Approximately two years ago, Consumentenbond, a Dutch consumer association, sued Samsung over the brand’s Android update policy. The association stated that Samsung failed to inform its users about a software update schedule for their phones, demanding the company to offer support for phones for at least four years.
Samsung defended itself by saying that the phones sold in the Netherlands, which is where the legal process took place, are supported for two years (as the brand promises). However, Consumentenbond provided examples to prove that said unwritten rule was not being followed. The trial began last month, and the judge ruled in Samsung’s favor.
Samsung cannot be forced to update its phones in the future
Samsung’s court case, as well as the alleged lack of updates, is over. As we just told you, the judge ruled that Samsung was right, or in other words, the judge ruled that the consumer association was not right.
According to the judge, Consumentenbond’s demands were inadmissible because they related to “future facts.” The reason behind the judge’s ruling is that there are elements that could affect the update schedule, like hardware limitations or a bug that could prevent the update, for example. Therefore, the court cannot force Samsung to update its smartphones for a period of time without knowing what possible issues may appear in the future.
The consumer association that filed the lawsuit says that the ruling was disappointing, stating that “Samsung chooses to bring so many models to the market, there is no-one who forces them to do so. An automobile manufacturer must also ensure that all its models are safe and reliable and remain so. Samsung has the same obligation.” If the association had won the case, it is highly likely that Samsung would have had to update its old phones, which have not received new versions in a long time, and that more countries would have been involved. However, this has not been the case.
The lack of updates is a huge Android problem that stems from a fragmented system. Besides, there are phones with very old system versions lacking security patches in most cases, especially affecting lower-end phones to which new versions take longer to be released. Google has taken measures to tackle system fragmentation, but the latest distribution data shows that the problem is far from being solved.