Samsung is throwing a bone to enterprise customers with the new Enterprise Edition models of its most popular Galaxy phones. They come with four years of firmware updates including two major OS updates to attract business users, and a mix of monthly and quarterly updates to fix bugs or security flaws is exactly what your IT department wants to see for the hardware it has to manage and keep secure. It's good news all around for anyone interested in using some of the best phones money can buy for day-to-day business needs.
But I can't help but think that all of these phones Samsung sells should be getting this treatment, not just models with a new Enterprise tag.
My reasoning — these phones have the same hardware that their non-Enterprise Edition counterparts have. There's no reason to treat them any differently when it comes to firmware updates. in fact, it means more work (and more money spent) by Samsung to build, maintain, and deploy two different sets of firmware for the same phone.
Speaking of money, that's the sole reason Samsung is rolling out Enterprise Editions. I get it — the company wants to maximize profits by supplying handsets with features that appeal to business users and managers on top of the features designed for the people that use them. A Note 10+ with its eye-popping display, S Pen, gigantic battery and everything else we love makes it a phone we want to use. Adding a plan for timely updates for four years is something that makes the boss love that we're using them. If the idea pans out, Samsung can make some extra money.
But wouldn't it be great if these Enterprise perks were applied to the "regular" Note 10? Or even the Galaxy A40, which is a really nice medium-priced phone that would be even more popular if it were guaranteed to get critical updates for four years? I think it would, and I'll bet that everyone who has already bought one would, too.
Samsung could still make money through the rest of the Enterprise Edition perks — enhanced service and maintenance, Knox Configure and other tools for remote administration, and next-day response. Those are really important perks for businesses, too. Tying an update schedule to the extra cost for the same hardware leaves a bad taste, even if you're talking about the best phones you can buy.
My S8+ is still getting OS and security updates. Security updates should be named more appropriately because they frequently have more than security related content. While the hardware is the same on consumer and enterprise devices, who says Samsung did modify Android less for enterprise to make it easier and faster to roll out the updates? I'm a self professed update junkie, but frankly there's nothing in recent major Android updates that I wanted or that Samsung didn't already add themselves. If you want fast updates, get a Nokia or Pixel.
I imagine these Enterprise editions will be factory unlocked and not sold through carriers. A big obstacle to updates is carrier rotware.
But with Samsung, the carrier models seem to be updated before the unlocked models...
4 years? Who keeps his/her phone for 4 years? Certainly not business folks. And neither do I. So, give me monthly security updates - and they do, and if an OS update is available, fine, if not, fine as well.
If they were supplied by the business and updated for four years, business are likely to keep them as business devices much longer. Like business don't swap out the laptops they provide until they're preparing for EOL (Windows 7 to Windows 10, for example).
This is an interesting topic for me...
Or at least people like me that buy a phone with the intent to keep it long after the successors are released. I bought my Galaxy Note 10+ the day pre-orders went live and picked it up day one. And my intent is to rock with this phone for years to come. My previous daily driver was the Galaxy Note Edge, a phone I bought and used everyday since April of 2015! That's almost 4 1/2 years! I would love to hold onto my Note 10+ for at least that long. To know you will buy a phone, which has exponentially increased in price every year, and it will be supported that long is just extra piece of mind for the consumer. Outside of those diehard phone lovers that seem to buy a new phone every 6 months for satiety, people are holding on to their phones longer and need justification of the new product before making a jump to the newest and greatest. We here on this great site are well informed about this. But the average phone buyer isn't. That's why having support for so long is key. My Note Edge was updated all the way through Lollipop. It stopped getting security updates last year. If the phone wasn't so long in the tooth and got support, I'd still be using it. But I'm glad the phone I have now is futureproof for at least a couple of years and at least 2 or 3 OS iterations.
I have been saying for years that 2 year support for both Pixel and Samsung phones are just too short. Apple supports for 5 years. That should be the norm...
Apple has been able to offer a prolonged term as it makes all of its own chips. As long as Android OEM's are sourcing at least of of their CPU's elsewhere (Qualcomm), they are limited by the duration for that source extends support.
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