Samsung’s newest device, the Galaxy S III, has received a new OTA update internationally, removing the local search feature that has proved so controversial of late.

Samsung has taken another step in its preemptive work to try and avoid Apple’s legal juggernaut  from being able to get another of the Koreans’ handsets banned from sale.

Earlier this month Samsung took the steps of removing the local search feature from its Galaxy S III handsets in the United States. The company’s latest hero phone, the Galaxy S III is proving popular amongst users and pundits alike, and it had also cropped up in Apple’s crosshairs due to a potential legal wrangle that had already seen the Galaxy Nexus handset banned from sale in the country.

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Apple had successfully requested a ban on sales of the Galaxy Nexus device based on its use of the local search feature which Apple currently has its fingerprints all over. Samsung decided to reduce the risk to the Galaxy S III in the United States by removing the function before Apple decided to get involved, and now the same fate has befallen local search for the international version of the handset.

Available via an over-the-air update that sits at a comfortable 27MB, the update apparently does little other than remove the local search function that allowed users to search their handset from a Google search bar. Users who make good use of the feature currently are advised to either refuse the update, or move to a solution that is available via the Google Play Store. Given the fact that any future update will also be sans local search, avoiding all new updates is not something that is a viable option for most, so the Play Store is probably the best bet for now.

The Galaxy S III is currently the hottest Android phone on the market, with millions being sold with no sign of a slowdown in potential buyers. The handset would prove a tasty target for Apple’s legal teams, so the move to preempt such nastiness is probably a wise one on the part of Samsung.

(via AndroidCentral)

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