentenbond is demanding might be an overreach. The consumer protection agency has requested that Samsung updates all of its smartphones to the latest version of Android for two years since the handset is purchased (not launched) and in less than four weeks following code availability from Google. In some ways, the Consumentenbond is demanding smartphone makers to treat software updates like part of the warranty, which has its length mandated at two years in the European Union.

While we would surely love to see it happening, such an obligation would create a lot of problems for smartphone makers since they would have to offer timely software updates for about four years (based on an average two-year shelf life for most smartphones) for each smartphone. For the moment, we'll fill this one under our "desirable but not likely" folder.

What do you guys think, wouldn't you love it if smartphone makers were forced to offer timely software updates for two years after you've purchased a handset?



1. sak19902

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 19, 2016

This lawsuit was so overdue.

5. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Nice. As a Samsung owner since the Epic, this is long Samsung's updates. It's an insult considering the prices Samsung charges.

111. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

As someone that love his Droid Charge I was pretty annoyed when it wasn't updated as much as my HTC Thunderbolt. Then the Galaxy S3 but at least the Galaxy S4 and S5 (sister's phone and her alarms can sometimes fail which hasn't been fixed) are pretty decent in getting updates but could be a bit quicker.

7. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Nope, it's a somewhat joke, you are buying a Samsung phone not an nexus android phone, I,e, it's up to Samsung what software they offer, it be like saying Amazon is not using android 6.0 if you get me, it's down to them what software they use and they show what ver of the software they offer when you buy and that all you need as the customer, if I Was Samsung I update all there phone in this country to there own big t software to f@@ them over, hahahahhahaha

34. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Updates are late. Even if Samsung updates phones, carrier delays even more. Even if it is carriers fault, it is responsibility of Samsung as well.

53. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

If Apple, Motorola and Google can bypass the freaking carriers then Samsung can bypass them. It's a big scam to sale newer phones while older ones rott. I use to be the biggest Samsung fanboy but no longer.

69. engineer-1701d unregistered

think about it how do you keep money coming in to cover the r and d and all the other things for tech if you sell a phone that will always be updated and no need to buy a new phone. 40 years ago a man made a self sustaining car never needs oil change hydro engine sealed bearings nothing would need serviced and solid rubber tires but exxon bought all the rights to the car and tech and destroyed it because that would mean the end of oil companies and engine parts suppliers and car factories and jobs.

76. joe1blue

Posts: 169; Member since: Jul 25, 2013

That's why my note 4 is in storage and my Moto X pure is my daily driver!!!

94. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yes because OEM can force carrier to update or simply skip them completely like Sonim is doing.

77. cheetah2k

Posts: 2227; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

There have been several security updates released by Google since 1st December, yet none of them have been updated on my Note 5. Even HTC is ahead of Samsung. I'm a Samsung fan, but they need to be thrown over the railway tracks on software updates. Pissss poor

29. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 673; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

If they are successful with this law suit, other OEMs like Sony will be in big trouble. Samsung can effort the punishment while other OEMs can't.

60. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

No really, if there is a will there is a way. Sony do push apps onto my Bravia Android TV. Netflix for example. Wake up one fine day and there is it. I don't think pushing update is a technical problem rather a lack of incentive to do it. Apple for example has a lot of incentive to push software updates which is a topic for another discussion.

70. engineer-1701d unregistered

and samsung has its own galaxy app store on the phone for that also, but bypassing the carrier is the problem all phones are not the same even if they are gs6 some features turned off by carriers like download booster and many others, i wish i could go to samsungs site and download 6.0 for t-mobile but that voids warranty if your not buying the phone your leasing it

86. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Should avoid getting carrier branded phone. I always buy my phone either retail or online. Samsung especially there plenty of freebie if you buy from their retail store. I bought a Note Pro 12.2 and they give me a HomeSync with 1T HDD.

66. engineer-1701d unregistered

i agree but this should be on all manufactures i mean how many phones are on 6.0 around the world its carriers fault not just oem, what about all the others

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Finally! At least force the OEMs to be transparent about if an update is coming or not

78. mayur007

Posts: 593; Member since: Apr 10, 2012


3. maherk

Posts: 6775; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I don't feel sorry for them. Matter of fact, I hope they get their ass sued over this issue in every other country on this planet. Been saying this for a while and I will say it again, Samsung treat their costumers like low class citizens, always late to provide updates, and what sucks the most is that they never deliver any of their latest software features to last year's flagships. Like a 6 months old Note 4(at that time), never received any of the new goodies that came with the S6.

8. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Yes, Samsung will update all there phones and make them slow like the iPhone 4s and crap there customer over, yes Samsung please keep up the hard work It's up to Samsung where they take there software, just like it's up to apple Samsung can easy just do what Apple do, and say they updated there OS to android 6.0 but nothing is added at all

13. maherk

Posts: 6775; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Who said anything about Apple? You have been on this site long enough to know that I appreciate Samsung more than every other OEM's. But unlike you, I am not shy to criticize them. Samsung ALWAYS lie when it comes to updates, my Note 5 was supposed to run on 6.0 for a month now, but they are late as ALWAYS. And I will bet on this, once the S7 is released with its new software features, Samsung will ditch their flagship's predecessors. I will most likely end up with an S7, unless HTC deliver, because I am getting sick of Samsung's antics.

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Gotta admit, you're correct. I don't know what their holdup is, but they are slow as molasses when it comes to updates.

18. maherk

Posts: 6775; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Them being late is half of the problem, but them lying about their update schedules is what frustrates me.

20. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yeah, cause I was expecting M on my Note last month.

31. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Already own android M on my M8, LOL... TBH i'm not expecting to get the latest software since i'm not a huge fan of this device but kudos to HTC they are great at managing an update, they even include latest sense 7 but animation is kinda slower than previous version.

38. darkkjedii

Posts: 30971; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

How is it bro?

46. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

I think the animation is a bit slower so i enter dev mode and turn off the animation (doesn't really works, it takes extra second to close recent apps), Not really bad probably because i'm picky & expecting too much. It carry all the latest feature including themes that can easily modified to your heart content, smart sense home widget, doze improve the battery live slighly (i left in the 8am at 80-85% battery and go home at 7pm with 66-70% battery left with moderate usage).

43. maherk

Posts: 6775; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

More than 50% chance that my next phone is an HTC one. I never appreciated their devices until I got my wife a gold m8, and I loved it. I am craving for an M9+ Supreme Camera edition's review, and if HTC failed to deliver this year(I hope 2016 will be their year), then it's most likely the Supreme Camera or the Galaxy S7 for me.

48. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

I always love htc design since htc touch diamond & touch pro 2 both the exterior looks and mature ui, my main problem with m8 probably the camera (it's nowhere close with the other flagship). I think i'll wait for LG G5 & S7 since both brands are the best option in my country, they are slightly cheaper than Sony, HTC, Apple even Moto & Nexus plus the aftersales service is slightly better (you can find an article at sammobile that S7 already pass certification in Indonesia).

51. maherk

Posts: 6775; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

As much as I hate that black bar on HTC's phone, the overall design and build quality compensate for it, in a huge way. Never held a phone that screamed premium like the M8, the curved aluminum back is fantastic. Don't get me wrong, I love the Note 5's design, but I hate the glass back, it looks great, but you must put it in a cover or else it will slip from your hand no matter how grippy your skin is. LG doesn't interest me, they don't have that wow factor, plus their resale value is crap in my country.

56. Awalker

Posts: 1973; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

The Black bar combined with the logo on the front made me skip the One M line. I hate when companies put their logos on the front of a phone.

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