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OnePlus tells why it won't match Samsung and Google's 7-year phone update policy

The company's President wants you to think of your phone as a sandwich.

Published onFebruary 5, 2024

  • OnePlus President Kinder Liu has opened up about why the company didn’t offer seven years of software updates with the OnePlus 12.
  • Liu thinks such extended update promises by companies like Samsung and Google don’t make much sense if the hardware can’t match up.
  • The executive also expressed concerns about battery degradation with long-term smartphone use.

Right now, in the smartphone arena, only two brands offer the longest software updates for their flagship phones. We’re talking about Samsung and OnePlus, both of which have announced seven years of Android updates for their respective premium phones, the Galaxy S24 series and the Pixel 8 duo. OnePlus comes in second with its four-year update policy that stretches to five years with extended security updates. If you’re wondering why OnePlus didn’t announce a more competitive update cycle for the OnePlus 12 to match strides with Samsung and Google, the company’s President has now revealed the reason.

In an interview with Tom’s Guide, OnePlus’ top boss, Kinder Liu, said, “Simply offering longer software update policies completely misses the point.”

“It’s not just software update policies that are important to the user, it’s the fluency of your phone’s user experience, too,” Liu explained, suggesting that longer software updates don’t necessarily mean much if your device’s hardware can’t perform at the same level.

He equated a smartphone to a sandwich and said, “Some manufacturers are now saying that the filling in their sandwich — their phone’s software — will still be good to eat in seven years’ time. But what they’re not telling you is that the bread in the sandwich, the user experience, might be moldy after four years. Suddenly, a seven-year software update policy doesn’t matter because the rest of your experience with the phone is terrible.”

Liu also explained that OnePlus conducted tests with TÜV SUD for the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R to simulate years of use, and based on these results, the company chose to guarantee a “fast and smooth” performance for four years.

The exec further pointed to the possible battery degradation a phone might face after seven years of use. “When our competitors say their software policy will last seven years, remember that their phone’s battery may not,” he added. My colleague Hadlee Simons shares these worries with Liu and recently wrote about why it might be time for the likes of Samsung to consider using removable batteries. You can read all about it in the aforementioned link.

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