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Samsung Clarifies Its 4-Year Security Updates Policy

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra AH 10
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Samsung had last month announced that it would offer four years of security updates to its recent devices. While that announcement got everyone excited, there was some confusion around the frequency of those updates, particularly for the fourth year. The company has now clarified what this extended software support policy exactly means.

The South Korean giant offers security updates on a monthly or quarterly basis to new devices, depending on the model. Flagship and enterprise models, as you’d expect, get preferential treatment and receive security updates every month. Budget and mid-range devices, on the other hand, usually receive such security maintenance releases once every three months.

However, this software support policy is not applicable continuously for four years after launch. Things start to change as the devices complete two years into the market. They would receive security updates less frequently from thereon.

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Until recently, Samsung’s official security updates page listed older devices under an “other regular” updates category. That could mean anything from monthly, quarterly, annually, or anything in between. However, Samsung has now explicitly mentioned the frequency of security updates for three or four years old Galaxy devices.

Older Samsung devices will receive security updates biannually

Samsung has updated its official security updates page to confirm that older Galaxy smartphones and tablets would receive security maintenance releases biannually, i.e. two security patches in a year. While that isn’t really anything to brag about, getting some sort of official support four years into launch is still quite great.

The Korean firm has been doing exceptionally well in pushing software updates to its device in recent years. It has increased both the pace and frequency of updates for flagship and low-cost phones alike. The company has even promised to offer three years of Android OS updates to its flagships launched from 2019 onward. Select mid-range smartphones in the Galaxy A series are also eligible for three years of Android OS updates.

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Now, Samsung is further raising the bar for other Android OEMs by promising security updates for a minimum of four years after launch. As per the company’s official security updates page, a total of 34 Galaxy smartphones and tablets are currently receiving security updates biannually. Most of those devices were launched in 2017 or 2018, so you know they are about to reach the end of their life. The company though does not clarify when these biannual updates are pushed to the devices. The final update will most likely arrive towards the end of the fourth year.