OnePlus is finally addressing the weak point of its phones: their update schedules. The company announced on Friday that the OnePlus 8 series (T, R, Regular and Pro) and all newer flagships will receive three major Android OS updates and four years of security updates. We’re still waiting for details from OnePlus, but on the surface this commitment is consistent Samsung’s update planwhich makes OnePlus tie for the best Android support timeline. Google, the company that makes Android, is now in third place.
OnePlus is in the midst of a major upheaval and the company’s future is not entirely clear. OnePlus has been selling flagship smartphones at surprisingly low prices for years, peaking at $ 670 OnePlus 7 Pro in 2019. Since then, Carl Pei has been co-founder leave the company in October 2020, which ushered in a seemingly significant change in strategy. The 2021 OnePlus 9 Pro was priced at $ 969, basically the same price as a comparable Samsung phone. In January 2021, OnePlus announced that it was merging “some R&D skills“with the Chinese parent company Oppo and in June 2021 the two companies two announced that they merge completely.
According to OnePlus, the new, longer support time is the result of merging the development of OnePlus’ Android skin Oxygen OS with Oppos Android skin Color OS. The two skins are generally geared towards different markets, but it doesn’t sound like the UIs are being merged. OnePlus says, “This is a change you probably won’t even notice, since it’s happening behind the scenes.”
The OnePlus announcement does not specify whether the four-year security updates will be carried out monthly or not. The company currently ships security updates every two to three months, which isn’t great compared to Samsung and Google. We asked OnePlus for clarification and will update this post when we get a response.
The longer support times from OnePlus and Samsung were likely spurred on by Qualcomms Announcement in December that it is extending support for its flagship SoCs to three years with major updates and four years with security updates. Android updates go much smoother If your SoC vendor has update support and Qualcomm has now extended its schedule, we will see OEMs take advantage of the support and pass it on to consumers.
Google has yet to increase its support timeframe, and with three years of operating system and security updates, the company currently ranks third behind Samsung and OnePlus. That’s a pretty sad position for a company that should be the leader in the Android ecosystem, but when the Pixel 6 comes out Google’s “Whitechapel” SoC, Google has no restrictions on how long it can support the phone. The pressure for a longer support time is great. The company may even be able to compete with Apple, which will be updating with iOS 15 for six years.