5 more old Samsung phones owned by millions get a surprise and possibly critical update

Old Samsung phones owned by millions get a surprise and possibly critical update
Even though it's recommended to only use phones that get regular security updates, it's not unusual for consumers to hold onto devices past their software support date. Every once in a while, vendors roll out updates to unsupported devices, usually to address critical vulnerabilities, and that's what Samsung seems to be doing these days for a bevy of old phones

Samsung is overdelivering on the software front by Android standards. Some of the best recent Samsung phones will get up to five years of security support and four operating system updates. 

The oldest Galaxy phones that still receive monthly updates are 2019's Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Note10, and early 2020's Galaxy S10 Lite. Devices older than that, such as the Galaxy S10 and 2018's Galaxy Note 9 get quarterly updates, and a bunch of mid-tier devices released between 2018 and 2019 get biannual security updates. So, loosely speaking, the cutoff is 2018, though this mostly only applies to flagships.

If you are still using a device that in smartphone speak is ancient, you are living on the edge. Samsung rolled out an update for the discontinued and unsupported Galaxy S7 and S8 and 2015's Galaxy J7 some days back to fix GPS. A few days later, the Galaxy Note 8 also received a surprise update to help with GPS. 

Dutch site Galaxy Club reports (via SamMobile) that Samsung is now sending out updates to even more old and abandoned phones, including 2015's Galaxy S5 Neo, 2014's Galaxy Alpha, the Galaxy S6 series, and the Galaxy A7 (2018).

No prize for guessing that the update brings fixes for GPS connectivity and stability. The urgency with which the company is deploying updates appears to suggest there might be more to this, such as a security vulnerability that needs to be dealt with quickly.

The new updates don't include the latest security patch and to install the update, users should go to the Settings app and tap Software update.

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As for how many people are actually using these older devices, probably a considerable number, otherwise Samsung wouldn't have felt the need to issue these updates. Per Statista, 40 percent of Android phones are running older operating system versions that are no longer supported. There are over 3 billion active Android devices in the world, meaning 1.2 billion of them are susceptible to attacks, and given Samsung is the top smartphone seller by sales, it can easily be assumed that millions of active Samsung phones are unsupported.

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