Samsung admits Note 3 KitKat update disabled 3rd party accessories, fix on its way

by: Andrew GrushJanuary 27, 2014

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Lucky international Note 3 owners in select countries across the globe have already started seeing an update to Android 4.4 KitKat. While this update is largely a positive upgrade, last week we started hearing reports from some users that the update breaks support for 3rd party flip covers.

At the time, Samsung issued a statement denying that the 3rd party accessory troubles had anything to do with the Android 4.4 KitKat update. Now it seems that Samsung has changed its tune, officially admitting that the KitKat update is in fact preventing 3rd party smart covers from working with the Note 3.

We have currently identified a software compatibility issue with the Galaxy Note 3 update to Android 4.4 (KitKat) and select 3rd party accessories. A software update will be available shortly. We are committed to offering a diverse and reliable mobile experience for all customers, providing continued support and solutions for any issues that arise with product updates for both Samsung manufactured and third-party accessories.

Samsung chalks up the whole issue to a ‘bug’, and we’re going to (somewhat begrudgingly) give Samsung the benefit of the doubt here. After all, if Samsung was going to shut off 3rd party accessories for good, you would think that they would do so with a newly launched device, and not a product that already has a bunch of 3rd party covers out in the wild. Still, it’s hard not to be at least a little suspicious of the matter.

Anyway, the important takeaway here is that Samsung will continue to support 3rd party accessories and will be rolling out an update in (hopefully) short order. What do you think, was Samsung merely testing the waters on how consumers would react to a move to limit 3rd party covers, or do you believe this was a legitimate accident?

  • Nathan Sassaman

    Gee, I actually thought that Apple was the only company that was proprietary! Silly Me!

    • Brandon Miranda

      Other “smart covers” besides OEM covers work with iPads..

      • Tuấn Ankh

        Yep, because smart covers are the only thing that matters, ever. ;)

        • Brandon Miranda

          Well in this case I use smart cover because that it the equivalent to the covers talked about over here. If the cover has any extra functionality than just opening and closing, it’s deemed a smart cover in the iOS community.

  • cycad007

    Samsung BLINKED. Pure & simple. They built in technology *SPECIFICALLY* to lock 3rd party accessories out. Why else would 1. All non-Samsung flip covers stop working?
    2. Samsung built a specific chip for product authentication?
    3. Initially deny their update was the culprit?

    I’ll just conclude by saying….Samsung SUCKS!

    • Brandon Miranda

      Correct. I think maybe the idea of controlling everything from their development of Tizen is affecting them in their Android division. Also maybe they are taking hints from Apple’s strategy which yes works but I think it should be loosend up a bit. I don’t like Samsung but I still don’t want to see them go bankrupt or anything. I just want to see them take their own design aspect/flow of things. If that makes sense.

      • On a Clear Day

        As much as anyone it would displease me to learn that Samsung was deliberately pulling a rotten Apple type trick and doing their best every which way they can to lock us up so escape and “resistance is futile”.

        However, I think it is both premature as well as immature to buy into what amount to knee jerk conspiracy theories that Samsung is malevolently trying to manipulate the world of accessories! lol

        Frankly, seeing how people are finally, intelligently turning their backs on Apple and its “our way or the highway” approach to ecosystems, Samsung would be dumber than dumb instead of smarter than smart if they starting pulling tricks like this.

        At the moment they offer the only devices that give one the flexibility of a replaceable battery, Android and devices that make virtually – if not all – other devices by all other manufacturers seem like also rans.

        • Brandon Miranda

          Very well said. Apple on the other hand (and I hate to say it, not because I think they shouldn’t do it but because it would mean Steve Jobs would’ve done his work for absolutely no reason. Only for his business style and HIM in general to be thrown out after his death) is actually loosening up there style and listening to consumers. I can’t explain it well myself so I will provide you a link to a post that very well explains it.

  • Bob S

    They were testing the waters…

    • Brandon Miranda

      I disagree.

      • Jayfeather787

        So it was an accident?

        • Brandon Miranda

          No I think it was I purpose. I don’t think they were testing it out. Why would they test it out? They did it because they want more reign and I think with Android that is a horrible idea because I want my Android with freedom not restrictions.

          • Jayfeather787


    • Tuấn Ankh

      “Hey guys, it’s not working. let’s call it an issue and provide people a ‘fix’ to calm them down.”

  • RanRu

    “We were just testing the waters to see how much shit you guys would take. Apparently the answer is ‘not this much’.”

  • Jayfeather787

    I think it was an accident. Samssung probably just messed up the update a little because if they were to really do this on purpose, it would really negatively impact the sales of the Note 3. Not by much, but it would impact it some.

    • cycad007

      Hey Jayfeather – If you *BELIEVE* that, I got a bridge to sell you! :D

      • Jayfeather787

        Yay!! Bridge for sale. Now I can own the Golden Gate Bridge.
        But seriously. Why would Samsung do this. To increase the Samsung Flip Cover sales? I wouldn’t touch that, its way too expensive, and the average consumer would probably want to use their own case with this phone, and not the case that Samsung tells me to use. No phone company tells me what case to use. EVER. That’s my decision, and if Samsung is doing this on purpose, I will never buy from them again.

    • smokebomb

      I’d still buy a note 3. I don’t use accessories. If you’re incapable of keeping your phone from shattering to pieces, get a flip phone.

    • tocsin

      If it was a software bug that affected smart covers why would official smart covers not be affected as well? And why would Samsung have built the chips in if not to prevent other covers working.

      • Dimitar Gospodinov

        maybe they don’t have other covers to test it with…or they just don’t want to…

  • smokebomb

    Anyone who thought Samsung didn’t do this on purpose also thinks Ed Snowden’s leaks are “revelations.”

  • namesib

    lmao Samsung are shameless…

  • Jason Ty

    What matters is that their fixing it. That’s very good of Samsung since a
    cover is not as standard as a charger. Also, they have no way of
    knowing what resources of theirs is being used by other makers piggy
    backing on their products. Samsung would only know the problem after the
    change has been made.
    Besides, It takes time to investigate something, specially, if you initially thought the problem was not on your side.

  • AA :P

    samsung is trying how loyal their customers are

  • dave

    So this issue is more than about covers. Its really about the multi tasking feature. My wife just did this updatecand the every reason i got her a note 3 was gone. Split windows and multi tasking. We did the reset. Now the update keeps popping up. Does anyone know how to turn off tbe update?

    • Dimitar Gospodinov

      What do you mean gone? Something is wrong…

  • RahulMacwan

    Anger level is OVER 9000!!

    • RahulMacwan

      For me is bcs we still havent got the goddam 4.4 in uk so i can join the conversation abt the smart cover

  • People love conspiracies. Having worked for large companies, I tend to favour ‘cock up’. Samsung are a high end manufacturer with some great innovations – perhaps they were actually preparing for ADDITIONAL functionality in their cases in future which would require this check – and they simply forgot about the broader community. Big companies do that because they are so immersed in their own world that other perspectives simply don’t enter their minds – much as Americans don’t get how anyone could possibly disagree with their economic and political approach.

  • Iwan Haniyoto

    I never use Samsung smartphone again, high price, cheap quality plastic, bloatware apps.
    So many another brand with more affordable price and better quality. Many of my friend now looking or buying another brand after using Samsung smartphone.

  • I’m happy with 4.3. I’ll not update until the air settles down. My SPIGEN Slim Armor View cover is coming in a weeks time. So I can live without updating than spoiling my day with my new lovely, cute cover.

  • Jul Albert Conanan

    My IR Blaster didnot worked after I updated my device to KitKat… :'( I used my Note 3 as my DSLR Remote, now it is not working..