Some users are not happy with Google’s decision to stop supporting the Pixel 3, and there appears to be no technical reason for the decision.
Google has been working to build support for its line of smartphones, with the recently released Pixel 6 and 6 Pro sporting the company’s Tensor chip. One of the benefits Google touted about the Tensor was the five years of security updates and support the company would provide, something very uncommon in the Android world.
Earlier versions of the Pixel, however, still run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line of processors, and Google only ever committed to three years of updates for those devices. With Android 12, the 2018 flagship Pixel 3 and 3 XL reached the end of their life, and did not receive the update.
According to Ryne Hager, over at Android Police, there’s no technical reason why Google needed to abandon the Pixel 3, and it appears the company simply decided it had met its minimum obligation and didn’t want to extend it.
“With these options for updates available, there’s only one conclusion to draw: Google just doesn’t want to keep updating the Pixel 3,” writes Hager. “That three-year promise has been satisfied, and it’s not making more money from Pixel 3 customers. Why go above and beyond?”
Google went all-out with the Pixel 6 in an effort to grab more market share. Perhaps the company would also do well to listen to the feedback it’s receiving about the Pixel 3, and compare its policies to Apple’s. Apple recently released iOS 15, including support for devices as old as the iPhone 6S from 2015.
If Google really wants to be a serious hardware player, it needs to appreciate that customers remember when companies go above and beyond, as Apple has done in its support for older models, instead of doing the bare minimum to make a buck and move on.