In what could be seen as an attempt to keep up with Apple’s legacy software support for older iOS devices, Samsung now promising Galaxy users who will receive security software updates for “at least four years” after the initial launch of a device.
Samsung and Android have a reputation for being a fragmented ecosystem when it comes to operating system updates. Samsung, unlike Apple, has several lines of smartphones, making it significantly more difficult to maintain all of them with frequent software updates.
Apple’s software releases generally support a variety of older devices that have been replaced by newer models and are no longer sold by the company. For example, iOS 14 supports Iphone 6S models, which were launched in 2015. On average, Apple tends to support devices with major iOS updates for at least 5 years after launch.
It is important to note that Samsung new appointment aims only for security updates, not Android operating system updates Apple generally adds security improvements and new features in a single update, however, occasionally releases updates focused solely on security patches. In November 2020, Apple launched a update focused on fixing major security issues for devices as old as the PiPhone 5S, launched in 2013.
Samsung’s new four-year promise for security updates will only apply to devices released after 2019. All devices released before that are still under Samsung’s previous policy. Previously, Samsung provided updates for its devices for at least two years after the initial launch, so the new announcement effectively doubles the deadline.
How The Verge Samsung says the devices will receive “regular updates”, which is the lowest level of update frequency. The layer is normally reserved only for devices that Samsung no longer supports, but still receives updates, without a fixed schedule. In contrast, Google promises only “at least three years” of security updates for its Pixel phones.
Last year, Samsung promised to provide some of its “three generations” devices with Android updates after the initial launch, but only for its S, N and Z series. Series A, its family of low-end Galaxy devices, receive software updates “until hardware permits,” according to a statement provided to The Verge.