Samsung Removes Local Search from Galaxy S3

Apple vs. SamsungSamsung pushed a “security update” to owners of its Galaxy S3 smartphone Tuesday night. One of the features was intended to protect Samsung’s security more than its customers, as the update removed local search from the device. The move is being seen as a pre-emptive move to keep Apple from claiming patent infringement that might get the S3 banned.

Apple won a preliminary injunction against Samsung that banned the sale of another Samsung device, the Galaxy Nexus. Apple had argued that the Galaxy Nexus infringed on a unified search patent owned by Apple. Samsung then won a temporary stay on that injunction while the two companies continue to fight it out, but Apple also won an injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Samsung and Google have already announced plans to pull local search from the two banned devices as a temporary plan for ceasing their infringement. Though Apple hasn’t targeted the S3 in court yet, it would appear that Samsung wanted to make sure that the device won’t be vulnerable to the same Apple patent.

The Android community hasn’t taken to Samsung confusing its security and the security of its customers. For instance, AndroidCentral wrote, “Samsung, Sprint, we get it. You were forced to make these changes. But calling it a security update and not filling in your users about the full scope of what was being changed on their phones is dirty pool. We expect, and deserve, a little better.”