At the beginning of this year, when Samsung started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Note (N7000), a serious issue was found in the kernel level of the firmware. If any Note owner used the Factory Reset option or wiped the internal storage of his or her device using recovery, the eMMC chip inside the device would die. The issue was present in all the previous leaked ICS firmware for the Galaxy Note, and the community had promptly informed Samsung about the issue after Note owners started bricking their devices left, right and center. The issue was termed as ‘Superbrick’ in the XDA community, since there was no way to bring back these affected devices to life.
Now, a CyanogenMod developer – Andrew Dodd – has written his story on the ‘superbrick’ issue titled ‘The “Superbrick” Nightmare’ on Google+. The series of posts from Andrew Dodd show the real and harsh truth on how Samsung completely ignored the Superbrick issue, hardly cared about Note owners who had already bricked their devices and the meeting it setup with developers just for the sake of publicity. Worse? The ‘superbrick’ issue eventually found its way to many other Samsung devices even after Samsung knew about it and said that it was “working diligently” on it.
Some of the developers worked hard on finding the root cause of the issue, and even informed Samsung about it. Heck! They even provided Samsung with a workaround to this problem. Even then, in a somewhat shocking behavior, Samsung did not pay any heed to the Android developers and many firmware for other Samsung devices (AT&T and International SGS2) that leaked in the future were found to be plagued by the same kernel-level eMMC killing bug. Even official firmware release from Samsung had the ‘Superbrick’ issue, months after the community informed them about it.
On the flipside, his posts also shows how the Android community worked together to find the root cause of the issue and a fix for it, so as to prevent users from ‘Superbricking’ their devices and extent to which they went to try and save all those Notes that were already superbricked, The hero or the saviour of all the Galaxy Notes and Galaxy S2s out there, however, turned out to be an engineer from Google — Ken — who was later silenced by Samsung. As it turns out, independent Android developers and engineers at Google care more about your devices than Samsung itself does.
It has been more than six months since Samsung was made aware of the ‘superbrick’ issue and it promised that it was “working diligently” on it, and yet till date, the issue persists. Samsung fixed the issue on its newer devices like the Galaxy S3 that never had the issue, but has not made any effort to fix the problem on the device severely affected by it, the Galaxy Note.
Samsung, the developers and community have played a large part in making you the largest mobile manufacturer out there. Stop screwing around with them. You are not going to stay at the top forever! HTC and Qualcomm have learnt from their mistakes and are now embrace the open-source community and its developers. Its about time you do the same!