Android claims longevity crown, following Apple iPhone admission

Google is crowing about some Android phones potentially outstripping the iPhone in terms of length of support for operating systems and security updates.

A key Android executive has picked up on an Apple filing to UK regulators stating the minimum length of support for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which suggests Pixel and certain Samsung Galaxy phones will supported for longer.

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The notice of compliance to the new Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) regulations promises a “minimum 5 years from the first supply date” of September 22 2023. That means Apple will support the iPhone 15 Pro Max (and most likely the other devices in the range) until September 2028.

The regulations define the support period is the “minimum length of time, expressed as a period of time with an end date, for which security updates will be provided.”

Google and Samsung are currently promising 7 years of operating system and security updates and the VP of Engineering for Android Security Dave Kleidermacher isn’t about to let it go unnoticed (via Android Authority).

“For years, iPhone was known as having a longer security support lifetime than Android. Yet Apple never actually committed to a minimum support lifetime at purchase,” he wrote on LinkedIn.

“Thanks to the UK government’s PSTI regulation (which I had the pleasure of supporting via multiple testimonies and IoT security standards work) Apple has finally published a purchase-time commitment – 5 years – two years LESS than Android flagships from Google (Pixel) and Samsung.”

“Apple deserves a lot of credit for providing 5+ years of security updates for a long time. But now it’s time to acknowledge iOS is no longer offering the best security lifetimes in the smartphone industry. Android is.”

Of course, Apple is only stating the mimimim number of years it plans to support the iPhone 15 Pro Max, but traditionally it has offered longer. The iPhone XR, for instance, was released on September 12 2018 and is currently approaching six full years of support. If Apple doesn’t cut it off this year when iOS 18 arrives, it’ll match the Pixel and Samsung pledge of 7 years.

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