Fairphone, a company that aims to offer devices produced using recycled and sustainable materials ethically, has just released its Android 10 update for a phone released in 2015. If Fairphone can update its 6-year-old phone to Android 10, so can other OEMs, and so can Google.
The Fairphone 2 came out in 2015 running Android 5.0 Lollipop, received several new versions of Android, with the last one being Android 9 a while back. With its 7th birthday approaching, the company is offering the Android 10 beta with a bigger rollout early next year.
That’s not all, either. The company also plans to beta-test an Android 11 update for the 2019 Fairphone 3 and 2020 Fairphone 3 Plus, showing that older phones can still receive several updates.
Don’t get us wrong, Android 10 is over two years old and most manufacturers are busy preparing to release Android 12 for smartphones and tablets. That said, even brand-new phones like Google’s new Pixel 6 are only guaranteed three years of software updates and two more years of security updates. Meaning this phone from 2015 is getting support longer than Google’s latest and greatest.
Our 6-yr-old Fairphone 2 is being upgraded to Android 10. That’s 7 years of software support! An industry first for an Android device! 🙌 Together with the open source community we built the operating system. Proving it is possible to put sustainability at the heart of tech. 🌿 pic.twitter.com/TuUjJWTi5J
— Fairphone (@Fairphone) November 23, 2021
To make matters worse, many other Android manufacturers struggle to offer anything past two major software updates, and phones are often forgotten after 2-4 years. So when a company with big pockets like Samsung, Motorola, LG, or even Google can’t offer updates this long, yet Fairphone can, it makes you wonder what’s going on.
A big part of the problem is hardware and chipset companies like Qualcomm and how hardware plays with new software. What makes Fairphone’s update even more impressive is they’re not getting any help from Qualcomm. Instead, its software team and the help of volunteers put in long hours to ensure older smartphones remain updated, safe, and continue to work long past the expiration dates of other devices.
It’s worth noting that Samsung now supports almost all of its phones with three Android upgrades and four years of security patches, and Google’s latest Pixel 6 will see support longer than Google’s previous devices. But when a small group like Fairphone does this, it raises the bar, and hopefully, other Android makers will take notice and follow suit.
via The Verge