Is Samsung sending two different updates for phones with identical hardware?
A report originating from a Vodafone Australia representative says that Samsung will be sending different platform versions of Android to different markets when updating the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 egde.
I've checked in with the right people for you @chri5tin3 and @shauno100, and they've confirmed the references to Samsung skipping 7.0 refer to other markets and not to Australia. We're definitely testing 7.0 for both devices.
Samsung has stated the official Android N update for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will be based on Android 7.1.1. This is the latest version and includes improvements and fixes that aren't addressed in the 7.0 update. That's the place where any custom versions of Android should start and we were all happy to hear that news. Today's news is puzzling if correct.
Samsung can incorporate their own improvements and fixes to the 7.0 version the same way they can with the latest code. They have to do it because Android is generic before companies like Samsung tailor it to work on their hardware. But having two separate update paths for one device model means more work for Samsung and longer wait times for any updates on at least one model. And maybe both. No reason for the deviation for Vodafone Galaxy S7 models is given.
Of course, any representative can have incorrect information. This may be another case where something was lost when details are given from department to department. But if this is correct, seeing a phone with identical hardware as any being sold in England or Canada with a separate software track isn't a good thing.