Samsung wins case that would have forced them to update older phones
If you ask an Android enthusiast which smartphone you should buy they’ll likely suggest one that has a good reputation when it comes to software updates. This means something in the Google Pixel line or it could be one that has a dedicated developer community behind it. Either way, timely and extended software updates is a feature that many of us look for but it’s something that we rarely see these days. A consumer association recently took Samsung to court claiming the company should provide at least 4 years worth of Android updates to their phones, but the court ended up ruling in Samsung’s favor in the matter.
Most OEMs will support their flagship devices for two full years after they have been released. Some companies, including Google, have extended this support period by one year, but only when it comes to security updates. Google has worked to make things easier for Android OEMs to support devices they no longer sell, but it ends up being a poor business decision unless they have data that shows the company is losing sales as a result of it. However, we’re getting to the point where Android is a highly targeted operating system and this means it has become a major target for malware developers.
It makes sense that a consumer association took Samsung to court in an attempt to force the company to support their devices with Android updates for 4 years after release. Samsung feels their 2-year support cycle is good enough and their update frequency is “reasonable” enough too. The case was brought to court in the Netherlands and the court ended up ruling in Samsung’s favor. The court believes the claims made by the association were “inadmissible” since they related to “future acts.”
So for instance, if a severe issue was discovered in the future then Samsung may make the decision to update all of their devices on the market. Not only that, but the court says there may be a case where Samsung isn’t able to update the software due to the nature of the bug and/or the limitations of the hardware. So it would be unfair to hold Samsung liable for something like that.