Ausdroid readers will not be surprised to hear that many Android phones and tablets currently sold retail and through mobile carrier channels in Australia have not been patched with recent security updates.
Disappointingly but not surprisingly Google’s Android Developers Blog has reported that only 42 Android device models have a majority of their deployed units running a recent security update released within the last 60 days. Credit should be given to Samsung for having 14 of their Android phones and tablets in this list.
In slightly more positive news Google says that “over 100 device models have a majority of their deployed devices running a security update from the last 90 days”.
Google works with “the broad and diverse Android ecosystem” including handset manufacturers and mobile telecommunications companies to try and make sure that as many Android devices as possible are kept up-to-date with security patches and major Android operating system updates.
According to Motorola Australia representatives I interviewed recently at the launch of their G5 and G5 Plus smartphones, releasing monthly updates would be really hard because phones are often released with firmware covering multiple countries which means that obtaining regulatory and mobile carrier approval across these jurisdictions is time-consuming. Hence Motorola told me they aim to bundle security updates up every 3 months.
Anecdotally from my personal experience, phones and tablets I’ve purchased in the past through Australian mobile carriers Telstra and Optus have always received security updates and major Android OS updates weeks if not months later than people I knew who had bought the same device outright from a consumer electronics retailer or manufacturer.
This list shows the models with a majority of deployed devices running a security update from the last two months:
- BlackBerry: PRIV
- Fujitsu: F-01J
- General Mobile: GM5 Plus d, GM5 Plus, General Mobile 4G Dual,General Mobile 4G
- Gionee: A1
- Google: Pixel XL, Pixel, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 9
- LGE: LG G6, V20, Stylo 2 V, GPAD 7.0 LTE
- Motorola: Moto Z, Moto Z Droid
- Oppo: CPH1613, CPH1605
- Samsung: Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Galaxy S7 Active, Galaxy S6 Active, Galaxy S5 Dual SIM, Galaxy C9 Pro, Galaxy C7, Galaxy J7, Galaxy On7 Pro, Galaxy J2, Galaxy A8, Galaxy Tab S2 9.7
- Sharp: Android One S1, 507SH
- Sony: Xperia XA1, Xperia X
- Vivo: Vivo 1609, Vivo 1601, Vivo Y55
If you have an Android phone or tablet that has a security patch dated within the last 60 or 90 days please let us know by adding it’s model name and number as a comment.