While I am not by any stretch a customer support expert, I think that this is the obvious but telling sore point in the upgrade woes of current handsets. Samsung has so many sets on offer that I doubt they could offer many upgrades to future versions of Android without seriously taking away from the bottom line. Their competitors however are a different story…
Samsung would be very hard pressed to come up with ICS or Jellybean upgrades for the plethora of devices they have pushed out the door. I own a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 inch Wifi (GT-P1010) and the US version never even received a 2.3 Gingerbread update. I can’t imagine it would be more than a couple weeks of side work for a tiny part of Samsung to come up with updates so I assume that they are simply busy working on new products and probably don’t enjoy putting out updates since it pulls them away from their current projects. This means that Samsung can’t really put out updates the way Google wants to see.
This to me means that another company such as HTC which has fewer models out there could easily differentiate itself by providing a 2 year OS upgrade path, 3 if they truly wanted to make themselves stand out. Samsung is a clear winner in the smartphone market and other companies are struggling to keep up, if they are at all. Now is the time to lock in their customers.
Not only OS updates, but phone software could also do with upgrades. Instead of offering the Dropbox upgrade for new phones, they could spend some money on the older devices in their lineup. For a few dollars, a customer would be pleasantly and unexpectedly surprised to learn ther phone manufacturer is still caring for them even after they took their hard earned money.
THIS is the height of Customer Support, supporting a customer of a product AFTER they buy it, by ADDING value to your product after sales so that you have repeat business.