The blogosphere recently swelled with speculation as to why Samsung removed Google’s universal search function from its premiere Galaxy SIII smartphone, but a new report today revealed the ousting was simply “inadvertent.”

AndroidCentral first revealed the problem: 

  • There’s a new over-the-air update rolling out for the international Samsung Galaxy S III (aka Galaxy S3 GT-i9300) this evening. The OTA message identifies it as a “stability update,” but what it also does is remove local (on-device) search functionality in the phone’s built-in Google Search app. The new version — XXBLG6 — is a relatively recent build, having been cooked just a few days ago on Jul. 20. A new baseband version, XXLG6, is also included, but we haven’t noticed any other changes thus far.
  • Following legal action by Apple, which temporarily resulted in the Galaxy Nexus being banned in the U.S., Samsung has taken to pre-emptively disabling the ability to search within on-device data (like contacts and applications) on some U.S. Galaxy S3’s. However, the decision to kill local search on the unlocked international model — which isn’t sold in the U.S. — is a little perplexing, not least because Apple has yet to challenge Sammy over local search in the EU or UK, where the GT-i9300 is sold.

Samsung just confirmed to TechRadar, however, that the removal of search functionality on the U.K. version of the Galaxy S III had nothing to do with a legal action by Apple. The mysterious occurrence, which stopped the ability to search for files, contacts, and apps through the built-in Google Search widget, was apparently unintentional.

According to Samsung:

“The most recent software upgrade for the Galaxy S III in the UK included the inadvertent removal of the universal search function. Samsung will provide the correct software upgrade within the next few days.”

A new update will roll out over the next few days to fix the problem.

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In related news: Juniper Research claimed today that Samsung shipped over 52 million smartphones in Q2 2012, where as Apple only shipped 26 million iPhones during the same quarter.

“Samsung has taken a sizeable lead in the smartphone market in terms of unit shipments,” announced Juniper Research in a press release. “In the second quarter of 2012, Samsung shipped 52.1 million smartphones, just over double the number shipped by its leading rival, Apple—26 million.”

Juniper Research attributed the success of the Galaxy line to attractive price points and larger screen sizes. It also noted the iPhone needs another feature akin to Siri’s magnitude to stay ahead of the game:

“With Samsung’s Galaxy products hitting all price points, and another smash hit in the flagship Galaxy S range, Apple has extended its back catalogue, continuing to sell legacy iPhones at lower price points. While the iPhone 4S added a new killer feature, Siri, the next iPhone will need something of a similar magnitude, particularly if the device retains the 3.5-inch display size, which is now dwarfed by the Galaxy S3 (4.8-inch) and other high-end smartphones. Overall, the smartphone market continues to go from strength-to-strength, with the analyst firm estimating that 132.9 million shipped in Q2 2012 – up from 105.2 million a year ago.”

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