Samsung commits to deliver three years of Android updates for its phones

Michael Simon, writing for PCWorld:

When Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 20 earlier this month, the biggest surprise wasn’t the faster screen, smoother S Pen, or more powerful processor. It was the promise of three “generations” of Android updates, a first for the company.

Now Samsung is expanding that guarantee to even more phones. While the company originally said the guarantee would only apply to its highest-end “S, N, and Z series devices starting with the S10,” Samsung has added its latest A-series phones to that list, so the Galaxy A51 and A71 will be sure to get Android 13 when it arrives in 2022.

This is very good news for owners of recent Samsung smartphones, and for future customers. When it comes to Android updates, Samsung now has the same promise than Google with its Pixel phones: 3 years of updates. Outside of the cameras, this guarantee is one of Google’s most important selling points when it comes to Pixel phones1, so this announcement from Samsung will definitely matter, especially for the very successful A-series.

From a distance, it seems that Samsung is embracing its commitment to Android — on phones as least — as well as its relationship with Microsoft. Outside of the obvious technical perks of working closely with the two giant American companies, you may wonder: “Why now? Why not last year?”

I believe this commitment to Google Android is a new marketing tool in the Android smartphone world, dominated by Chinese manufacturers, where Huawei, after its “breakup” with Google, is now struggling to convince buyers outside of China that buying a Huawei phones is OK when it comes to future software updates, and availability of apps without access to the Play Store.

Samsung, after seeing its marketshare slowly getting eaten by Chinese companies like Huawei, BBK2, Xiaomi, and others, now has the advantage of being able to tell its customers: “with us, you don’t have to worry,” and I believe this is a tremendous advantage for Samsung outside of China, where Samsung is barely existing anyway.

  1. On the Pixel 4a webpage, it appear as one of the four main key selling points.↩︎

  2. Oppo, OnePlus, Vivo, Realme.↩︎