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Samsung commits to 5 years of Android updates... for its enterprise smartphone users at least
Impressive, but it's still no Apple
Samsung today committed to provide its enterprise-edition flagships with half a decade's worth of security updates.
The eligible devices include the enterprise versions of the Galaxy S20 series, the Galaxy S21 series, the Galaxy Note 20 series, the ruggedised Galaxy XCover 5, and the Galaxy Tab Active 3. Other enterprise devices will receive four years of security patches, as is the case with all Samsung's consumer smartphones and tablets released after 2019.
With respect to the cadence, Samsung said patches will be delivered on a monthly and quarterly basis. Based on Samsung's track record, we'd assume it would provide monthly updates for a certain period, before switching to a less demanding quarterly schedule as the device approaches its end-of-life.
As the name implies, this security policy is aimed at corporate clients where the phones are supposed to be administered and deployed as part of an IT fleet.
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The enterprise kit also lets admins control the patching of deployed devices, issuing software updates en masse, and holding back Android version upgrades for those wishing to ensure compatibility with their business apps.
Despite that, Samsung will happily sell their enterprise kit to the general public, with sales available through their business website. Although the enterprise versions of the S20 5G and S20+ 5G are slightly cheaper than their consumer equivalents, both variants of the 128GB Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G retail at the same price of £1,149.
Samsung has, in recent years, outperformed its competition on the update front, exceeding even the Android One programme, which guarantees three years of patches and at least two software version updates in the years following the initial release date.
However, it has fallen short of the standard raised by Apple, which continues to support vintage phones like 2016's iPhone 6s and the iPhone SE. Both will receive iOS 15, which is expected to launch later this year. ®