Only 3 months late International Exynos models use Android 10, but the US has to wait.Samsung is starting a slow and arduous process of updating flagship smartphones to the latest Android version, Android 10. According to SamMobile , it’s just the beginning of the release of Android 10 for Samsung, starting with Exynos-based Galaxy S10 in Europe and Asia, including Germany, Korea, the UK, India, Poland, and Spain.
With the release of Android 10 on September 3 and the first update on November 28, Samsung took 86 days to start building a stable Android 10 build on the user base. Nevertheless, Samsung still had a long way to release Android 10 to everyone with the Galaxy S10. Samsung Exynos SoCs are available for devices in Europe, Africa, and most of Asia, while Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs are available for devices in North America, South America, and China. So far only Exynos devices have been updated.
If Samsung follows last year’s update, it will take 40 more days for devices in the U.S. to receive an update, which requires a Qualcomm build of Samsung software and a US carrier’s approval and “validation”. Samsung’s direct “unlocked” customers get the worst end of the update stick and usually get the update at the end. In 2018, unlocked customers had to wait for an update for 55 days after their first rollout. For the sake of history, Samsung’s roadmap shows “January” as the Android 10 update period for the Galaxy S10, but it doesn’t state any SoC or carrier issues.
Samsung is actually improving compared to last year. The company took 141 days for the first shipment of the 2018 Android update, the Android 9 Pie, to the flagship Galaxy S9 in 2018. Samsung, which took three months to deliver OS updates in 2019, may not sound impressive, but it’s a big improvement for Samsung. Recent core OS changes, such as Project Treble, have made Google easier to update Android, and these improvements will help Samsung.
In the Android update, Samsung is still the worst major supplier. Google offers a one-day update to the Pixel line, and other vendors like OnePlus now do it a few weeks late. Even if Samsung completes the release of Android 10 next month (which will be a huge improvement), it’s still far behind the competition. We’re slowly improving the entire ecosystem until we post a blog post about Project Treble as we update. In July 2018, just before Android 9 Pie was released, only 8.9% of devices were in the previous version, Android 8 Oreo. When Android 10 was released this year, 22.6% of the ecosystem was created with the older version of Android 9 Pie.
Samsung prefers its style as a competitor to Apple, but the company doesn’t even try to compete with Apple’s iPhone support package, which includes one-time OS updates per day and major OS updates for five years. Samsung takes 3-6 months to provide OS updates and only for 2 years. Apple’s excellent support means the phone’s resale value is much higher than any Android device, including Samsung’s flagship.
Samsung can apply skins to Android to add new user-level features and changes, but generally it doesn’t add new system-level APIs, security enhancements, or key system changes. This requires Google and major Android updates, and this year Android 10 offers a new gesture navigation system, a much more modular and easier update via Project Mainline, new notification panel features like smart response and focus mode, and new emoji. Numerous privacy and security changes, such as scoped storage, will limit media stack hardening for apps that can access other app data, more granular privacy controls, and malicious files.