Android A to Z: End of life

End of life is a term none of us ever want to hear. We envision it means the death of our phone, and we should just throw it away and get a newer model. After all, it's at the end of its life, right? Not really. End of life means something different to carriers and manufacturers than it does to enthusiasts like us. The easy way to look at it is that when the folks in suits get together and decide that a phone isn't going to make enough money so it's worthwhile to keep producing it, it has reached the end of its life. That may mean a refreshed, newer model (like the Droid RAZR MAXX), or a shift to a newer model with new, and arguably better, features like the EVO 3D. We have to remember that the folks who make these phones do it so they can make money, and like any good business they want to maximize their profits.

But what does end of life mean in the real world? First off, it means that once the current stock sitting on the shelves is sold there won't be any more new ones to replace them with. There may be refurbished units floating around, but no more new phones of that model are being made. It doesn't mean that the phone is done getting updates, but don't expect too many new features to come along -- things are in maintenance mode and bug fixes and security patches are the only things that will be addressed. It also doesn't mean your warranty is affected in any way. Even if you were to buy a brand new phone that has already reached the end of life status, you'll still get the full manufacturers warranty.

Most importantly, it doesn't mean that the phone is going to stop doing anything it already does today. The HTC EVO 4G is a great example. It was a huge hit for HTC and Sprint, and actually stayed in production longer than any of us would have thought. Some places are still selling them new (although they're getting harder to find), and those EVO 4G's sold new today are every bit as good, and have the same warranty from HTC, as the ones sold in 2010. Sprint still offers customer service, and it's still one heck of a phone. 

Don't be put off by the words end of life. While we wouldn't recommend you search out a new phone that's already been discontinued, they still perform as they should and you'll find lots of folks who still love them. 

Check out the complete Android Dictionary

More from the Android Dictionary


Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • I'm loving the Android A to Z series. Keep 'em coming!
  • Sometimes comes EOF incredible and too fast... When Sony bought out Ericsson, at the end of 2011 did they clearly declare that they didn't want to make any more smartphones with a keyboard, so SonyEricsson did stop production of my magnificent smartphone SE Xperia Pro (that offers an sublime high resolution 3.7 inch screen and the finest slide keyboard I ever used, in a slim elegant body) just two months after it began!!! They didn't even begin to promote this masterpiece, either and I feel extremely lucky to own one... Yes, if I had some extra money, would I definitely buy two more for the future... And yes, some shops still have some left - possibly only because almost nobody know that this phone exist, even if the Swedish magazine MOBIL did crown it as the finest smartphone with keyboard ever made!
  • One thing pops into my mind: HTC HD2.^^
  • There was this one Android A to Z article (and please pardon me for any misuse of words or lack of proper termonolgy), on how to re-charge your battery so that it lasts longer, per say. I think it was posted back when Iphone 4S was becoming a big hit. It went something like, Power off your device, then charge it to it fully charges, then Power on your device, then charge it for one hour, then Power it off again etc... Anyway, I can't seem to find that article and no, I don't want to GOOGLE it, I'd rather get it from fellow Android enthusiasts or the Experts from Android Central. Can any one point me in the right direction or send me a link? I appreciate the help!