Debate: How many years of software updates should flagship phones get?

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Mariyan Slavov
Mariyan Slavov
Phonearena team
Original poster
• 1y ago

If it were up to me, I would mandate five years of major OS updates on every flagship model. I guarantee that electronic waste will go down, and it will have a much bigger impact than removing stuff from retail boxes... It's just me, though.

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• 1y ago

8 to 10 years.

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• 1y ago

Five is the bare minimum...with Sammy & Apple leading the way...Google needs to match this ASAP.

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• 1y ago
↵donoz said:

Five is the bare minimum...with Sammy & Apple leading the way...Google needs to match this ASAP.

Staring with the pixel 6a Google is providing at least 3 years of major Android versions and at least 5 years of security updates.

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• 1y ago

I agree that a minimum of five years is possible, but I also think the carriers are having a say in this as well. Have you noticed how Samsung said they'll give three years of updates on some of their newer devices and then now both at&t and Verizon are doing 36 month financing. These carriers would lose so much money because now everyone would be keeping their phones for even longer. They know with apple that they'll always get the ones who always have to buy the newest iphone when it releases every year, so they need to make sure they have something in place to get the android users every couple years or so.

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Mariyan Slavov
Mariyan Slavov
Phonearena team
Original poster
• 1y ago
↵44alexsmith said:

8 to 10 years.

Wow, that's a bit extreme - so many people will lose there jobs (mostly marketing and PR staff, though) :)))

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• 1y ago
↵MariyanSlavov said:

If it were up to me, I would mandate five years of major OS updates on every flagship model. I guarantee that electronic waste will go down, and it will have a much bigger impact than removing stuff from retail boxes... It's just me, though.

There is actually no reason to have a new OS release each year. Both iOS and Android are stable now, with addition of new meaningful features decreasing with each version. We can have OS upgrades similar to Windows. The major versions are spaced 7 to 8 years apart with biannual minor upgrades. We can have a major upgrade every 2-3 years and minor upgrade every quarter. This way users can have new features every quarter and the OEMs can also support the devices for longer(no changes to APIs for major version).

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Mariyan Slavov
Mariyan Slavov
Phonearena team
Original poster
• 1y ago
↵donoz said:

Five is the bare minimum...with Sammy & Apple leading the way...Google needs to match this ASAP.

I think Google has committed to five years on its latest phones, while Samsung is currently doing four.

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Mariyan Slavov
Mariyan Slavov
Phonearena team
Original poster
• 1y ago
↵xxxegoxxx said:

I agree that a minimum of five years is possible, but I also think the carriers are having a say in this as well. Have you noticed how Samsung said they'll give three years of updates on some of their newer devices and then now both at&t and Verizon are doing 36 month financing. These carriers would lose so much money because now everyone would be keeping their phones for even longer. They know with apple that they'll always get the ones who always have to buy the newest iphone when it releases every year, so they need to make sure they have something in place to get the android users every couple years or so.

If people start to hold on to their phones for longer, everyone will start losing money (except for those same people NOT buying new phones) :))

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• 1y ago

I agree with everyone so far. 5 years is good. Though I've never held onto a phone longer than ½ that time, I think that's good for those who are still using the iPhone X/XR, etc. when the 15 is getting ready to drop.

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