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HTC President: Monthly Security Updates are “Unrealistic”

October 3, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

After the whole stagefright scare came about a few months ago (it first surfaced in July, actually), smartphone manufacturers like Google, Samsung and LG have promised monthly security updates. Which made plenty of customers happy. Seeing as we sometimes don’t know when updates are coming of it they are coming. So far, Google has stayed on top of these monthly security updates with the Nexus devices – and even have a nifty feature in Marshmallow which shows if you’re up to date and when the last security update was for your device. So far, we haven’t heard much from LG and Samsung though.

This evening, on Twitter, a user – most likely a HTC customer – asked HTC USA President, Jason Mackenzie why HTC has not committed to monthly security updates. Mackenzie stated that they didn’t want to promise something that was unrealistic and stated that the carriers make these updates unrealistic. Now most of us know this already, but in order to push an update to a device, you need to get the approval from the carriers. It’s understandable because the carriers don’t want manufacturers pushing out an update on their network that could harm their network. Even Google must get approval for Nexus devices that are unlocked and not carrier branded. It’s just part of the nature of updates these days.

Jason Mackenzie went on to state that HTC has been very transparent with updates, and they plan to get even better. We’d have to agree that HTC has been very transparent. Letting us know when they submit updates to carriers and even when the carriers approve their update. They’ve allowed us to know even more about OTA updates than we knew before.

It’ll be interesting to see if Samsung and LG, and even Google, can keep up with these monthly security updates. It’s indeed a great idea to push out security fixes each month, but Mackenzie does make a good point about trying to get these updates past the carriers. Who can take weeks and weeks to test and approve just one update. And if there’s something broken, that adds even more time before that update will be pushed out.