While Galaxy S III models on Verizon and Sprint might have gotten the update to Android 4.4 KitKat, it looks like the International variant of the Galaxy S III and the smaller brother, the Galaxy S III Mini will be forever stuck on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (Android 4.2 for the S III Mini). Today, Samsung themselves have officially said that the Galaxy S III with the i9300 model number will not be upgraded to Android 4.4. Their reasoning? RAM.
The full statement from Samsung details a lack of sufficient RAM in the Galaxy S III behind the decision to leave the device running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Take a look at the full statement below:
"In order to facilitate an effective upgrade on the Google platform, various hardware performances such as the memory (RAM, ROM, etc.), multi-tasking capabilities, and display must meet certain technical expectations. The Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions come equipped with 1GB RAM, which does not allow them to effectively support the platform upgrade. As a result of the Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions' hardware limitation, they cannot effectively support the platform upgrade while continuing to provide the best consumer experience. Samsung has decided not to roll-out the KitKat upgrade to Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions, and the KitKat upgrade will be available to the Galaxy S3 LTE version as the device's 2GB RAM is enough to support the platform upgrade."
We're not sure how much we like the excuse Samsung is using here, after all Android 4.4 KitKat was designed to be even more memory efficient and can run on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM, and Samsung themselves ship device with 1GB (below in some cases) of RAM with Android 4.4 running on them. Still, we assume this is down to TouchWiz and all of the extras Samsung has piled on top of Android 4.4 in the Galaxy S III. Still, it's a shame to see the Galaxy S III languish running an older version of Android, but it has had a good run we suppose. Being upgraded from Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich all the way up to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is certainly not a bad track record of updates and puts other manufacturers to shame.
It looks like the 2GB of RAM put into American versions of the Galaxy S III to make up for the dual-core CPU, versus the quad-core in the i9300, has made all the difference when it comes to longevity of the device. Are you surprised that Samsung has made this decision? Does it bother you? Let us know in the comments below!