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Samsung Head Apologises for Game Optimising Service Troubles

In remarks given at Samsung’s annual shareholders' meeting on 16 March 2022, Samsung Co-Chief Executive Officer Jong Hee-Han formally apologised for multiple issues caused by a pre-installed app in the company’s smartphones. The app, known as the Game Optimising Service (GOS), was responsible for slowing down or “throttling” around 1,000 apps over the past few weeks, hampering their performance. Users in South Korea discovered this issue and listed the affected apps on a local online tech forum.

Samsung annual general meeting 2022
Credit: Yonhap News

According to GSMArena, Jong acknowledged that Samsung did not listen to customer concerns. He promised that the company will “listen to customers more closely to prevent such an issue from happening again”. This apology comes as the company is set to launch an updated line of its Galaxy A series phones.

Earlier this month, reports emerged that Samsung’s GOS, one of several apps meant to improve system performance, was inadvertently slowing down non-gaming apps. The GOS has two major roles. First, it helps improve system performance while users play games on the phone. Second, it reduces and optimises heat loss in an effort to ostensibly lengthen battery life.

However, users on Meeco, a South Korean tech forum, discovered that around 1,000 apps were also being optimised by the GOS app. These include popular apps Instagram, TikTok and Netflix. Samsung and Google apps also received the optimisation treatment. They discovered that it was impossible to disable GOS and fix the problem, causing further concern. Whether Samsung will respond to these concerns by updating the phone OS has yet to be seen.

Samsung smartphone on table
Credit: Lacie Slezak/Unsplash

Other developments at the annual meeting included an announcement by Samsung’s Co-Chief Executive Officer Kyung Kye-Hyun that the company will boost its chip and component production to meet global demand. Kyung asserted that the company’s chip business will outperform average global industry growth by as much as 9%. Part of the steps to boost that business include efforts to expand manufacturing capacity in China by seeking more contractors there.

Samsung Electronics, which is part of the Korean manufacturing conglomerate Samsung Group, has been in business since 1988, replacing the former Samsung Electric Industries company. The company is one of the biggest mobile phone manufacturers in the world, but its chip and components sales account for nearly 67% of its revenues (as of January 2022). In December 2021, the company reorganised its operations by merging divisions responsible for mobile technology and consumer electronics, reflecting weakened demand for its mobile phones last year.

Samsung Electronics’ consumer products include its Android-powered mobile phones, flat-panel television sets and speakers (through its Harman International subsidiary). The company also makes chips and semiconductors and is the largest manufacturer of both in the world. It also makes computer storage devices such as solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard drives. It works with clients such as Sony, HTC, Nokia and major smartphone rival Apple by supplying hardware for their devices.

  • Samsung Electronics Co-Chief Executive Officer Jong Hee-Han apologised at the company’s annual meeting on 16 March 2022 for problems caused by its Game Optimisation Service (GOS) mobile app.

  • Korean users noticed earlier this month that the GOS, which was meant to work only with gaming apps, slowed down around a thousand non-gaming apps, hampering their performance.

  • Samsung has yet to announce further details of how they plan to resolve this issue, including whether a software update will be released soon.

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