samsung has been ahead of others when it comes to updating android on their phones. From the start, they were good at updates. They used to give most of their devices two big updates, which was not common among other phone makers.
Initially, Samsung faced delays in releasing updates, but their performance gradually improved. However, they may not be the fastest in releasing updates when compared to some others, but it's because they have many phones to support.
In 2019, Samsung improved its software update policy. They promised to provide three major OS upgrades to all flagship phones and some mid-range ones. This put them on the same level as google and oneplus, who were already known for offering three OS updates for most of their phones.
Samsung announced a five-year commitment to Android software updates in 2021.
However, what really made Samsung stand out was the extent of support they offered. Two years later, they went even further. Samsung declared that their flagship phones and some mid-range models would receive four Android OS updates and enjoy five years of security updates. This level of commitment was unparalleled in the Android phone industry.
A few Chinese phone makers started doing the same. It was surprising that Google, the company behind the Android system, didn't change its approach. Pixel phones, both old and new, would still only receive three major Android updates, and this has not changed until today.
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Google's New Android Software Update Policy Leads Samsung
Today, Google might challenge Samsung's dominance in Android updates. The Pixel 8 series of phones is being announced, and it is confirmed by Google that the Pixel 8 and likely all upcoming Pixels will receive updates for seven years. That is two more years than Samsung, and almost as long as apple. However, Apple has sometimes updated iPhones for more than seven years.
It is worth noting that these seven years of updates will include seven major Android version updates, security improvements and occasional bug fixes. In a blog post of Google's official blog site, the company explained this further as quoted:
Today we announced our commitment to providing seven years of software support for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, including Android OS upgrades, security updates and regular Feature Drops. That means your Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will be supported all the way into 2030. No major smartphone brand offers this committed level of support and longevity. This makes these phones a more sustainable smartphone choice, because they'll be secure and perform well for seven years.
For Google to finally commit to seven years of software update, Samsung and other phone manufacturers will likely need to respond effectively. While more updates could potentially impact new phone sales for manufacturers, it's generally a positive development for customers. That should be the primary focus for every brand selling Android smartphones.