This is one of the most common questions that manufacturers face from their customers (and tech journalists) is “when will device XYZ be updated to the newest version of Android. Often the answer is waffle and mumbling about working on updates. Today Sony have documented their update policy for all to see and remind them of in future times.
XperiaBlog has managed to get their hands on Sony’s official Android upgrade policy which details their upgrade policy. Premium devices will receive a full two years of support after launch but when it comes to their mid-range devices the news is not as good.
In the usual waffle that we hear from many manufacturers Sony’s “policy” on their mid-range devices stated:
We aim to support all premium range devices with the latest Android updates for two years after the device has launched. We may choose not to upgrade a mid-range or entry-level device if testing does not meet our exacting standards and we feel the hardware isn’t capable of delivering a stable user experience.
Not great news if you own or plan to own a mid-range device but remember that they are not alone on the poor update bandwagon.
Even though the flagships receive two years of support there is no comment on how many Android version updates this includes, or how often security patches are rolled out. It was confirmed that Xperia XA1, Xperia XA1 Ultra, Xperia L1, Xperia XA1 Plus, Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra, Xperia L2, Xperia X Performance, Xperia X, Xperia X Compact, Xperia XZ, Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZs, Xperia XZ1 and the Xperia XZ1 Compact will receive “Meltdown” and “Spectre” security patches.
Unfortunately thus although it is documented in policy now there is little in the way of nitty gritty details. There is no information on how soon security patches are released (“regular”), how many version upgrades you get with each phone nor how they decide which mid-range devices receive updates.
The entire update situation is something that Google have been unable to solve since the inception of Android. They hope to help speed up updates with Project Treble — now we just need to see more manufacturers start to release phones with Oreo installed.
Does this Sony update policy give you any peace of mind or the opposite? Should all manufacturers have to release a specific update policy for all their devices and then somehow be held to it. Until then we can only hold them to it with our wallets.