The still-popular Galaxy S8 no longer receives security updates from Samsung. This is a certain pressure on the manufacturer. However, Apple impressively shows that this is different.
Samsung Galaxy S8 users will no longer receive security updates in the future. The S8 and S8 Plus are no longer found in the official smartphone overview that continues to receive updates. If critical security vulnerabilities arise in the future with the Galaxy S8, users will probably fall by the wayside.
This is even though the device is one of the most popular smartphones of recent years. With over 41 million units, the device ranks in the top 20 best-selling smartphones of all time. At the launch, the Galaxy S8 was considered one of the best phones in the world.
The installed hardware may not be up to date. Even today, however, the device is still suitable for everyday use and delivers enough power for the vast majority of users. So there are few reasons why you shouldn’t use the Galaxy S8 anymore, but missing security updates in the future is one of them. As a smartphone user who is updated with different technologies, you should always think twice about owning a gadget not supported by their manufacturers.
After about four years, the Galaxy S8 is now falling out of Samsung’s update strategy. New features haven’t been around for a long time anyway. Only security gaps have been closed in recent months. For many people, the smartphone is a central organizing device with banking apps, calendars, emails, and maybe even the ID app. Without security updates, many sensitive and private data are at risk.
Google is one of the few manufacturers of Android phones that also guarantees updates over three years – because of its platform, users of Pixel devices even get the updates first. But it is precisely because of its platform that Google could offer even more. The number of pixel devices is also manageable.
Other smartphone manufacturers are even less transparent and user-friendly. Huawei only supplies the P30 Lite, released in 2019, with quarterly updates, which may sign the upcoming support. Xiaomi, in turn, the second-largest smartphone seller in Europe with a 23 percent market share (Samsung tops the list with 35 percent), does not even provide an up-to-date update list. Devices of the popular Mi series are usually supplied for three to four years – but users cannot be sure. Manufacturers such as Sony, Asus, or Motorola are no better off: updates arrive at less reliable intervals on the devices.
Eight years old and still updates: Apple shows how security works
Apple, on the other hand, shows very clearly what a sensible update policy can look like. At the beginning of May, Apple donated to users of the eight (!) years old iPhone 5s a new security update. The six-year-old iPhone 6s even runs on the latest operating system, iOS 14.
Apple is known for supplying its devices with new features for a long time. And even longer with security updates. In most cases, this makes iPhones more durable than Android phones – and therefore also has a positive impact on the resale cost of the Smartphones from Apple.
Sure, Apple has a dozen iPhones on the market and, therefore, significantly fewer different models, which must constantly be up to date with the latest security status. In addition, Apple does not have to exchange ideas with microprocessor manufacturers, as the in-house A microprocessor is used in every iPhone.
But is it that hard for Android manufacturers to support at least popular devices that have traded millions of models worldwide and are still powerful as former flagships? The Galaxy S8 is a good example: the modern design is still quasi state-of-the-art, the processor is powerfully suitable for just about any assignment, and fast photos, the camera is always enough. However, without additional security updates, all my private data is at risk.
To the manufacturers of Android phones: user-friendliness is different
And so Android users are constantly forced to look for new devices now and then. New devices are coming into the cycle. Old ones are no longer supported and therefore also less interesting for buyers of used machines. As an Apple user, you’re not at your mercy. If you want to buy an iPhone and save money, a three- or four-year-old model is still safe and up-to-date – at least as far as the software is concerned.
But I’m a big Xiaomi fan. So I can rely on updates for almost three years. What comes next? No idea. I’ll probably have to change the device to keep my data safe.
It’s worth looking at Apple. More updates for more devices mean more costs for manufacturers, but users will enjoy it. As does the environment, fewer new equipment means natural resources needed for production.