SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission.

Notifications
    News for you

    Opinion: Xiaomi and co. can’t afford to match Samsung’s Android updates

    Opinion
    By 

    Last updated: March 11th, 2021 at 11:48 UTC+01:00

    The frequency at which Samsung keeps churning out security updates for its devices is getting more impressive on an almost daily basis. Especially at this time of the year, when what's left of its competition in the Android smartphone industry is busy with its first annual product launches.

    From the OnePlus One to the Wii U 11 or whatever the latest Xiaomi thing is called, I've been hearing about these supposed “flagship killers” for years now. But the only two flagship makers with market share and profit margins worth killing for are… well, they're still here, going stronger than ever, for the most part.

    Looking at the last 15 years, Samsung and Apple were the only two companies that enjoyed profit margins well into the double digits (that's actually a gross understatement for Apple). Now, guess which two companies have also been going above and beyond what their rivals were offering on the mobile security and update front?

    Samsung's solution for this race to the bottom? Refuse to play

    Security updates don't sell consumer electronics any more than seatbelts sell cars. But because they're more difficult for a layperson to wrap their head around, they were the first things on the chopping block in the mobile industry's race to the bottom. And given how that rush is far from over, Xiaomi and co. might be yet to even realize that they cannot afford to match Samsung's new update strategy.

    In fact, that might be why Samsung decided to double and triple down on security updates in the first place. But that's a topic for another time. Today's takeaway is that you get what you pay for, and whenever there's talk of flagship killing, you certainly aren't paying for security. Especially since nowhere in the world do manufacturers have a real regulatory imperative; something preventing them from irresponsibly prioritizing profits over customer safety.

    Now, this isn't to say I didn't expect great things after Samsung's blockbuster pledge from last year. After all, promising an extra generation of Android updates to so many consumers was an unprecedented move. But even more seminal is how swiftly and zealously it started coming good on that guarantee.

    By now, we've already reached security update parity between Samsung's flagships and some of its most affordable devices. Even some budget smartphones such as the Galaxy M31s are nowadays keeping up with their flagship brethren in terms of major OS upgrades. Take a look at most self-proclaimed flagship killers from 2019 and you'll see a device running a more outdated OS than what $200 gets you this year, so long as you're buying Samsung.

    Overall, it's certainly not looking like any major Android manufacturer will be giving Samsung a run for its money in the security/update department anytime soon. This is potentially much more concerning than yet another bundle of false promises suggesting flagship-level products are within reach at a fraction of typical flagship prices. But whether Samsung smartphones actually become worse in this new climate is way too premature to discuss right now, considering the rest of the industry seems to be even laxer about this reduction in global competition levels.

    FirmwareOpinion HuaweiSamsung ElectronicsXiaomi

    You might also like

    Apple Vision Pro 2 could use more Samsung tech and be cheaper

    Apple Vision Pro 2 could use more Samsung tech and be cheaper

    Apple's first Vision Pro mixed reality headset may have failed to change the world due to its high price and relatively undercooked feature set. Even so, the Vision Pro seemingly marks the beginning of a new device category for Apple. In other words, it might not be a one-off device but the start of a […]

    • By Mihai Matei
    • 15 hours ago
    Samsung will massively increase its annual investment in Vietnam

    Samsung will massively increase its annual investment in Vietnam

    Samsung Electronics is boosting its investment in Vietnam, its largest smartphone manufacturing hub. Samsung's Chief Financial Officer Park Hark-kyu and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met last week to shake hands on these latest financial agreements. According to state-owned Vietnamese media cited by Korea JoongAng Daily, Samsung Electronics intends to increase its annual investment […]

    • By Mihai Matei
    • 17 hours ago
    Apple’s logo is now a heatsink

    Apple’s logo is now a heatsink

    Apple's latest iPad Pros announced earlier this week must look quite interesting even for Samsung. The new models are the industry's first to use Tandem OLED displays supplied by the Korean tech giant (and LGD) and boast a few other innovations that garnered attention in the media. A few examples are that the new iPad […]

    • By Mihai Matei
    • 3 days ago
    Vivo sold more phones than Samsung in India, but Samsung earned more revenue

    Vivo sold more phones than Samsung in India, but Samsung earned more revenue

    While Samsung's smartphone market share improved in the US in the first quarter of this year, its sales have dropped in India. It sold fewer smartphones nationwide, allowing Vivo and Xiaomi to overtake it. However, there's good news in terms of revenue. The company sold more higher-end phones and earned the most among all smartphone […]

    • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
    • 4 days ago
    The Galaxy experience can be messy for first-time users

    The Galaxy experience can be messy for first-time users

    Some say it's always better to have more options, but it's never as clear-cut as it sounds. This design philosophy doesn't always work, and more importantly, it isn't a magical shortcut that can patch everything up and always lead to a better user experience. On the contrary, if not handled properly, I believe the “more […]

    • By Abhijeet Mishra
    • 5 days ago
    Samsung sells more high-end phones than any other Android rival

    Samsung sells more high-end phones than any other Android rival

    Samsung sells more high-end smartphones than any other Android smartphone brand. Despite reaching its highest-ever smartphone average selling price (ASP) in Q1 2024, it has a lot of catching up with Apple regarding ASP and revenues. Samsung earns 3x more revenue from its smartphones than any other Android OEM. Samsung earns 3x revenue than any […]

    • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
    • 6 days ago