When Android 4.4 Kit Kat was announced, one of the more notable features was increased compatibility with lower-end hardware. Kit Kat only requires 512MB of RAM to run, meaning cheap, entry-level devices should be able to use the newest version of Android going forward, instead of using 4.1 or worse, 2.3 as has often been the case.
Everyone expected this to mean that new entry-level devices released in the future would have Kit Kat, not that existing lower end devices would get the update. For a group of mid-range Samsung devices, though, Kit Kat just might be coming.
According to another rumor from SamMobile, a list of mid-range Samsung devices are said to be “under investigation” for receiving the Kit Kat update.
The list of devices is rather long, and includes the Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S3 mini, Galaxy S Advance, Galaxy Ace 3, Galaxy Core, Galaxy Fame, Galaxy Ace 2, and the Galaxy Fresh — there are likely more devices on the list, but these weren’t captured by the source of the picture.
The report goes on to note that “under investigation” does not mean an update is a sure thing. Just because the Kit Kat code from Google is capable of running smoothly with only 512MB of RAM, it doesn’t mean that the extensive modifications Samsung and other manufacturers add with their custom skins will run smoothly. This is a great first step, though, and we can hope that most of these devices do end up being updated.
It’s worth noting, too, that even if Samsung decides to release updates for all or some of these mid-range devices, that does not mean that the device will be updated in all markets. Especially in the United States, where these mid- to low-end devices are often renamed and sold free on contract or sold cheaply by pre-paid carriers, updates are considerably less likely. The carriers are the ones with final say and who actually have to do the work of certifying and pushing an update to their devices. So for these cheaper phones, the carriers often don’t bother. Sad, but true.
As with any update rumors, time will tell. We certainly hope that Samsung provides updates for these devices, and we can also hope that other manufacturers will follow suit and at least seriously consider updating their non-flagship phones.