Google has posted the end-of-life support period information on its support portal, for the Pixel and Pixel phones. The devices which were launched in October 2016, will not get guaranteed Android version updates after October 2018.
However, the Mountain View company will roll out security updates for the two devices until October 2019.
This isn’t exactly breaking news, but at least now we have concert official information about the same. It is not a surprise, given the company’s poor record of OS update support for its Nexus devices, compared to Apple’s iPhones which enjoy at least 5 years of updates. The iPhone 4S from 2011 got updates until June 2016. Can you name any Android phone which boasts a similar record? Part of the blame has to fall on the chipset manufacturer, to be more precise Qualcomm. Just because it wants to make money by selling new chipsets every year, the SoC maker stops releasing drivers for newer versions of Android. But you still see old devices running on Lineage OS based on Android Nougat.
Other OEMs look up to Google as a role model, and do the same, i.e., no updates after 2 years. So who is to blame here? It is Google’s responsibility to ensure Android devices are updated as long as they have compatible hardware, but it has failed so far.
Pixel and Pixel XL may have the best camera’s and get new OS versions immediately, but if you want to sell a phone at a premium price, which matches the Apple iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, you need to offer the same service, ala years of OS updates to the devices.