Xiaomi commits to three major Android OS updates on select devices but there’s a catch

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Updated: September 09, 2021 4:26 PM

Previously, this was limited to two major Android updates.

Xiaomi, Samsung, Google, Vivo, Nokia, AndroidThere's an ongoing debate around the world that OEMs should do even more. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Xiaomi’s next global hardware event is set for September 14. It is expected to take the wraps off the Mi 11T series. There could be other surprises. Ahead of D-day, Xiaomi has made another announcement and a big one at that. Like Samsung and Google (and OnePlus and Vivo and HMD Global), Xiaomi will also offer three major Android OS updates (and four years of security patches) for select devices. Previously, this was limited to two major Android updates.

There is a catch though. For now, this extended software support will be limited to the upcoming Mi 11T series only with the company “currently evaluating the possibility of bringing the extended Android system and security upgrades services to more Xiaomi devices.” There is no word or clarity on if (and when) existing and future Xiaomi devices, including those under its Redmi (and Poco) portfolio will get the same level of software support.

“With the continuous improvement made to smartphone hardware, the life cycle of a smartphone is gradually lengthening, meaning users aren’t required to replace their smartphones as frequently,” Xiaomi’s head of Product & Technology said, adding that upon receiving extended support, “users’ can choose to use their current devices for a longer period, and enjoy the latest features along with it.”

Also Read | Samsung, like Google, will offer three major Android updates for select devices; check full list

This is a strategy somewhat similar to what HMD Global is doing with its Nokia X-series phones and other select models. Vivo takes this a notch higher by roping all upcoming premium X-Series models launched after July 2021 in its extended support cycle.

Samsung rules the roost when it comes to supporting the widest range of Galaxy smartphones and tablets with three years of Android OS updates. It is interesting to see Samsung extending software support to even its mid-range Galaxy A line-up of phones and not limiting it to its top-of-the-line products.

That said, there’s an ongoing debate around the world that OEMs should do even more. The European Union has proposed that all companies must offer up to five years of security updates for their devices. That’s not to say that this is not happening already. Apple offers an upwards of four years of major updates, at least, to all its iPhones. iOS 15, which is the latest version of iOS expected to be rolled out of beta in the coming weeks, is being offered to iPhones as old as the iPhone 6s.

Also Read | iOS 15 public beta first look: Where Apple tries to bring back focus to your life

For what it’s worth, companies like Samsung are upping their game when it comes to software and it is nice to see others follow. Hopefully, Xiaomi will go on to offer little more clarity on all this soon. With it being the number one smartphone brand in markets like India, expectations are always sky-high from the company.

We still don’t know if Xiaomi will launch the Mi 11T series in India, but be sure to watch this space for our full coverage on all Mi 11T and Mi 11T Pro announcements in the days to come.

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