Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9 Hasn’t Received a Single Security Patch Since Its Release in the US
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ have been around on the market for nearly three months. As expected, the devices have received a few OTA updates in the duration—nothing major though, just some bug fixes, optimizations and security patches. However, one variant of the device, in particular, hasn’t received a single update since launch. The device in question is the carrier-unlocked Samsung Galaxy S9 for the US market. It is still running on the February Android security patch, which is unacceptable for a flagship device that costs nearly seven hundred dollars. To make matters worse, Samsung hasn’t revealed any update schedule for the unlocked Galaxy S9+
The carrier-unlocked versions of devices are often late to receive updates in the US (and the US only), as was observed with the Galaxy S8 Oreo rollout saga. The company states that carrier-unlocked devices require “additional testing across all networks”, which is why they are late to receive the updates. It is understandable if major OS updates get delayed by a few weeks, but a three-month wait for a security patch is unacceptable.
What we don’t get is that most devices globally are not carrier-locked and receive software updates well before their US counterparts. So, what’s the hold up here? Additionally, mobile carriers have had a pretty lacklustre track record when it comes to monthly security updates too, with AT&T yet to roll out a single update for the Galaxy S9.
What’s worse is that Samsung’s own page states that the device is supposed to receive security updates monthly. There is a footnote stating that “some carriers may only support quarterly updates,” which doesn’t make sense as the Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note8 are still well on schedule. At this rate, one can only imagine how long the devices will take to receive a stable release of Android P.