When it came to light that up to 45% of the Samsung Galaxy S4’s internal storage space was taken up by “system apps” that rendered it unusable for user storage, many people voiced anger and disappointment. This was true at least for the Galaxy S4’s 16GB model, which apparently only offered users less than 9GB of actual available space, and the issue is now in the center of a heated discussion.
Today, Samsung has sent out a response to all those who have expressed concerns over this particular issue. According to the Samsung statement, which was first published through a report online on CNET, if you’re a Galaxy S4 user and you find the handset’s storage situation to be problematic, you really shouldn’t because they made things the way they are for your own benefit.
According to Samsung, the “system” part of the Galaxy S4’s internal memory takes up approximately 6.85GB of total space. That’s how users get left with less than 9GB for their own personal use. Is it wrong? Samsung says it isn’t, and in fact, it’s the reason why users are able to enjoy the phone’s “high resolution display and more powerful features.”
Samsung also notes that users who really need more storage space than the Galaxy S4 readily offers can turn to external solutions, and it has made things somewhat easier for them by bundling a free microSD card with every unit “for extension of memory.”
Up in arms over space
Samsung’s stance on the issue is understandable, but for some users, what it did with all of that used up storage was never really a bone of contention. The problem was with the fact that it decided to advertise certain units of its Galaxy S4 as 16GB models even though users can only really use a little over 8GB of space in them.
As many have pointed out in various online discussions, Samsung can only fix the issue by either taking away some of the system applications to free up precious storage space, or simply selling the Galaxy S4 at a lower price which will reflect the fact that it comes with less user-available storage space than advertised. Of course, Samsung is probably loathe to do either one of those things, but it’s worth noting that the users themselves are the ones who have suggested these possibilities.
What else is there?
Is there a better way for Samsung to get out of this mess? We don’t know. But what we do know is that as smartphones such as the Galaxy S4 get more and more advanced, this will only become an even bigger issue that will affect more and more people. Since the mobile phone’s first inception, it has evolved to become a full-blown, always-on, handheld computer. There’s simply no excuse for phone makers to leave such sophisticated products with glaring, easily preventable flaws.
Back in the heyday of netbooks, manufacturers such as Acer, Asus, and Toshiba decided that the standard size for netbook hard drives should be 160GB. So they started releasing products that came with 160GB hard drives and sub-$500 price tags. For netbooks with Windows 7 pre-installed, approximately 9.4% of the total storage was taken up by the “system” while the rest became available to users for actual storage. That’s a whopping 90% of advertised storage space available for use in any way a user likes. And how many people complained about this? Absolutely none.
Samsung itself got on the netbook bandwagon, so it’s no stranger to what we’re referring to here. Perhaps it can heed some of the helpful suggestions that have been thrown out online. If it does, then we will no doubt see them implemented in some of its future products.