Rumor: Samsung’s Galaxy S III Jelly Bean Update Not Hitting Till 2013?

As with all rumored timeframes for Android updates, we urge you to take this with a grain of salt. According to The Examiner, a Samsung spokesperson stated that the US variants of the Galaxy S III will be the last to receive the update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade. The report states that “save for Sprint,” the update for T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T and other carrier variants of the S III will wait until 2013. No mention is made as to why Sprint’s model would be excluded from this lengthy timeframe, and we’re not exactly sure what would make the Sprint variant special.

For now, I’d call this nothing more than a speculative rumor from an unknown Samsung source, and I hope Samsung steps in front of this one before US customers start to show their frustration. The exact reasons for a delay were not specified in The Examiner report, but if this is an exact timeframe, smart money is on carrier testing delaying the release of the update. Let’s hope this story gets debunked quick.


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  • Tim Moore

    Yeah it doesn’t make sense that Sprint’s would get it while others wouldn’t.

    • philyew

      Maybe it’s the other way round? Presumably each carrier has to indicate that they want to update their product. Maybe with everything else that is going on over at Sprint, they haven’t expressed their wishes in time for this announcement to include them?

      I’m certainly not stating this to be a fact, but maybe it is as plausible as having a special plan to advance Sprint’s update ahead of every other US carrier.

  • UMA_Fan

    I think this is something we should all just expect for non-Nexus Android devices. There’s no use whining about it. Typically, if you have a high end device, you’ll get updated.

    • Spanky

      Unfortunately, even the high-end non-Nexus devices seem to be at least one version behind.

  • This is aggravating, but hey what can you do? Just continue to enjoy the GS3, I guess.

  • fred

    I still don’t understand why it is acceptable for Android customers to wait for software updates? Y can a person sitting next to u have 4.1 and u dont? All iOS peeps have the same software version, just doesn’t seem right.

    • Christopher_McG

      Because iOS users might all be on iOS6 but they have different levels of functionality and features..

      • ubethcya

        Reading aint your friend eh dumbo?

        • Christopher_McG

          Obviously you and 2 other morons don’t get what I’ve said. They have the same OS version HOWEVER they have different levels of funtionality.. which is the same as a phone being on ICS and another being on JB.

        • atari37

          Don’t waste too much time explaining it. People need to understand that unless it’s a Nexus, you are at the mercy of the OEM and greedy carriers. It’s really that simple people. You want the update when google releases it, buy a Nexus from google. Google doesn’t hate users who buy GS3 but they can’t help you the want you want. For crying out loud my wife’s Nexus S from over two years ago has the latest version of Android available today.

          Take a look at Asus and their transformer line. Updates are swift for the most part because they know the value of “up to date software” plus they don’t have to deal with the likes of T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.

    • The reason being is apple cut the carriers out of the software. If all of the androids OEM did that the updates would come much faster.

  • mikkej2k

    Could you imagine the marketing advantage T-Mobile or ANY carrier would have if they stop putting custom skins on phones and allowed updates to happen in real time?

    • Spanky

      It’s the manufacturers that opt for custom skins, not the carriers. T-Mobile’s G2 was loaded with what was pretty much a stock ROM, yet it still took a very long time for it to be updated.

      • DUDE

        Yes, manufactures do opt for custom skins but that isn’t the reason why the US versions always get delayed updates. Those updates have to be approved by the carrier so that process make up the delayed time.

        • Spanky

          Absolutely – I’m well aware that updates get held up by the carriers. However, my statement was referring to the fact that carriers are not the ones who put custom skins on phones, and even unskinned phones (in this instance, the G2) take a very long time to get updated. Even if the carriers were to prohibit OEMs from skinning their phones, updates still wouldn’t happen in real time. The stark reality of the situation is that the only way for smartphone users to receive speedy OS updates is to get an unlocked Nexus.

  • JB

    I could easily see it being January being carrier testing has to take place.. I will go out on a limb and call this rumor BS just on the grounds that there is a Jelly Bean leak for T-Mobile’s version of the S III.

    I do hope it’s false, but even if it’s true, I’m sure a complete, stable build gets leaked beforehand.. And then there’s always the possibility of developers getting their hands on the Sprint variant and porting it to the other variants…

  • Christopher_McG

    They might delay it for bugs like usual but 2013? Come on now.. no way in hell. And if we end up in hell there will be an uprising! The Galaxy S III is not a Motorola DROID Bionic! We will organize and vocalize our displeasure en masse

    • Spanky

      Vocalizing displeasure seemed to have worked when the OS updates for the U.S. variants of the original Galaxy S phones were heavily delayed. I’ll definitely join the uprising!

  • matt


  • jamesdean

    “Apple employee” not samsung spokesperson =P

  • Jack87s

    Get a Nexus phone. I would never go back to carrier-branded crapola. Google phones FTW.

  • This better be a rumor !!!!! i want jellybean no later then December 25th

  • Minus a few features the visual aspects remain the same due to touchwiz. “fast was fast”in 2006 then 2007 2008 etc faster fastest etc. Point being the phones work great in their present form so any faster is just that its not slow by any means now. If we continue to buy skinned devices we have to accept this or like others have said go straight google

  • Rgroce

    This reminds of the original galaxy s and the 2.2 upgrade.

  • GoBananas

    It will get here. We all would like it yesterday. But
    it will get here. In the mean time the phones are still wonderful, and they’re
    only going to get better. We had a choice to go directly to Google and we chose
    not to. But this soon shall pass, and we’ll be back in love with our JB-S3
    phones, soon to be followed by griping that “Key Lime Pie” is overdue
    and we demand it NOW! and what the heck is taking so long for development of
    “Lemon Drop” and why is Iceland getting first???

  • Spanky

    I like my GS3 quite a bit. It’s a speed demon, and everything on it works as intended. However, if there’s any truth to this, then I guess Samsung learned nothing from the original Galaxy S Froyo update debacle.
    Besides the requisite carrier “testing” (read as: ensuring bloatware compatibility), the U.S. versions are equipped with a Snapdragon SoC, whereas the versions released elsewhere in the world utilize Exynos. Of course, the Exynos versions will be the first in line to receive OS upgrades. I’m as tired of Samsung treating the U.S. versions of their phones like red-headed stepchildren (blame the carrier interference and disparity in hardware) as most other owners, but I’ve had previous experience with Samsung dragging their feet when it comes to upgrades – I’ve owned the Vibrant, a complete train wreck of a phone. As such, I purchased the GS3 with full knowledge that it’ll be a very long time until we see an OS update. At least there is no RFS on the GS3, and the GPS works like a charm!
    In the interest of full disclosure, I’m an AT&T subscriber, and I love LTE. If Google released a Nexus with LTE capability, I’d drop the GS3 in a split second.

  • Terry

    Seems unlikely. Samsung was leaking builds through much of Sept but stopped on the 18th. That is probably the final build. It doesn’t seem reasonable that it will take another 3 months to release it.

  • Spazz

    Take this with a grain of salt. They have no source and no physical evidence….

    • You should look at the most recent story, pretty much verifies this.

  • MaseW

    If this rumor is true, I could see a reason for it being that, they don’t want to hurt the sales of any new devices that will be introduced during the holidays. If there are people that have the choice of getting a Jellybean based Note II (or any other new device), or picking up a slightly discounted GS3 with Jellybean, they might not buy the newer, more expensive device.

    So keep Jellybean off of the GS3 until after the holiday season to lure more people into buying the newer device, running the latest version of Android(!), as opposed to the slightly older, cheaper device, also running the latest version.

  • George

    This is precisely why I decided to no bother with SGIII – got burned with the Vibrant and learned my lesson. My next phone is the next Nexus without doubt which will probably be running Marshmallow before SGIII get Jelly Bean. Enough said…

  • john

    I hate Samsung. They were crazy slow with updates to the Vibrant.

  • zac

    An now sprints getting the update from now through nov 16th, I really hope tmobiles comes out before jan…. -.-