Android 11 Upgrade Report Card: Well, this is awkward


I’ve been closely monitoring how different Android device-makers do with post-sales software support for something like 97 years now, I think — and every year around this time, I brace myself for a brutal discovery.

Here’s the thing: Six months after a major operating system’s release, most phones should be running that current software. I feel like that’s a pretty obvious-seeming and uncontroversial statement to make.

And yet, every year around this time, I start crunching the numbers (and also crunching some crackers, as all that number-crunching can really make a fella famished) — and you know what I find? Almost inevitably, a shockingly large portion of the top-tier, top-dollar Android phones in the land are either still stuck on 18-month-old software or just recently got the update they should have gotten six months earlier.

The last couple cycles, at least, we saw some manner of relative progress and improvement with Android upgrade delivery times, even if the overall results were still pretty dismal. So I had hoped that this year would continue that general trajectory and show us at a minimum some more modest change in the right direction.

Um, yeah — so much for that.

If there’s one trend that shines through the data this year, it’s the same one we’ve seen pretty consistently over time: Android device-makers, on the whole, just aren’t very good at getting out software updates in a reasonably timely and reliable manner — even when it comes to their highest-paying customers. Companies can try to spin the story any way they want, but data doesn’t lie. And this year’s numbers speak volumes.



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