1. sfsf99's Avatar
    I suppose it all comes down to selling more phones and keeping the premium prices on expensive phones. With computers, we get the same Windows 10 operating system on a $400 special from HSN or QVC as we get on a $2000 computer, and Microsoft will send updates to all of them once a month. The cheaper Android phones on the market, notably from these same shopping networks and others, are still being sold with Android 6.0.1, and I recently have seen one being sold with Kit Kat. Tracfone, and I assume other similar low-end service providers, never updates the operating system on any of the phones it sells. If you buy a new $100 phone with Marshmallow, you are getting an almost 2 years old operating system that will never be updated. Is this a Google policy...that cheaper phones will never be updated even if they are physically capable of running a newer system? Or is it the policy of Samsung, LG, and all the other manufacturers? How much software work does it take to update the OS of a particular phone? You can spend hundreds of dollar on a Samsung or you can spend less than $100 on a Samsung. Couldn't Samsung update the cheaper phone with pretty much the same software that would update their expensive phones that they do update? Thank you.
    09-14-2017 09:22 AM
  2. Rukbat's Avatar
    No, it's probably the policy of the shopping networks to push phones they're stuck with until they're all sold.

    As for Samsung updating the cheaper phones, Windows has a hardware abstraction layer, that makes up the difference between the hardware and the OS, Android doesn't, so each manufacturer has to rewrite stock Android for each of its models. (Then each carrier has to add its bloat.) Rewriting Android isn't cheap, which is why cheap phones rarely ever get one update, while the flagship phones generally get 2. That's still not great (I wouldn't be thinking of updating my Note 3 if I could get Oreo on it), but it's better than never getting an update.
    09-14-2017 11:21 AM
  3. sfsf99's Avatar
    Thanks for your response, Rukbat. After I submitted my question, I googled "Why are Android phones still being sold with old operating systems" and received a number of interesting hits. The most frightening was this article from a couple of years ago:


    I think I'll only be using my Samsung Sky for phone calls, and never for banking or making purchases. But, since I only intended it for emergencies (I still have a landline) I guess I'm O.K. I use my PC for banking and purchases, and I don't see any reason to make myself vulnerable to hacking on more than one device.
    09-14-2017 01:06 PM

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