Yesterday, Samsung released a firmware update for the Galaxy S III that removed the ability to use the universal search tool for looking into local data (contacts, media files, apps, etc.).
The patch came after Samsung removed the same functionality from Sprint and AT&T’s Galaxy S III models in the USA, due to the violation of a patent ruled in US courts as belonging to Apple.
There is still no lawsuit for the international Galaxy S III, but it was thought that Samsung is preparing for it with the most recent update. This, as it turns out, is not the case.
TechRadar contacted Samsung for more information on the update and here’s the official statement:
"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."
So, we are getting the local search back. It seems Samsung is not doing damage control and we hope these patent wars stop affecting end users in such ways.