Samsung Deliberately Holding Back Android Upgrades?

It's one of the conspiracy theories that have been going around since Android picked up steam; mobile phone manufacturers are less than eager to provide "free" upgrades for their own Android-based customers.

Android Spin has accused Samsung of doing just that, citing an unidentified source within T-Mobile in the US.

The source says that Samsung is pushing the Vibrant 4G, which comes with Android 2.2, and is also refraining from releasing the Android 2.2. upgrade for the Motorola Vibrant.

Indeed, Android Dose, another blog, points to the fact that Samsung has yet to upgrade any of its Galaxy S handsets in the US to Android 2.2 (although this has been done in the UK).

Worse, there hasn't been any announcements yet and Samsung hasn't committed to any timetables yet. HTC and Motorola have been the most regular when it comes to Froyo upgrades (although some might wholeheartedly disagree) while Sony Ericsson might improve its delivery.

Many will point out that the blame should be laid on the mobile phone operators which often shove a large amount of carrier-specific applications in the phones themselves.

The obvious reason why manufacturers may hold off any upgrades resides in the fact that (a) they cost money to produce (b) they cost money to maintain (c) they encourage customers to stick with their existing phones.