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How Long Should A Phone Manufacturer Be Held Accountable For Providing Updates To Their Flagship Dev



  • jamesjames Pennsylvania, USAPosts: 423

    OEMs make plenty of money and they're not losing much by keeping a team of developers working on software updates. As a matter of fact, buyers of top end devices tend to do their research, which is why 1 year software support is not only appropriate, it's imperative when last year's flagship is compared to a newly released competitor. Software updates can make all the difference, especially if next year's hardware turns out to be a failure, and I cite the Snapdragon 810 as an example.
    Competition is the name of the game in business, as there are no monopolies in the smartphone market, which makes every little OEM decision a possible advantage/disadvantage. While I agree one year OS updates and the ensuing security updates would be fine for low-end phones (using specs as a means to determine low to high end devices, rather than pricing); two year OS update support would be sufficient for mid-range phones, with security updates offered for at least 3 years. For flagship phones, however, it's important to find every possible advantage against the competition, especially for the perceived "underdog." ZTE offers a 2 year warranty on the Axon 7, which is a huge selling point for me, and for those using their phone to conduct business and for payment services, it's important to know the OS will be updated and secure for the duration of it's useful life - and without the need to root the system, which can cause security issues.
    I get that the OEMs need to make money, and that selling their hardware is the way they go about it, but OS updates for devices that still meet the performance requirements isn't going to harm the OEM.
    Customer loyalty is critical these days, and an example of that is Apple's incredibly loyal customers. Android devices are at a disadvantage in that regard, as many Android people seem more loyal to Android than to the manufacturer of a specific device. One year Samsung may be the best device, the next year ZTE may take it's spot, so what's going to keep customers coming back? The little things, as opposed to only their new offerings, is going to create customer loyalty. If customers believe the OEM is going the extra mile to keep it's customers happy customers will write glowing reviews and will literally convince others of the value of that OEM, which will translate to revenue and profit, making the cost of longer than normal OS updates and warranties an inconsequential cost to the OEM.

  • louisdlouisd Arguer in Chief United StatesPosts: 1,191 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I voted 2 years, but what I really mean is two major releases.  So, if you release when M is the currently released version, the manufacturer should provide at least N and O, even if that's more than two years out total.

    Oh, and I should add, if the manufacturer hasn't by that point allowed people to unlock the bootloader and made the kernel available, they should at that point allowing the community, if there's interest, to continue development.

  • dnewman007dnewman007 United StatesPosts: 3,663 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I would say razor512 nailed it

  • micahdubosemicahdubose Rock Hill SCPosts: 133

    You shoukd have added, *drops mic*That's pretty much what I was trying to say when it comes down to profit the ONEs will make with customer loyalty over selling hardware. You made a very good point when it cokes to the investment in teams to deploy timely, consistent updates for devices. That can still be done even if they have a plethora of devices. Another interesting thing you said was that our loyalty is to android more so over any specific OEM and if we are, it is because of the little things. Honestly, who wouldn't want a device with Android's nature and apple's quality in one phone? With ZTE shaking things up this year, the future is certainly bright for the Axon 7 and I can't wait to experience it!

  • jamesjames Pennsylvania, USAPosts: 423

    Exactly! Great devices + Great support = Very satisfied and loyal customers. If ZTE can break into the Samsung and Google high end customer base, it can grow it's product line around the world very fast. With the price of it's S7 and G5 competitor, ZTE's Axon 7 will also gain customers who are typically restricted to mid-range devices, and with longer than usually OS support, it can keep most of those customers from switching to other OEMs. I mean, imagine having bought a top end device two and a half years ago, downloading an update, and finding out that your camera works even better than it did when the device was brand new, and that the device is overall more functional. With that kind of support, I'd be damned if I'd switch to another OEM when my device finally met it's glorious death.
    The only real thing separating OEMs is their commitment to the consumer and to their own devices. Each OEM is one decision away from becoming the next Apple.

  • canawlercanawler York, PAPosts: 33

    We pay a heck of a lot of money for these things. I'd like to see 2 years of support for system type updates and 4 years for monthly security patches.

  • davedave Ingolstadt, GermanyPosts: 84

    I actually don't understand why you've written that long answer as you mainly agree with the things I said

    It's not that I'm complaining about it in any way, I'm just wondering

    But on one point I have to disagree.

    You said: I get that the OEMs need to make money, and that selling their hardware is the way they go about it, but OS updates for devices that still meet the performance requirements isn't going to harm the OEM.

    Before that you said:

    Software updates can make all the difference, especially if next year's hardware turns out to be a failure, and I cite the Snapdragon 810 as an example.

    You contradict yourself here. First you say that updates can make all the difference (I guess regarding whether you buy a new phone or not as you name the SD810 disaster) and then that it won't harm the OEM. But that's the point. If your device is still supported you skip generations and that in fact is harming OEMs.

    And once again, they don't make money by being held up high among their customers. This indeed helps to make money in the way you already mentioned but they only make money when you buy stuff. You can't live by being loved, you have to eat and drink as well. But being loved makes life a thousand times better. And this applies to this scenario as well.

    That's why I say: support your devices but only to a certain degree (two years for OS releases, three years for security patches).

  • micahdubosemicahdubose Rock Hill SCPosts: 133

    Very good points. I like how you ended it with the fact that OEMs being one decision away. That's really true. Our patience has been tested with development in tech and favored OEMs and their vision. Reward is with some good software! We sound like broken records but it's so true. I like how you broke things down otherwise. True to a tee!

  • arysynarysyn IllinoisPosts: 1,067

    Hopefully all the updates work. I'm getting frustrated by how some of the updates Microsoft sends to my computers sometimes causes problems that are difficult for me in trying to fix.

  • 2pointdooj2pointdooj Morocco, OujdaPosts: 590 ✭✭✭✭

    They went too far with these updates.

  • jamesjames Pennsylvania, USAPosts: 423

    I wasn't trying to argue with you, only to elaborate on my thoughts.

    There's no contradiction in  what I said, though. If today's phone manages to keep up with an OS update three years from now, then it should be able to get that update. If a phone built next year isn't capable of handling an update three years from now, then it should be left out of the loop. That leaves customers with today's phone a longer lifetime, meaning that if I decide not to upgrade next year, due to what I estimate to be inferior hardware, I'll still be covered for a longer period of time than those who opted to purchase next year's inferior device. In other words, an OEM's decision to go with the latest hardware, even though it might be inferior, shouldn't have a negative impact on long time customers who own devices still capable to running the latest OS.
    In a world of big players with very loyal customer bases, every possible advantage that takes customers away from other OEMs is an opportunity to make money and expand a product line. Longer OS support and updates is a small price to pay for expansion.
    When I read glowing reviews of a business from it's current customers, it certainly gains my attention and lends of air of professionalism to company in question.

  • arysynarysyn IllinoisPosts: 1,067

    Since one of the updates Microsoft sent to my computer, it messed up Microsoft Edge where it nautomatically freezes upon opening at times. I'd be upset if an update to my smartphone caused it to happen on the internet browsers on the smartphone. Unless the issue I'm noticing on my computer is a problem with Microsoft Edge itself. I still suspect an update issue though, and one I don't know which it is causing the problem.

  • jamesjames Pennsylvania, USAPosts: 423

    I don't use Edge on my PC - Firefox is my go-to browser. I honestly can't stand Edge. My phone, however, is a different story. Any link I click automatically opens in Edge, and I've experienced freezing issues with it. It's a huge reason I decided to look into Android phones.

  • I think the point with the Snapdragon 810 example was that updates to your

    existing device during a skipped generation keep you from leaving for some

    other manufacturer who does offer them. The continued software support

    keeps you brand-loyal even if you pass on a particular hardware upgrade.

  • arysynarysyn IllinoisPosts: 1,067

    I'm not a big fan of Edge either. I use Firefox on the Asus computer and have been considering adding it to my Alienware computer, since I like it better than Edge. However, I haven't done that yet, and I'm sort of stuck using Edge for the automated login to my email. If I can find how to get that to work using Firefox, then I'll definitely switch to it on my Alienware computer. On the Asus computer, it has Windows 7, so no edge and no worries about Edge using that computer. I'm sure glad I didn't update the Alienware computer to Windows 10.

  • jamesjames Pennsylvania, USAPosts: 423

    I use the Outlook app in Win 10 for my email - no need to log in, plus I get notifications when I get new email, meaning I don't have to actually open the app unless I see a message I need to respond to immediately. I love Firefox, as it's faster, more reliable, and I can install add-ons like AdBlock Plus. I've moved all my PCs to Win 10, with one partitioned for Win 10 and Ubuntu.

  • arysynarysyn IllinoisPosts: 1,067

    Have you tried AdGuard? I use it on my Alienware, got a version that supports up to 2 pcs, but I haven't installed it beyond my Alienware. I keep meaning to put it on my Asus, but haven't done so yet. I really like AdGuard a lot. Its one of the few decent online software available. Most I've tried are pretty bad.

  • jamesjames Pennsylvania, USAPosts: 423

    No, I haven't needed anything more than AdBlock, yet. Does it work on Edge?

  • arysynarysyn IllinoisPosts: 1,067

    AdGuard works very well for me, though I haven't had much experience using AdBlock, other than on my aunt's computer which seems to work fine too.

  • I think 2 years should be the standard as that is how most plans in the US used to have their contract cycle.

  • Follow the market leader i.e. Apple.

  • jtzmax7jtzmax7 Bridgeport, USAPosts: 1,145

    I think the thing is most of apples updates don't include much and they are all iPhones so apple can easily make the newer os for an older iPhone. Trouble with Android is there are soooooo many phones and choices it would be insanely difficult and expensive for a company like Samsung to update the galaxy core prime 3 years from now when only 14 people still use it

  • jamesjames Pennsylvania, USAPosts: 423

    Google is actually openly discussing building it's very own device for 2017, which would give it total control over the entire device, much like Apple with the iPhone. As long as Google continues to allow a high degree of customization it might just prove itself an iPhone murderer.

  • jtzmax7jtzmax7 Bridgeport, USAPosts: 1,145

    Then it would go to jail

  • jamesjames Pennsylvania, USAPosts: 423

    Let's not think that way - it's just too depressing. Since the Nexus phones aren't jailed, I don't imagine the Google phone will go to jail, either. Plus, Google did say it would continue to work with other OEMs. So, it wouldn't suddenly make it's OS proprietary, but may offer a more tailored version for it's own phones. It'll be interesting to see if Google can pull it off, especially if it's tailored to Tango AR.

  • mobilegeezermobilegeezer Chattanooga, Tennessee AreaPosts: 1,204 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    No problem. Google can afford to pay the $200 for a "get out of jail free" card.

  • fzrrichfzrrich United StatesPosts: 4,257 mod

    I haven't read through all of the replies and didn't vote based on the options but I feel they should update as long as the hardware can support it. Obviously their is a point that a device can not handle the demands of the new software. Still a solid 2-3 years of regular updates is welcome. Most will get a new primary device after that anyway and it slowly becomes obsolete.

This discussion has been closed.