Samsung has rolled out an update for its Galaxy S III, but instead of adding functionality, it takes some away.
The manufacturer said the over-the-air software update provides increased “stability” and patches some bugs with the device, but doesn’t mention that it actually disables one of the phone’s features.
That feature is local search, which allows users to look for content and information stored directly on the phone.
So now, when users perform a search on the phone, they won’t get results from, for example, their contact list.
It’s hard to imagine this would cause any sort of serious security issue with the phone, so there must be another reason why Samsung would disable the feature.
So it’s believed that this has something to do with a current patent dispute between Samsung and Apple. Apple owns a patent for “local search” features.
Samsung is of course in the middle of too many patent disputes to keep track of. Its biggest claims have come from Apple against its line of tablets.
As a result, almost-unheard-of sanctions have been leveled against the manufacturer, including an outright ban on sales of the Galaxy Tab.
Samsung’s phones have also come under fire. It hasn’t been a great year for the company, which is now trying to sue Apple for anything it can. Samsung, however, hasn’t been quite as successful.