How do I love thee, Samsung Galaxy S II? Let me count the ways:
Can the Samsung Galaxy S II get any better? Apparently it can. We’ve just learned that Samsung is actively engaging the genius modding community over at Cynanogen, and has sent them free Galaxy S II’s so they can begin work on improving the phone in every imaginable way. Ask anyone that has owned a Samsung Galaxy S (or a carrier rebranded variant), and they will tell you that it’s an amazing phone with incredible hardware, but hindered and hampered by poor software. Cynanogen came to the rescue, and in a big way.
Samsung has taken a big step towards publicly acknowledging and legitimizing the efforts of the Cynanogen modding community, and is actively encouraging that they hack their gear. Major companies like Motorola, Sony, LG, and more recently, HTC, have come under fire (ok they’ve been on the hate list of a lot of people, for a long time) for locking down their phones, and making them difficult to mod, hack, and customize. HTC most recently buckled under pressure, and CEO Peter Chou publicly stated that HTC phones will all be unlocked going forward.
The modder-unfriendly manufacturers should be asking themselves “What? You mean there are third-party volunteers who want to help us fix bugs, improve performance, and make our phones better in every imaginable way? And they are doing this for free?” The next question should be, “Why aren’t we taking advantage of that and collaborating with them?” As of today, now they are. This is significant because it means that Samsung is actively supporting and engaging the development community, and this unprecedented collaboration will undoubtedly result in a substantially improved experience for us – the users!
The developer/modding community has been one of the few saving graces that has kept many Android phone owners sane. They have worked diligently and tirelessly, and for free (ok, donations), and have really changed a ton of phones from buggy nightmares into incredibly responsive and flexible mobile delights.
To any of you that visit this site often, you know that we have a love for Samsung, and with this latest development, we have to say that we love them even more. With the hardware the Galaxy S II is packing out of the gate, and the guru developers of Cynanogen working on it as we speak, we have total confidence that this particular ultraphone will have an even longer lifespan, even better performance, and will easily dethrone all but the very best phones of late 2011/early 2012. I suspect Samsung’s sending of their flagship superphone will have significant impact towards goodwill, and will make the Galaxy S II an amazing superphone for a long time to come.
The only thing that might grace the minds of you savvy Android news fans is this – what sort of impact will this have on carrier / manufacturer relations? We know fully well that it’s the carriers that demand manufacturers lock down their devices. This is always the case. It’s not in the interest of the manufacturers, as they really want to do is sell phones, and lots of ‘em. However, their biggest customers are the carriers. Remember, it’s the carriers that advertise them, it’s the carriers that buy them outright, and it’s the carriers that subsidize them to make them affordable enough to actually purchase. The original Samsung Galaxy S was the best selling Android phone of 2010. With the Galaxy S II looking to be arriving in Canada and the USA within the next month or so, do you think this is a trend that is likely to continue?
Stay tuned, obsessed Android news fan! How do you think the other companies (HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony) should respond? I cannot wait to see what Cynanogen is able to do with the Samsung Galaxy S II – it will likely be nothing short of remarkable!