Samsung has just distributed the worst news of this Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade cycle: the popular Galaxy S smartphone that sold 10 million units last year and the 7-inch Galaxy Tab tablet won’t be upgraded to Android 4.0. The company’s argument is that they lack sufficient RAM and ROM to run the new OS alongside TouchWiz and other “experience-enhancing” software. This will come as a massive blow to the great many users of the Galaxy S, who would have rightly expected the 1GHz Hummingbird processor and accompanying memory to be able to handle ICS — it’s the same hardware as you’ll find inside the Nexus S, and that phone is receiving Android 4.0 over the air right now.
Samsung addresses that inconsistency by again pointing to the differing software provision; the Nexus S only has to run the basic Android OS, whereas the Galaxy S has to deliver TouchWiz, carrier services, video calling software, and, in some markets, mobile TV.
HTC had this exact same issue when upgrading the Desire to Gingerbread a few months back, and after some equivocation, it was forced to disable some functions of its own Android skin, Sense, in order to make the upgrade fit. So Samsung isn’t alone in making its users suffer for buying a skinned Android device.