All Nokia smartphones released over the course of this year will eventually be upgraded to Android P, HMD Global said several days back. The company expressed its commitment to support its existing mobile lineup in the long term during a product event held in the Philippines on Friday, with one of its officials reiterating that all Android-powered Nokia handsets released in the brand’s post-Microsoft era are to be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo by the end of the year. The promise presumably extends to the Nokia 2, an upcoming entry-level device that’s set to be even more affordable than the Nokia 3 and is rumored to be officially unveiled in the coming days.
The Finnish company reintroduced the Nokia brand earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Following prolonged research and development, HMD concluded that its new devices are to ship with what’s essentially a stock version of Google’s operating system. The company previously said it tried developing a custom software skin but was unable to come up with something that’s vastly superior to vanilla Android, ultimately opting to pre-install a stock version of Nougat on its contemporary smartphones. By having devices with a nearly unmodified version of Android, HMD is able to push out monthly security patches and major software upgrades faster than other original equipment manufacturers are, as evidenced by the fact that some of its handsets even managed to beat the Google Pixel lineup to a number of security updates. As things stand right now, HMD committed to two major OS upgrades for its 2017 lineup that still mostly consists of mid-range and entry-level offerings which are hence set to be supported for at least as long as Android flagships from the likes of Samsung, LG, HTC, and Huawei are.
Android P itself is already in development and will presumably be announced in late winter or early spring, though it’s currently unclear whether the next major iteration of the mobile OS is to ship with the version number 9.0 or a lower one. Apart from the Nokia 2, HMD may also release one other smartphone by the end of the year, with some recent rumors suggesting that the company is working on a high-end counterpart to its Nokia 8 flagship which may be marketed as the Nokia 9 and adopt a relatively bezel-free form factor.