You have to feel for phone manufacturers these days, not only do they have to create compelling pieces of hardware to entice people to buy, they also need the software too. As we’ve seen on this blog, phone updates can be a very thorny issue. Consumers want the latest Android updates in a speedy fashion and if there are delays, boy do the public let you know.
It’s obviously in a manufacturer’s best interest to provide timely updates and to support a phone for good length of time. However, how long should a phone be supported? Some low-entry phones only receive minimal updates before being abandoned, whereas the flagships normally do see support for a longer period.
But the point is whenever you buy a phone, not only from Sony, but also other manufacturers, you have no idea how long it will be supported for. Interestingly, HTC America recently went on record to “support all new North America flagship devices going forward with all major Android updates for 2 years after their release date”.
HTC has been under fire for not giving the latest update its older devices beyond Android 4.2 such as the HTC One X and One X+. So their latest stance is commendable. We would love to see Sony Mobile giving similar assurances, as right now the situation is extremely opaque. There is an understanding that if you buy the latest Xperia Z series you’ll most likely updates for at least 18 months, but this is not in writing.
Software updates are a critical factor when it comes to consumer purchases, so we really do hope that as time goes on, Sony Mobile will be more transparent on just how long that phone you buy will be supported for.
Is this something you would like to see? Would knowing the support lifetime of a particular handset affect your buying decisions? Would greater transparency give you trust in the manufacturer? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.