(Update: official comment) Samsung sued by consumer watchdog for failing to update its phones

by: Derek ScottJanuary 20, 2016
3K

nexus 6p vs samsung galaxy note 5 aa (15 of 26)

Update, January 20: Samsung Benelux put out an official statement on the law suit brought on by Consumentenbond (via SamMobile):

“At Samsung, we understand that our success depends on consumers’ trust in us, and the products and services that we provide. That is why we have made a number of commitments in recent months to better inform consumers about the status of security issues, and the measures we are taking to address those issues. Data security is a top priority and we work hard every day to ensure that the devices we sell and the information contained on those devices are is safeguarded.”

Original post, January 19: Android is wildly successful, but its massive market share has come at a cost – a broken update model. The problem of Android updates, or lack of thereof, is especially thorny because it’s not very clear who exactly is responsible for ensuring that a particular Android device is up to date. While Google, OEMs, and carriers loosely share the responsibility of keeping devices patched up, a consumer protection group in the Netherlands thinks the OEM in particular should be held to task.

Consumentenbond, an influential non-profit organization looking after the interests of consumers in the Netherlands, is taking Samsung to court over its failure to provide updates in a timely manner.

In a press release, the group says it reached out to Samsung on December 2, but in the absence of a proper response, it “issued injunctive relief proceedings against” the Korean giant.

Updates for two years from the date of purchase.

Consumentenbond considers Samsung is guilty of unfair trade practices, as consumers are not informed upon purchase how long they will receive software updates. The group demands “clear and unambiguous information” on updates and security patches, and wants Samsung to actually release updates for at least two years from the date of purchase.

Consumentenbond says 82% of the Samsung phones it checked were not updated within two years of their introduction. All manufacturers should be held to this high standard, according to the consumer watchdog, which noted that Samsung is the “undisputed leader” of the Dutch phone market.

This last demand seems rather hard to put in practice. Consumentenbond wants Samsung to support every device it sells for two years, regardless of how old it is. In practice, that would force Samsung to ensure updates for four years or even more.

Without doubt, consumers would benefit from an extensive upgrade policy. Security and privacy in particular would be greatly improved. On the other hand, Samsung could argue that the burden is unfair. Assuming legislation or court orders would ever impose such a policy, Samsung could be forced to greatly reduce the number of phones it puts out, while the cost of ensuring long-term support could make devices more expensive.

Android 6.0 marshmallow logo DSC_0126See also: Android 6.0 Marshmallow updates roundup – January 19, 2016137

If this legal action is successful, it could set a precedent across the European Union, where consumer rights are taken very seriously. As an example, Google was forced to implement the “right to be forgotten” across the EU, after the complaint of a Spanish citizen was deferred by Spanish courts to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Do you think manufacturers should be legally forced to ensure updates for two years from purchase?

  • Chris Menon

    Should have an EOL (End Of Life) date set after 18/24 months since it first went on the market. This would easily inform users as to how long it is updated for, helping them with their purchase.

    • Jillxz

      No way. A lot of people keep their phones longer than 18/24 months. I have had mine going on three years and will keep it as long as it works well. End of life should be much longer as most people are keeping their phones longer.

      • I agree. Flagships and high end phones should get 3 years of support. While lesser products 2 years and at the very least: security updates.

        • Todd Simmons

          All Android cellphones no matter how much they cost or what they have should get security and data updates to help protect the users from danger.

      • Karly Johnston

        With the price of phones coming down that is less the case. 18 months is the newer average.

        • Lindle

          That is not true for the Big 5 (Apple, Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC). Their prices have not gone down. I will understand if it is true for Huawei, Asus, Lenovo and the like but not them

          • Karly Johnston

            The S6, M9 and G4 dropped $200 in less than three months. The Z5C sells for $150 less than the Z3C launched at. Aside from Apple, no one is selling at premium pricing.

          • Lindle

            Oh, I was only thinking about the launch price. Thanks

          • mobilemann

            this is one of the major reasons apple resell’s for so much more than their competitors too.

      • Say What??

        I agree. Phones are more expensive than laptops now. It should be more like 3-5 years before they reach EOL. 18-24 months is a little ridiculous.

    • xlynx

      If a company is going to sell a product, it should ensure that product is fit for purpose for its likely period of use. Security updates can be serious defects. That is why security updates should be from date of last sale, not the product launch date.

  • M9876

    Great work. More oems should be dragged to court for their pitiful excuse of a update policy not only samsung

  • Eurofighter

    Yes, all devices should get at least one big Android upgrade and multipile security updates including low end and mid range phones like Samsung J1 or Samsung A3. Don’t say that it can’t run Android 6.0 beacuse Motorola just updated Moto G3 that shares the same chipset as the A3.

    • tomn1ce

      I would prefer 2 big Android upgrade.

  • King_Android

    Yes.

  • Matt

    I’d settle for 3 years from the date that the model goes on sale; one or two major updates & monthly security patches throughout. With an end date set and available to the consumer from purchase. There also needs to be some consistency because at the moment it’s almost down to luck & chance across the board, high end to low end.

    • mobilemann

      then go nexus or iOS or WP. Cause it’s just too many layers for most OEMs; then companies like samsung compound it by offering 50 different variations of the same device.

  • Samsung does a better job than most OEMs, even Motorola.

    • John Doe

      In my experience the answer is NO .. (and that is the last Samsung phone I ever owned..) lol
      And because of it, I will now only buy Nexus phones ..

      • What Samsung phone out of curiosity? I will admit that Samsung sucks at just about everything but their flagships, but they do a good job on those flaghships.

        • John Doe

          Original Samsung Note. I had it for almost 3yrs and only got 1 basic update. I said hell with that and have had my Nexus 5 ever since and received every android update to date (at 6.01).
          I don’t hate Samsung, and understand the cost of having to update each phone model, but if you are going to get into the business of building phones that can be upgraded, then you better have a easy and capable method of upgrading them in a timely manner for a basic time span (2yrs from date of purchase).
          Maybe they should make their UI more modular? keep the OS pure android, and allow their UI to be added after the OS is upgraded each time.
          It’s just an idea, but could be done ..

        • taq

          I can tell you this…I bought the Samsung Galaxy Tab|Pro. Know how many updates We received…ZERO. The tablet is still on 4.4.2. Never again.

          • Bill Connor

            I love my Galaxy Tab pro 8.4, but was disappointed when Samsung announced it would no be giving the device any updates at all! Can we sue Samsung as well? Haha 😉

    • Peter Mulders

      That’s not the point. The reason they did this, is that Samsung doesn’t inform the customer when they purchase the phone on how long it will be updated. Also, Samsung only updates the more expansive phones. Try asking for a 6.0 update on the Galaxy Grand Prime or S4 Mini, for example. If customers knew that, they might not have purchased such handsets in the recent past – they are still available here in the Netherlands.

      • What about Motorola though? They sold their phones on the promise of lots of fast updates.

        The carrier variants of the Moto X 2014 (their FLAGSHIP) got their last software update about 9 months after release. Samsung at least doesn’t do THAT.

        • Милен Стефанов

          Update of carrier variants is different thing… Example- my Note 4 (carrier variant) get updates around 3-4 months after standard, unlocked version… Interesting is that same Note 4, but bought from another carrier in my country is 2 updates behind mine… Who to blame- Samsung, Google or carrier?

          • It’s up to the manufacturer to give the code for the update, then the carrier usually delays. In the case of the Moto X 2014, MOTOROLA decided not to put forth any effort.

            Slow updates are usually the fault of the carrier, but NO updates is the fault of the manufacturer.

          • vangeodee

            But in the end the 2014 Moto X did get updated now did it? As you’ve said, slow updates are usually the fault of the manufacturer.

          • vangeodee

            fault of the *carrier.

          • No, Motorola only worked on the update for the Pure Edition. All the carrier variants are stuck on Lollipop. Those devices were literally supported for 9 months.

    • SonOfKrpton

      Moto X Pure, Moto X Play, Moto X 2014, Moto G3, Moto G3 turbo, all have received 6.0 as of yet. Moto G2 is on the way too, perhaps.

      LG G4 has received 6.0 in some places, and so has LG G3.

      Same goes for HTC M8 and M9.

      Have the Note 5 or S6 edge plus (Samsung’s latest phones) received 6.0 yet?

      • jasonlowr

        What? According to all the sources from Internet? They claimed that my m8 was going to get marshmallow just 24 hours ago and I didn’t hear a thing?

        • Peter Mulders

          Check again! It’s out there, very sure about that – own one myself.

      • The carrier variants of the Moto X 2014 (their FLAGSHIP) got their last software update about 9 months after release.

        The Moto E 2015 got it’s last update about 6 months after release. Not getting 6.0.

        At least Samsung works at the updates and actually releases quality on their flagships. LG’s builds typically are quiet early and buggy. I had a G3 and it couldn’t even browse WiFi with my network configuration (every other device works), and this is 8 months after the release of their terrible Lollipop build.

        The only OEM I think does a half decent job is HTC.

        • vangeodee

          Well, we’re talking about updates here, so your argument fails.

          The quality of updates isn’t the topic, it’s whether or not the device gets updated. And as he’s pointed out, other manufacturers actually update their devices.

          • You didn’t read my entire comment. I mention both quality (LG) and the lack of updates themselves (Motorola).

  • tomn1ce

    All cellphones and tablets should be supported for at least for 2 years of the release date of the device, not purchase date. May be this will make them release less devices a year to help them focus on updates for all of them.

    • xlynx

      You appear to be implying there should be no fixes for major defects found in a product which is being actively marketed and generating profits. I would instead suggest supply is managed so that critical fixes can be provided for a reasonable use life after the product is pulled from stores.

      • tomn1ce

        If the device is defective by all means it’s the responsibility of the OEM to fix the problem. What I meant was if you buy a brand new device that was released 2 years earlier don’t expect the device to get the latest software update. Do I want my device to be supported by the OEM longer than 2 years of course, who wouldn’t? Not even Google support device past 24 months of it been released. If the purchase date would indicate for the OEM to support devices they will be stuck upgrading phones for yeas to come. Many people who do not follow the software upgrade buy devices for the price and the older the device the lower the price get. Does that mean that the OEM should be on the hook for upgrading devices which happen to be 5 years old?

        • xlynx

          I think we basically agree then. There’s a necessity to distinguish between upgrades and fixes in any kind policy discussion. Google are now actually providing 3 years of upgrades from first sale, and 18 months of security fixes from last sale, whichever is later. It’s that later part that I’m speaking for, as I feel Samsung needs to take a lot more accountability for security fixes. I believe it’s unethical to sell computing devices/software which do not receive security fixes for their likely lifecycle. Most buyers — who are non-technical — would reasonably assume the manufacturer handles that.

  • Avieshek Rajkhowa

    Sign me in, how do I extend my support

  • deltatux

    Maybe this would force Samsung to stop selling so many models and only focus on a few that it can actually maintain.

  • Avieshek Rajkhowa

    Chinese OEMs, keep a watchful eye

  • Hans Pedersen

    A first step to get the OHA into the 21 century. Took them long enough!
    The fact that network operators still have a say in what and when to update as well as OEMs is really outdated. Who’s responsible for the inability to streamline the process on the second biggest operating system platform is another question. Google themselves are probably not too keen to get the ultimate responsibility either, as it includes a bunch of license fees to Microsoft.

  • They should do it how Google does it with the Nexus devices. As usual, Google is leading the way.

  • Ruby

    This lawsuit can backfire on consumers. Manufacturers can easily include a clause when they sell the phone stating that there is no guarantee of any updates. Want the latest Android updates? Buy a Nexus. 4 Years? Good luck with that.

    • Me

      Which is why they should unlock the bootloader. That way when they failnto update the phone we can do it ourselves with any flavor of ROM we choose.

      • tomn1ce

        That’s a good idea, after the 2 years OEMs should make available a way to unlock the bootloader. So we can tinker with the phone. Even if the ROMs come at a price.

    • Kent

      There is actually no guarantee that they will anyways. I’m sure, absolutely sure, that in the documentation we “accept” by using their device past the return date there is a clause that says that it is “as is” and they do not guarantee it’ll even work as intended! They only have to guarantee the HARDWARE for 2 years, fault free. Software is … another story… And we all know this and “accept” this, which we shouldn’t. EVERY device is released FAR too early and software has bugs… EVERY device has bugs, even the coveted Apple products….

      • xlynx

        Many jurisdictions have consumer law enforcing products are “fit for purpose”, which should address major defects. When it comes to computing, one might argue in court that critical software vulnerabilities are major defects, and protecting your information from known vulnerabilities is a key requirement. For clarity and public interest, it would be reasonable to write into law some minimum timeframes around critical security updates and support life.

        • Kent

          I totally agree…. And the thing about the fit for purpose is that it can be argued on both sides :(… Can you make phone calls? And run the store? Yes. Then it’s fit for purpose. Is the fact that it crashes a lot, or that battery life is less than 3 hours enough to argue it? No… because it still “works” but of course no judge would throw it out, but i’m just saying it’s arguable…

  • Jonathan Rosado

    About damn time hope they get taken to court here in the U.S. as well.

    • Da_James

      LOL. Too bad you can buy anybody in the U.S. Corruption is called “Lobyism”, and you accept flushing an oil spill over diner. But hey, when cancer is 4$ with a side of french fries, nothing else matters much. Sorry about the blunt criticism, I love the U.S. for a lot of things, but democracy is the least of US citizen’s concerns (Weapons first, food second, sex third, cars fourth, freedom fifth and health sixth if I remember correctly).

  • Roby

    But are you ready to pay noticeably more for your low and mid-range phones so you can have the updates you desire so much?
    You’d also have to make every manufacturer abide by these rules via law to make it work.

    • balcobomber25

      Xiaomi updates MIUI every week, they don’t need to charge noticeable more for their low and mid range devices. When there is a rushed updated and it kills something, it is fixed the next week. No reason the #1 phone manufacturer in the world can’t follow this formula.

      • Roby

        Xiaomi phones are sold unlocked, right?
        So no waiting for carriers to approve updates. That’s a big time saver.
        Also, Samsung has a HUGE range of models that significantly differentiate in hardware. Just take the S5 for example. First there’s the normal one (which can either have an exynos or snapdragon CPU), then the mini, then the active, then you have several LTE variants, then carrier specific variants, then the S5 Neo… Their updates are substantially different.
        Not to mention how Samsung phones tend to have way more hardware and features on board. All of that needs to be adapted for a new OS version.

        Xiaomi does the opposite. They sell a few different phones and even then they try not to differentiate them too much when it comes to hardware to keep costs low. That’s why Samsung can’t follow the same formula, not in this universe.

        • balcobomber25

          Carriers aren’t as big of a hurdle as people make them out to be. That is an excuse that companies use. It is an extra step but not a giant one, carriers will usually approve any updates submitted.

          Xiaomi has multiple models all running different hardware. Just take the Redmi Note 3 for example. Firs there is the normal one which has a Mediatek SoC. Then there is the Pro Model which has a Snapdragon SoC. Then there is the normal Redmi 3 which has a different Snapdragon SoC. Then you have several LTE variants, those that are specific to the Chinese market and those for international sales.

          What is all this “extra hardware” that Samsung phones have? What they do have is extra bloatware built into TouchWhiz. But the hardware itself is all the same, as it is in almost every phone.

          Samsung has 10x the capital and resources that Xiaomi has. There is no excuse for them not to provide timely updates. My wife’s S6 is still waiting for an update to fix several bugs.

          • Roby

            Sigh, I don’t know why I’m even trying since you refuse to comprehend anything. So I’ll make this my last comment and not bother with you anymore.

            Yes, carriers can be hurdles. Be glad you haven’t experienced it.
            Those few Xiaomi models are nothing compared to the dozens upon dozens of different types of phones Samsung produced in the past few years. Literally nothing, do your research.

            The additional differentiating hardware and software features among their phones include: heart rate monitor, RGB sensor for advanced screen adjustments under different light conditions, hall sensor, barometer, humidity sensor, UV sensor, gesture sensor, fingerprint, the powerful S-pen, many accessibility features not found on other phones, private mode, wifi direct, on screen and device gestures, quick charge, wireless charging, download booster, themes, many safety features, ultra power saver mode and so on…
            With the S6 you even trust your phone with your payment info so you absolutely cannot afford security flaws in Samsung pay. Since we’re at security there’s also KNOX, an android within android sandbox environment certified for business and government use.
            So ya, the hardware needs fully functional drivers while the software packages also need to be optimized for new android versions.

            Goodbye now!
            If you still think that phones from both manufacturers are the same hardware or software-wise I suggest you go visit a doctor, in all seriousness.

          • balcobomber25

            I love when people say “do your research” without doing any of their own. It’s always comical. I have experienced carriers and the delay in updates almost always lies with the company issuing them not with the carrier itself.

            Samsung does have more models but they also are a much larger company with more engineers and more capital. They have the resources to support every single model they offer. If a 5 year old startup like Xiaomi can do it, there is no reason the number 1 phone manufacturer in the world can’t. You’re just making excuses for your beloved Samsung.

            As for that additional hardware, Xiaomi phones (and most others) have just as many of those features. You are so incredibly ignorant and uninformed it’s not even funny.

            If you think Samsung is the only phone manufacturer to have such common features as a barometer, fingerprint sensor, UV sensor etc. you need serious help. Most of the features you listed are found in just about every brand of phone. Where did I say they were the same hardware or software wise? That is yet another thing you are making up because you are so insulted that someone is calling out your beloved Samsung, you can’t even think straight.

        • vangeodee

          Well, if they release so many models and can’t update them all, who’s fault is that? Why would they even release dozens of variants for a single device if they can’t afford to support all of them? Basically, they’re tying their own hands by releasing so many models, and they claim that they cannot support so many of them at the same time? I call bullshit on that, it was their fault in the first place, so why should the consumer be on the losing end?

          Updates fall on the shoulders of the manufacturer, if they can’t afford to update dozens upon dozens of different device models, then they should seriously rethink their release plan.

          In fact, Samsung and every other OEM should adopt the Xiaomi/Apple strategy and release as few devices as possible to allow for better software support. It’s baffling why manufacturers choose to release dozens of devices a year and just forget about them the following year.

      • Julian Andres Klode

        Releasing once a week might work for Xiaomi, but for vendors who need to pass the CTS and stuff, it’s likely not enough time.

        • balcobomber25

          It is much easier for an unlocked phone to do that. But there is no reason a company like Samsung can’t have monthly updates at the very least. My wife uses Samsung phones, on average she gets 2-3 updates over the life of the phone. And with how bloated and buggy Touchwhiz is, that is not nearly enough.

          • Julian Andres Klode

            That’s true. Monthly updates should be the minimum.

  • Cristhian Mejia

    For this reason I stopped buying Samsung devices and moved on to Apple.

    • Roby

      Fundamentally different update models.
      If anything you should compare the Nexus update cycle with the iPhone.

      • Scr-U-gle

        A minimum of five years for an iPhone, upto 18 months for a Nexus as stated in Android and googles T&Cs.

        That is the comparison. Still quite shameful when all the drones claim that androne software/hardware is so much better than an iPhone.

        • Roby

          I was referring to how fast both can send out updates since both have control over the OS and the device.
          The software I won’t argue about since it’s about personal preference. I like the freedoms and customizations of Android for example.
          The hardware is much better tho and there shouldn’t be any argument about it. Samsung simply owns the best displays in the world and that is scientifically proven. The rest of the hardware is also much beefier which means you get more for your money. There’s also stuff like wireless charging, quick charging, all kinds of sensors etc.

          • Scr-U-gle

            There is no argument, the most powerful latest android, the note 5 gets its arse handed to it on a plate by the 6s.

            Over saturated screens that have pixel fade measured by the day, yes Samsung are best at that.

            Considering the editor of this site stated that android processors are three years behind Apple, the arguments are done. Fingerprint scanners, done. Security, done.

            If android hard/software was any good, they would be able to update devices for longer than just 18 months, done.

            It’s taken nine years to go from five years behind to just three years, a long way to go yet.

          • Roby

            Ahahahahh xD
            You’re hilarious!
            Plz stop, my stomach hurts!

    • balcobomber25

      For this reason I stopped buying Samsung and moved on to Xiaomi.

  • Jillxz

    I think it is in Google’s place to update all the devices running it’s OS. Microsoft always updates Windows regardless of what manufacturer made the computer and Google should do the same.

    • Guest123

      Google release it to the OEM much earlier, it’s the OEM then the telephone companies that delay them.

    • Narek Bayanduryan

      That is completely different. OEMs don’t heavily modify Windows like they do with Android. Google releases the update in a timely manner. The OEMs are at fault.

    • balcobomber25

      That would be next to impossible seeing as most phone makers take Googles stock OS and heavily modify it. Windows is the same on every single system regardless of manufacturer. If every Android phone ran stock Android they could do that, which they do with all of their Nexus phones.

  • I mean, where the fuck is Marshmallow for my Note5?

  • yankeesusa

    Why not go after htc and lg and motorola? Although this is great for the consumer, why are they just going after 1 company?

    • Da_James

      TL:DR – Biggest first.

  • nebulaoperator

    It’s very unfair practice to leave behind older budget and midrange phone out of proper course of updates. Not only sammy but there are many other OEM too.

  • Pez Smith

    What does the watchdog consider as the required number of updates?
    When does the watchdog consider as the start & cut-off date for these updates?
    Why does the watchdog not go after all the Android OEMs?

    I know Samsung are shit for updates but why pick on them only?

    Why is my Windows XP not getting updates now?
    Why is my old iPod touch not getting the latest iOS?
    :P

    • Luka Bulatović

      Perhaps because it’s the largest sale OEM in most of Europe?
      And no one asked it to be indefinitely but two years from the date of release. That would be fair. Or atleast they should earn the user that they gadne no intention of updating the device.

    • balcobomber25

      Samsung is an easy target because of how large they are. And what they do affects the rest of the industry.

      • David van der Zande

        Yes, they have a marketshare of around 75% in the Netherlands.

    • You can upgrade XP to Windows 10 for free. Your iPod received updates that exceed the watchdog’s demands as reported in this post.

      • Pez Smith

        XP -> W10 is free?
        I hadn’t realised that. I thought only W7 & W8.
        I shall upgrade pronto. Cheers.

    • Karly Johnston

      Because your XP received updates over a decade and your iPod over 3yrs.

    • The Great One

      1. No required updates but as long as they are able to improve it then by all means small patches matter akin to games and software on your PC.
      2. From date of device release. Cut off would be 2, 3 or more years.
      3. Considerably it will but it has deemed Samsung more in particular since seemingly you didn’t read that it is concerned that Samsung is the quote “the “undisputed leader” of the Dutch phone market.”

      – Your XP has been getting updates since 2001 until 2014. Thats 10 years of support from Microsoft. The Watchdog here is only asking for 2.
      – The 1st Ipod was released on 2007. The last update which was 3.1.3 was released 3 years AFTER the device was first released. Pretty much on par with the watchdog’s requirements.

      Your move fanboy.

      • Pez Smith

        I’m a fanboy because I said Samsung are shit with updates?
        :)
        Yeah, I do have an iPod Touch but doesn’t make me a fanboy.

    • Pez Smith

      Btw, I only asked these questions only to try and get clarification.

      I think all Android OEMs are shit with this regard.
      At the minimum they should be forced to do security patches for 5 years.

    • Scr-U-gle

      Why would you pursue the 600 odd OEMs without having won one case yet.

      Get the first our of the way then go for the rest after.

  • Emer Shovlin

    All android phones should get updates regardless of how old they are as ios updates all iphones and samsung do keep people waiting a long time for an update if i have a nexus i get updates sraight away it take others too long to bring out software updates and then only the high spec or newer phones get the updates

  • Kalavere

    I root, I really couldn’t care less.

    • MikePlus

      You shouldn’t have to root to get a software update.

      • Kalavere

        No, you shouldn’t. But that wasn’t my point

  • Ichibanmugen

    Day of purchase or day of release?

    If it is day of purchase it’s a bit ridiculous. If it is the day of release I say do it for 3 years not just 2.

    Anyway I know this will never happen. Samsung or any other OEM would rather release a new device than updating existing ones as there is no revenue from updating. This a double edged sword though. When consumers are more wary of this they’ll lose trust in a brand.

    • xlynx

      Providing fixes, but not new features from last sale date would actually address all these concerns.

  • balcobomber25

    With Xiaomi I get updates every Friday. With Meizu I get them every two weeks.

    • jasonlowr

      Hmm. Guess my sister’s phone is not a xiaomi, because her phone never gets update that often, its a mixiao afterall?

    • Karly Johnston

      Your updates locked the bootloader.

      • balcobomber25

        Nope, already got my unlock code.

      • skyelm

        but that is not a problem. they are talking about updates not bootloaders, please stay on topic

  • John Doe

    I agree, OEM’s and Carriers have to allow updates for 2yrs of purchase date of phone/package.
    It is not the users fault that OEM phones are still available for purchase 2+yrs after the phone was released. If they need to
    warn carriers that their phones have an expiry date, then they should, this way they will know the length of support they will
    need to deal with..

    I think that is a little unfair to expect an OEM to support an expired phone .. 2yrs from day of purchase I totally get (with all Google Security updates) as most contracts these days are maxed at 2yrs, but anything older than that I say is unfair (based on an expiry date).

    Also the OS and Hardware might not be compatible thing’y (and I don’t mean the OS supports figure scanning, but the hardware does not so you do not upgrade the phone ..). Almost all phones these days will support the new OS’s versions, so their excuse in saying that a 2yr old phone will not support a newer OS is just crap!
    All low end phones should be made to run Android One, as I do understand that low end phones do tend to have bad specs ..

    One last thing is OS roll out dates. I do not want to see OEM’s hold back OS updates so they do not have to roll them out to phones about to expire. If Google rolls out a new OS on Nov 1st, and your phone still has 2 months left before it’s 2yr term, then that phone should be included in the new OS update!.

    Let’s be just about this, yet firm on what we want, and get ALL OEM and Carriers on board.

  • Jim

    I doubt this will make a difference but I’m glad something is pointing out this pathetic excuse for “timely monthly updates” Samsung was talking about. Last security update I got was in November. If they can’t keep up they should stop making so many phones and quit blaming it on Google, Android and the chip set that “won’t run that version of Android” I mean Motorola has marshmallow on their lower end phones. If it’s a burden maybe they shouldn’t be selling phones

    • Scr-U-gle

      It is part of androids T&Cs written by Google, not Samsung.

      Samsung are following googles rules, which clearly state upto 18 months.

      You are being screwed by Scr-U-gle.

      • Jim

        Yeah maybe but its delayed because Samsung chooses to put their skin on top of android and then pointing the finger at somebody else for not being able to get updates out faster. It doesn’t take nexus devices 6 months to a year to get the latest version of android. By the time Samsung gets around to updating phones its already moved onto its next flagship and forgetting about all their other phones

        • Scr-U-gle

          Many Google devices are left behind and many still get updates late.

          There are three issues for android users, googles 18 month policy, carrier restriction (googles fault again, they allowed them to restrict software for market access), and manufacturers (again googles fault, they allow them to make custom changes).

          The fact is because Apple are end to end and do not allow carriers to interfere, they offer products that are supported for at least five years on time.

          The only way Google could do anything like this is to mimic Apples business model, but the carriers will always have their input due to desperate negotiations by Google when they realised they were 15 years behind.

  • Marco Lorenzo

    “Consumentenbond wants Samsung to support every device it sells for two years, regardless of how old it is. In practice, that would force Samsung to ensure updates for four years or even more.”

    Can someone explain this to me? What do they mean “regardless of how old it is”? If they want Samsung to support a device for 2 years since its introduction, then the age of the phone needs to be within 2 years. How did it become 4 years?

  • I agree. If not new Android versions, at least Android security updates.

  • Daggett Beaver

    Don’t be ridiculous. Every company has its own update, support, and end-of-life policy, and they often make ad-hoc exceptions if the market demands it. No court or government should force a standard policy on any company. If you don’t like the company’s update policies, don’t buy their products.

    • Kent

      Welcome to Europe.

      If you got a car, and they stopped making parts for it 3 weeks after it’s released or purchased, that’s a lawsuit… Why is THIS any different? It isn’t. You’re buying a product in hope that it continues to function well, get security patches, and be up to date. That’s why you pay the big bucks… Right? Spanish brand Roca makes parts for EVERY smart toilet, smart everything, and everything they manufacture for EIGHT YEARS past the EOL. Yes, they’ll stop MAKING the thing, but they will support it for 8 years!

      • xlynx

        It’s the same concept, but timeframes should vary depending on the product category. You might reasonably expect a car to last 20 years and a phone to last 5 years.

        • Kent

          I think 5 years is too much for a phone. I think it would be awesome, and then new phones wouldn’t come out every year from these big companies because they’d have to STILL have to support, for example, the Galaxy Note (the original one) which was released in Oct. 2011. I don’t see them updating it. We’re in a huge spec race now, hopefully, when it dies down (like in the laptop community) it’ll be slower, but much more attention to details like build and software rather than faster and faster and faster processors.

    • xlynx

      Comments like this really need a distinction between major OS upgrades (providing new features) and security updates (fixing serious defects). I’m of the opinion OS updates should not be mandated but critical security updates should.

  • John Kats

    Lets hope they will win and make the OEMs lighten their UI so they can release updates more often!

  • kk

    I have the same problem, samsung galaxy s5 mini in my region has not received lollipop yet. Im furious

    • Kent

      My galaxy tab pro 8.4 is stuck on 4.4….. Enough said….

  • John Mueller

    I’m switching over to Apple soon as I can. Can’t believe I’m saying this.
    It’s all because of Android updates. Apple does it the correct way.

    • xlynx

      Apple and Google.

      • Julian Andres Klode

        And Cyanogen, Inc. so far. Or well, relatively close.

    • tomn1ce

      Apple may do it quick but don’t hold onto an iphone for more than 2 years. I hear updates to old harwdware bugs 🐛 down the iphone.

  • Karly Johnston

    If this becomes law Samsung will be producing far fewer models.

  • Arkham Knight

    My Sprint S5 is still on 5.0

  • AlavI

    Day of purchase is a stupid proposition. Two year update support from the day a product hits the market is much more reasonable. I think the industry absolutely needs such legislation, I have used three Samsung smartphones and they’ve had very little support in terms of software. I’ve always believed that long term update plans can even be used as advertising but that never happened.

    • xlynx

      Google has made security commitments around first sale (3 years) and last sale (18 months), whichever is later. This seems reasonable to me. For major OS updates, it is indeed from first sale.

  • casualsuede

    I guess the question is whether an OEM owes the customer a software update, other than a update for security issues. When you buy a device is there an obligation for the oem to constantly update a device when it is not broken in the first place?

  • Scr-U-gle

    The real issue is Scr-U-gle, Similarsung are just keeping within Scr-U-gles T&Cs which clearly state ‘UPTO 18 months of software support’, not 18 months, but upto.

    Apple support is four years for iPad 1 and iPhone 4 and earlier. iPad 2/iPhone 4s and newer, at least five years, possibly more.

    Did I hear you ask why does a Similarsung phone cost more than an iPhone but you need three S6’s to get the same service levels as an iPhone. All while having to wait around six months for a Similarsung update to arrive!

    Who else do this, well it is all android devices, even Nexus devices are often late to update and are supported for just 18 months.

    That’s what I call a con trick, they will tell you ‘it’s the same as an iPhone’ but forget to tell you will need to buy three while the iPhone lasts at least three years longer with on-time full software support.

    You are being screwed by Scr-U-gle!

  • Eric Stealth

    “Flagship”, Developer and Unlocked Edition Android phones should be supported for at least 2-3 years MINIMUM. Google should play a more intensive role in enforcing such updates to OEMs and not leaving it up to phone carriers who often doesn’t give a hoot if the phone gets an update or not.

    • tomn1ce

      How could Google enforce updates on OEMs for 2-3 years when they themself only support their devices for 18 months? It would be nice, but its not going to happen.

      • LastKings31

        Google is still supporting the N5. That came out more then 18 months ago. So that’s not true they do support their devices as long as the can

        • Ichigo Uzumaki

          If they make that a trend that will be good for the Nexus users. I remember Google making a statement that they will be supporting devices for 18 months. People were really upset back in the G-Nexus days when it didn’t get Kitkat.

  • Avieshek Rajkhowa

    Still having an iPhone 4s with the latest iOS 9 release.

  • Luka Bulatović

    So security. However nothing about software updates… Really nice, Samsung.

  • Stephen

    I think the trouble is phone manufacturers release so many different models and I can understand why they do to make money obviously but they shouldn’t keep releasing loads of phones if they can’t be bothered to make updates available for them all and instead just make excuses about costs and other things its pushing consumer loyalty to the limit and like other people have already said if phones like the moto g3 can be updated to android marshmallow then surely other phones can be to but the phone manufacturers don’t want to be bothered and would rather just keep releasing more new models which will probably end up in the same cycle I think they should support the flagship to mid range models at least for 2-3 years as you pay a lot of money for them usually I know there are issues with the networks to but something should be done to find a way around it

  • abazigal

    I can see a case for expensive flagship phones, but is it really reasonable to expect that a cheap discount-bin phone be kept updated constantly?

    • pseudo

      It should get what it can run without being awful. Maybe force them to cut down on the mountain of nigh identical phones.

  • Amogh Padhye

    If you want software updates go for nexus

  • bips

    not at all. why only for phone? look out open your eyes. how many product sold in market then phone and what they are doing after sales? Phone company is doing favor by updating there software.

  • Cami007

    2 years is fair, as the article says, samsung produce a ton of phone in different price spectrum, yet the are very slow when it comes to updating their device, not only slow very little consistency between devices even on the same models, it is ridiculous.

  • Zairul Reidwan R

    If updates are pretty much what a customer need, they could take a leap of faith and stick to custom ROM. Then again people always wanted the simplest way and complaint when their device is no longer being updated. TouchWiz kind of suck anyway except the one runs on latest flagship (S6 onward).

    • balcobomber25

      TouchWhiz even sucks on the S6. My wife has one it’s one of the worst optimized UI’s I have ever used.

  • GTIguy

    I would take 24 months and be happy with it. My 2014 Moto X on Verizon was EOL’d in less than a year. Because of this I will never buy another Moto device. They updated the non carrier models but failed on the carrier’s versions. Obviously the carriers have something to do with it but I am holding Moto responsible for this one. Less than 1 year of support is irresponsible to your customers and frankly just a slap in the face.

    I understand the argument that some people keep their devices far longer than 2 years but with the evolution of hardware and chipsets it seems a little unreasonable to continue to support for more than 2 years.

    “Timely” needs to be added to this. These updates should happen within a certain amount of time from the official OS release. I wouldn’t want to be on Kit-Kat and update to Lollipop if Marshmallow has already been released. These need to be updated to the latest OS versions in a timely manner.

    There needs to be guaranteed, timely, update support for 24 months.

  • Renascienza

    Sure, Samsung… Someone else have guilt to you never update your phones. Even if all the rest of the market does.

    Not related with its intento to keep old users buying new phones.

  • SEBA

    It’s not only the phones. How about $3000 tvs and tablets? Same issues, once you buy it, you are stuck with it. They should learn from apple. Maybe they don’t have the greatest phones but they definitely take care of their customers.

  • LastKings31

    This should be applied for other carriers as well. Got my G4 about 6 months ago and have only gotten 1 security update and that’s it.

  • Mahrenballz

    I’m definitely not just trying to defend Samsung (especially since this is most likely my last Samsung device now that they’re blatantly trying to copy CrApple and doing away with expandable storage and removable batteries), but it’s basically a catch 22 no matter how you look at it. I can understand security patches and updates for crippled devices being mandatory, but forcing OEM’s to release updates for a specific amount of time will only wind up costing the consumer in the end. It’ll ultimately mean fewer devices for consumers to choose from which some might see as a good thing, but less choice equal more control for the manufacturers and in case you’ve forgotten what that’s like just take a look at CrApple because that’s practically their motto! It just seems like the majority of people get all bent just because they don’t have the “latest and greatest” update that’s supposed to be coming out, and imo that’s not a good enough reason to risk losing choices and giving these OEM’s an excuse to become even more like CrApple!! Android is awesome because you DO have a choice but the more people that demand having their hands held… the more like CrApple it’ll wind up becoming.

    • abazigal

      I think the problem then comes when having more choices doesn’t mean getting more of what the consumer wants. If there are 100 different Android handsets on the market, and none of them are ever getting updated, where’s the choice for a consumer who wants a phone that he knows will be updated on a timely basis? It won’t matter if there are 1000 variants, the end buyer still isn’t getting what he wants at the end of the day.

      You make control sound like a bad thing. Look at what Apple’s tight control over their ecosystem has brought. A profitable and secure app store. Timely updates. Tight-knit integration between hardware and software. A thriving accessory market.

      Apple may have only 1 or 2 choices for their users, when it is a choice that meets their needs well, suddenly, the other choices don’t really matter. At the end of the day, I would rather have 1 great choice than several crappy ones.

  • Mo Bone

    This problem exists for almost all Samsung products, not just smart phones.

  • mamoulian

    Samsung’s statement doesn’t address the complaint at all!

  • joan

    Im agreed Samsung should provived new androind versions updates for their phones even if they to reduce the amount of phones selling. I have a last model S6 edge which it is nothing cheap and expensive. It is much incredible it did not have an upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow yet. Since this version is been rolling from last year now. How come they are selling phones so expensive with high end like Apple and not giving the support deserve it.

  • Dragi Matic

    Samsung are bastards. Since I’ve purchased my Note 10.1 2014 edition, I haven’t received 1 single system update – still running on Kit Kat 4.4.1. Absolutely useless. No Samsung device ever again for me. On the other hand my Nexus 4 and One +1 get regular updates every 3-4 months. ….”further support would make their devices more expensive.” Wtf? They are already hugely overpriced. I can’t believe some manufacturers still get away with such a huge profit margins!

  • Shane Arnett

    Be nice to file suit for ruining phones with updates that don’t work. Sign me up!

  • pyro777

    No update is better than forced updates. Every fucking time those jackasses decides to force an update it happens instantly with no way of preventing or canceling it (without bricking your phone) which then proceeds to cause you to loose any ringtones you liked that came with the phone, causes most of your apps to break, completely ruins the interphase, and make me pray every last dev working for them would die asap so they can never make another update again It’s not enough for them to make the update THEY FORCE IT ON THOSE WHO DONT EVEN WANT IT.

  • Mark Ash

    They should have to support them for 4 or 5 years. This current policy of forcing us to buy a new $700 phone every year or two is unfair.

    My wife and I bought 2 brand new Samsung Note 3’s 2 years ago, shortly after they came out. Less than 2 years later (we hadn’t even finished paying the 2 year contract off), they quit updating it and left us stranded on an incredibly buggy 5.00 release of Android.

    There’s no reason for that. Even now, our Note 3’s have better specs and are faster and nicer than 99% of the phones on earth.

    If there automotive industry tried this, be they’d be hung. We need similar consumer protections in the electronics industry.

    The cell phone industry already has the highest profit margin of any product ever produced with the exception of U.S. pharmaceuticals. I have no problem whatever with making them cut into that a little to give us better support for our phones.