iPhone may not get as many updates as Google Pixel, Apple says

Google made a big commitment with the Pixel 8 last year with the promise of 7 years of software updates, and now Apple has confirmed that’s more than an iPhone will be guaranteed.

Apple has never had an explicit promise about how many software updates an iPhone will receive. This varied over the years between models, but, until recently, was more than any Android phone. But recently, Apple was forced to provide an official timeline for guaranteed iPhone support, and it’s less than what Google and Samsung are now offering.

As spotted by the people of Android Authority, Apple was required to provide a “defined support period” for the iPhone in a statement of compliance with the UK’s PSTI regulations. As of April 29, the PSTI came into force and imposed new requirements on Internet-connected products, including better passwords and security, as well as public information on the minimum support period for a product specifically regarding security updates.

Apple, for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, has set a defined support period of at least 5 years. This is available in a document published and hosted by Apple. The 5-year support period begins on the “First Ship Date” which, in the case of iPhone 15 Pro Max, is September 22, 2023.

But that’s only the minimum.

Apple may support some devices longer and it very probably will be.

As it stands, a 5-6 year delay seems to be the norm, at least for major updates. With iOS 17 for example, Apple supports all iPhones since the iPhone XS, which will celebrate its 6th anniversary in September. It will be interesting to see whether or not iOS 18 supports the XS, as the going back to the iPhone 6s from 2015. I still get security updates because 9to5Mac highlights.

Regardless, Apple has now explicitly confirmed that Google Pixel and some Samsung Galaxy smartphones now get more guaranteed updates than an iPhone.

Google is promising “at least” 7 years of support on the Pixel 8, 8 Pro and 8a in a policy that appears to be the standard going forward for the line. This policy has been curiously questioned, with some suggesting that Google will not provide full Android OS updates during this entire period, but the company’s language has been very clear on the subject.

Samsung, meanwhile, introduced a 7-year commitment on the Galaxy S24 series earlier this year, but has yet to extend this commitment to other devices. However, other Android manufacturers have not adhered to the same timetable, with OnePlus even suggesting that it would not be able to provide this level of support.

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