Google Finally Addresses Android Update Disparity


Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, revealed during his recent testimony why some Android phones receive timely security updates while others don’t. Surprising details about what goes on behind the scenes of the Big G’s operations are being revealed by the continuing legal battle between Google and the US antitrust agency. In simpler words, the antitrust investigations against the Mountain View behemoth expanded to include its primary product a few years ago. Remember that Android, which powers over 80% of phones worldwide, has long defaulted to Google search for years? However, a 2018 antitrust fine from the European Union forced the Mountain View behemoth to give customers alternative options.

Pichai claims that Google provides manufacturers with financial incentives to quickly upgrade their smartphones. Manufacturers who offer and maintain Android devices up to date with the newer security updates actually receive more income from Google services compared to those who don’t. As a result, a smartphone manufacturer’s profit margin from integrating Google goods on the device is correlated with how frequently the device receives security patch updates. Pichai said that since it costs a lot to build new products, some OEMs would rather not improve their lineup or make concessions.

Android Users Upgrade Their Phones More Often Than iOS Users

Though we were aware that Google requires two years of upgrades for each Android smartphone and actively pushes manufacturers to provide longer-term support, we were unaware that there were monetary benefits as well. The things explained by Pichai may be the reason why Samsung has the best policy when it comes to Android upgrades, while other firms only follow the bare minimum. It’s no accident that Samsung distributes upgrades for its Pixel smartphones before Google does, given its large user base. However, for manufacturers with smaller user bases, the game might not be worth playing.

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Thanks to “The Verge