Hey Google, the Pixel costs as much as an iPhone, so why doesn't it get 4 years of software updates?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

Let's suppose that in a couple of weeks' time I'd have some spare cash in my pocket, something along the lines of $650, and will be looking to buy a new phone at full retail price. Let's also suppose that I'd like to use that phone for at least 2 or 3 years, possibly more.

It won't take long before I narrow my options down to two devices - the iPhone 7, the base 32GB version of which will set me $649, and the Google Pixel, which also comes with 32 gigs right out of the box and also sells for $649.

What do I get for my money? OS differences, ecosystem, specs, and design aside, which phone will be a better investment in the long run? I know for a fact that Apple will keep my device up-to-date for around 4 years, ensuring that I receive the upcoming iOS iterations with all compatible features shortly after their public releases. This means I wouldn't be missing on any great new features even if I'm a cheapskate and refuse to get a new iPhone for the next couple of years.

How does Google answer that? Well, it is clearly stated right here at the bottom of the page that the Pixel and the Pixel XL will get merely "Two years of OS upgrade from launch" and "Three years of security updates from launch". This raises a giant red flag, at least for me. Truth be told, I suppose the Pixel will be perfectly capable of running Android versions well past this two-year period, but it seems that the Big G wouldn't let me experience its upcoming software if I don't upgrade to a newer device. 


As a customer, this is seriously tipping the scales in a certain direction for me, and let me tell you, it's definitely not in favor of Google.

This has worked for most Android manufacturers until now, but now that Google has re-entered the race as a mainstream device company, having some extended support for its brand new device lineup would have been a killer feature. Just imagine how nice it would have been if Google's Pixel lineup matched the iPhone in terms of software support - this would have added a whole new level of awesome to a phone that already features zero to none reasons for current Nexus 6P/5X users to upgrade.

Speaking of Nexus users, I would probably be pretty infuriated if a future update of Android only brought lots of appealing software features and functionalities to specific Google-made phones only. "This won't happen," you might say, but just count the Pixel-exclusive features in the upcoming Android 7.1 and put yourself in the shoes of a regular Joe who paid a premium price for last year's Nexus devices. 

I would definitely not be happy, but that's just me.

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172 Comments

1. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

Pixel line will fail.... This is such garbage by Google.

40. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Google will never fail. Android users loves ads, and Google loves giving it to them. From the behind.

47. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Tard 1 and Tard 2.

110. Creep

Posts: 193; Member since: Apr 05, 2016

...says the tard who was in denial about the Note 7 explosions. Sick of your sh!t. You have no room to talk.

141. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Sick of your sh!t of attacking people for no apparent reason and without any evidence. Point out where tedkord was in denial about the Note7 explosions. Prove it! If you can't prove your claim, then you are, as usual, spewing garbage.

174. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

I literally lolled...

67. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

they can never achieve iphone,galaxy and surface brands status.they have destroyed the pixel brand prior pixel phone announcement....they have given consumers the orientation that pixel,nexus etc are 'semi-cheap' brands,unlike microsoft that made surface and hololens a high end brand.they should take a cue from microsoft's success.they were able to break into top brands after successful research on what people want.Google should find a solution to her ADHD.

90. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2124; Member since: May 29, 2014

Microsoft's success?? Dude, their market share is at a crippling all time low in mobile. And while Surface tablets are doing ok, they'll never make it in the smartphone division. The only thing Google can learn from Microsoft is how to bully and litigate. Consumers have wisely rejected Windows for well over a decade now. The Pixel brand doesn't come off as "semi-cheap" at all. I don't what launch you watched, but I certainly didn't get the impression of "semi-cheap". This is why I don't like fanboys. Always have to put other products down to make their favorites look good.

99. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Quote: "This is why I don't like fanboys." It depends on how you look at it. I guess being a fanboy isn't bad. However, there are sensible and delusional fanboys. You could be more specific, as the term "fanboy" is a broad. Just my two cents.

105. Master_Oogway

Posts: 104; Member since: Oct 06, 2016

Both phones are great and both phones are ridiculously overpriced....

114. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Martineverest so basically google already made pixel phone before? pixel is not nexus. moron!

81. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

LOL!!!

101. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

PIXEL LINE will fail. Google will be just fine

156. heyorovka

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 06, 2016

Pixel is a fail at this price. If it is 650 USD, then it will be 650 euro in Europe or more, which is horrible compared to the competition. I don't know why Google needed a premium brand, the Nexus was more recognizable, much affordable solution. They need aggressive marketing for this.

50. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I wouldn't call it 'garbage'... Though, I'd definitely call it 'overpriced'... Too overpriced, honestly... Now, one can't exactly compare it with iPhones cause it would be like comparing "Apples to Androids". iPhones have practically ZERO competition... People who prefer an iPhone will ALWAYS get an iPhone, no matter what...! And they just have to bear whatever Apple throws at them... No headphone jack, deal with it... No AMOLED, deal with it... No fast charging, deal with it... Or just get an aftermarket accessory, if that's feasible... Same is not the true with Android... And if Google think it can mirror Apple's pricing & policies then lets just say that... GOOGLE HAS LOST IT...! G'Day!

92. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2124; Member since: May 29, 2014

You're the one that's losing it dude. Seriously. Stop it.

166. Tuxedo

Posts: 356; Member since: Mar 19, 2013

Wrong!!

171. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

First time i see eye to eye with GreenMan.

65. currator

Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 23, 2016

First who ever wrote this just flat out lied about the fact that you will get all the new features. In fact usually if you have a 4 year old iPhone and do that last update you are missing several features some major compared to the new iPhone as well as the phones run slow which is why Apple has been in court over this several times. Also at this point running 3 plus year old tech minus processor and maybe the cameras the phones are the same so really you are over paying for an iPhone right now.

69. KyleRiemen

Posts: 170; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

"with all compatible features shortly after their public releases", this is simply not true. The iPhone 4 did not get Siri, but you could install Siri via Cydia...

113. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Look at the bunch of troll. ios 10 on iPhone 5 and 5S is horrible just horrible battery life is abysal and its lag and freeze like hell. Even on iPhone 6 its affect the battery a lots and create slight lag. So 2 years is the sweet spot after thats update break up your phone. ( as long as you get security update for a third year its good ) but hey what can i say... article written by an apple lover give those result usually.

130. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

^^^ Right. I'll consider updates for 4 years old Android devices, as long as it doesn't bring major stutters and inconveniences. But that isn't the case, actually.

2. scarface21173

Posts: 647; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Who keeps a phone for 4 yrs these days, not many.

4. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Nice excuse......... but I'd love to see metrics shoeing that people upgrade every year like you do apparently. Too bad that isn't the case.

8. scarface21173

Posts: 647; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

I upgrade every 2 yrs

170. kevkyle

Posts: 104; Member since: Oct 21, 2012

i upgrade every 6 months - sorry, supersmartphone addict here", )

14. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

But yet, why a "2 birds with one stone" article like this? Bash Google and praise Apple to be exact.

29. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Because this is where Google is inferior in every conceivable way. The Apple model is far more consumer friendly when it comes to safety. Security patches go out to ALL phones and tablets compatible. My iPhone 5 has iOS 10, and while it isn't blazing, it's not slow either. That phone is 4 years old lol. My Nexus (6) probably just got it's last OS update, despite it being significantly more powerful and recently released. What's Google's excuse? Surely they can do better than two years, right?

39. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I already know what you are saying, I'm talking about PA here. Also, I'd rather have an iPhone 5 on iOS7 with latest security updates than iOS 10, why? Because speed.

46. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

There's always a different perspective between individuals. All I'm saying is from a consumer investment standpoint, the Pixels are a bad deal. Hell, any flagship that doesn't receive software support is a bad deal.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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