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OnePlus doesn't see a need to have 7 years of Android updates for its phones

By Shawn Tan - on 14 Feb 2024, 8:30am

OnePlus doesn't see a need to have 7 years of Android updates for its phones

The OnePlus 12 gets four years of Android updates and five years of security patches, which is lesser than the 7-year software update guarantee offered by Google and Samsung.

The recent global launch of the OnePlus 12 series shone the limelight on the company's software update policy, which pales in comparison with Google and Samsung.

While Google and Samsung offer 7 years of software support for their flagship phones, OnePlus is only offering 4 years of Android updates and 5 years of security patches. This led to some questioning OnePlus' software update policy. 

OnePlus COO and President Kinder Liu revealed the rationale in an interview with Tom's Guide. Using a sandwich as an analogy, Liu says the bread and filling of a sandwich are akin to the user experience and software of a phone respectively.

Liu questioned whether the filling (software) would still be "good to eat in seven years' time" and highlighted the possibility of the bread (user experience) turning mouldy after four years. If the user experience is not optimal after four years, Liu feels a 7-year software update policy "doesn't matter".

Furthermore, he also said that it's unlikely any phone's battery will last that long without a replacement, at which point it probably makes more economical sense to get a new phone altogether.

Liu also backed up his statements by sharing the results of the company's testing with TÜV SUD. Using a variety of stress tests to simulate years of use, OnePlus claims the OnePlus 12 series can still deliver "fast and smooth" performance after four years of use

In addition, Counterpoint Research's findings suggest that the average upgrade cycle for Android phone users is four years. This supports OnePlus' stance on its software support policy.

While OnePlus thinks 7 years of Android updates "completely misses the point," the company cannot ignore the fact that this could become a potential deal breaker for consumers who are looking to use their Android phones beyond the average four-year upgrade cycle and that this could affect the overall value proposition of their phones.

Source: Tom's Guide

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