Samsung’s been crushing it with firmware updates lately, and it doesn’t seem to plan on slowing its pace down in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately — for non-Samsung customers — some Android smartphone manufacturers don’t feel the same way Samsung does. And while the latter company is now offering three major Android OS updates for many of its phones, Motorola’s firmware policy has just folded and crumbled, much like the new Razr (2019) did when faced with the Galaxy Z Flip.
Motorola just took three new phones out of the oven. They run Android 11 and none of them will benefit from more than a single Android OS update — presumably to Android 12. It comes as a bit of a surprise yet feels like deja vu to many Motorola customers.
The company originally intended to cut firmware support last year before it had a change of heart following backlash. But despite Motorola’s efforts to keep fans happy last year, no such efforts will be made for the new Edge 20 trio of smartphones moving forward. And while these phones cover different price points, they’re all subjected to the same one-update policy.
Motorola isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer to cut corners in terms of firmware support. OnePlus adopted a similar support strategy with the Nord series — though it’s now trying to catch up again — and other OEMs such as Sony simply can’t keep up with Samsung’s pace. The only Android smartphone company that stands a chance is Google itself, mainly due to a recent rumor hinting that Google could start offering five Android OS updates for future Pixel phones.
You better hope other people will buy the same Motorola phone as you
Motorola might be able to offer more than one Android OS update for the Edge 20 series, assuming that enough people will buy these phones and the company determines that it’s worth spending time and resources on this endeavor. According to Android Authority citing Motorola, “If [the company] does find that the device has a longer life cycle in the market, [they’ll] obviously review to see whether it needs more OS upgrades.”
In other words, if you’re a Motorola Edge 20 customer, you could get a second Android OS update if enough people buy the same phone model as you and you all continue using these devices for at least a couple of years. Even so, this is not a guarantee, and no new updates will be released after the first if it’s deemed unprofitable, or a waste of time, or whatever Motorola might decide.
And although Motorola isn’t in the same league as Samsung in terms of market influence, resources, and others, it’s difficult not to compare Motorola’s approach to Samsung’s. The latter made efforts to extend support for Android OS firmware updates, and it doesn’t really care about these types of metrics anymore. Almost every Galaxy smartphone, regardless of its price and popularity, is guaranteed to receive at least two Android OS updates and four years of security patches throughout its lifetime. A good number of Galaxy devices, mid-range and high-end, are getting three major Android OS updates.