As consumers continue to experience issues with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Android 5.0 Lollipop update, recent developments in the Australian rollout may shed some new light on the source of the problems.
We've been following the rollout of Android 5.0 Lollipop for the Galaxy Note 4 extra carefully as the device continues to receive numerous complaints from users following their upgrade to the updated mobile operating system.
The update has been rolled out to various users internationally, while in the U.S. it has been released to users of the Note 4 on four of the five largest national networks - Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and U.S. Cellular, with only T-Mobile customers still awaiting the update.
Across various smartphone manufacturers, of all the major devices that have received the Android 5.0 Lollipop update, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 seems to be experiencing the most performance issues, with many users still complaining of decreased battery life, overheating, forced closing of apps and a range of other problems.
An interesting snapshot of the rollout is occurring right now in Australia, where the Android 5.0 Lollipop update is being released to some Note 4 devices even as others are delayed due to failure in carrier testing and other unspecified reasons.
A rollout of the new OS appears to be hitting unlocked Galaxy Note 4 devices sold in Australia, along with smartphones using Optus, one of Australia's large carrier networks. Owners of unlocked devices have already reported receiving the update, while Optus has listed it as completed on its software development page and several customers of the carrier have confirmed its arrival on their handsets.
Another big Australian carrier, Telstra, does not even mention the Note 4 on its carrier software update page, indicating Lollipop may be a long way off for its customers. Most interesting, however, is the update page for Vodafone, which specifically lists the reason that the Android 5.0 Lollipop updates are not available as "testing failed, awaiting feedback from Samsung."
It is unusual for a carrier to be so candid with its customers as to the reasons for a software update delay, and the wording is particularly interesting, as it appears to be subtly placing the responsibility on Samsung.
The carrier lists other handsets from manufacturers such as HTC and Huawei as failing testing as well, but claims that Vodafone is "awaiting new software" from those manufacturers as opposed to "feedback." A random check of numerous prior weekly software update wraps finds no similar wording in the case of software testing failure from any manufacturer other than Samsung.
The unique explanation could hint at manufacturer Samsung as the source of the release delays and various Android 5.0 Lollipop problems and issues being experienced by numerous Note 4 users.
While it may simply be semantics and completely unrelated, the wording is certainly interesting in a world where carriers and manufacturers are both usually extremely tight lipped regarding the OS software development process.