Samsung Galaxy S is getting Gingerbread -- but when?

By JR Raphael (@jr_raphael)

Samsung Galaxy S Gingerbread

Well, sound the trumpet and buy me a crumpet: Samsung has just announced plans to upgrade the Galaxy S to Gingerbread.

Sammy made the declaration by way of a press release Monday morning. According to the company, its globally popular Galaxy S handsets will receive the Android 2.3 upgrade starting in mid-May -- you know, as in now -- for users in "the U.K. and Nordic countries."

Hang on, though, Tonto: Something's missing. Where's the info about upgrades for those of us in the U.S. of A., where Galaxy S phones grace all four major carriers? No big surprise, Samsung's being a lot less clear about those plans. The manufacturer does say Galaxy S users in the U.S. and other parts of the world will get Gingerbread, but as for when, your guess is as good as mine.

Here's Samsung's official wording:

The Android 2.3 upgrade will start with Galaxy S in the U.K. and Nordic countries from mid-May, and gradually [be] rolled out to other European markets, North America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East Asia, Africa and rest of the world according to the regional plan.

Ah -- the "regional plan." Right. Because we've all been briefed on that thing.

Come on, Samsung. If you're gonna put out a big, bold press release touting the upgrade of your flagship handset, give us some broadly meaningful details, wouldja?

Now, I know I'm being a bit harsh on ol' Sammy. But it's only because the manufacturer has, to use the technical term, freakin' sucked when it comes to Android upgrades in the past. Particularly in the U.S., users of Samsung's Galaxy S phones waited ages to get their hands on Froyo while owners of countless other handsets feasted on the treat. Making matters worse, Samsung stayed largely silent on the matter, leaving many of its users in the dark for months. (See: Android upgrades: Which manufacturers can you trust?)

With this new round of upgrades starting to get underway, it's great to see Samsung being up-front and open about what's going on. It'd just be nice if it were actually being up-front and open, instead of just kinda-sorta giving us that impression without really telling us much of anything.

(In similarly vague news, Samsung has also announced that its original 7-inch Galaxy Tab will get Gingerbread. No word, though, on when that'll happen -- or if the first Tab will ever see the more tablet-focused Android Honeycomb release.) 

Thankfully, there is a light somewhere in this murky virtual tunnel: Samsung's among the handful of partners on-board with the new Android upgrade alliance announced at Google's I/O developers' conference this month. In theory, that means Samsung -- along with a bunch of other big-name carriers and manufacturers -- will agree to upgrade their devices within a reasonable and defined amount of time when future Android updates come out. The details of the alliance and how it'll work have yet to be ironed out; here's hoping that changes soon.

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In the meantime, Samsung may be flexing its PR muscle, but let's be honest: If information is power, the company's looking pretty weak. And with the Galaxy S II on the horizon in America, there's never been a better time to earn back customers' trust.

So come on, Samsung: You can do better than this. Don't let us down again.

Track the latest Gingerbread status for any device at Android Power's Android 2.3 upgrade list. It's always kept up-to-date with the most current info available.

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, on Twitter, or at eSarcasm, his geek-humor getaway.

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Article copyright 2011 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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