Vivo’s upcoming X-series flagship phones will receive three years of Android OS upgrades and security updates, the company announced today. The policy will come into force for phones launched after July 2021 in Europe, Australia, and India.
“We are making a promise to our customers that they will be able to enjoy a premium smartphone experience for an extended period and continue to benefit from the latest software features,” Vivo’s CTO and senior vice president Yujian Shi said in a statement.
With today’s announcement, Vivo is joining a small but growing group of Android manufacturers promising three years of OS updates for their flagship smartphones. Google has long had a similar policy for its Pixel phones. Last year, Samsung announced a “three generation” OS policy covering some Galaxy devices, joined by HMD in April with a promise of two years of Android OS updates and three years of security updates on its new X-series phones. Even LG said it would offer three years of Android OS updates the same week it announced it was exiting the smartphone business. This year, Samsung added that select devices would also get an additional year of security updates, for a total of four years of support.
“A premium smartphone experience for an extended period”
Three years of OS updates is a big improvement over the two years that’s previously been the standard for most Android manufacturers, but in the future this could extend to as much as four years. Last December, Google and chip manufacturer Qualcomm announced they were working to make it easier for manufacturers to offer as much as four generations of Android OS and security updates, starting with devices equipped with Qualcomm’s latest flagship processor, the Snapdragon 888.
Vivo’s new policy puts it ahead of fellow BBK Electronics smartphone brands OnePlus and Oppo. As of 2018, OnePlus’s official policy has been to offer two years of Android version upgrades and three years of security updates. Meanwhile, the most recent statement we could find from Oppo (via AusDroid) says the company offers two years of security updates, and that it’s general policy is to offer two generations of Android OS updates. Today’s announcement will undoubtedly create pressure on Oppo and OnePlus to follow Vivo’s example.
These figures pale in comparison to Apple’s update history. Last year it released the latest version of iOS, version 14, on devices as old as 2015’s iPhone 6S, the fifth major update to have come to the phone.