The Fairphone 2, the first commercially available modular phone, recently got updated to Android 9.0 despite being more than five years old. But providing support that long hasn’t been easy, and Fairphone blames Qualcomm.
You see, Qualcomm—the chip maker behind the Fairphone 2’s Snapdragon 801 SoC—no longer supports its processor. Announced in 2013, the 801 is nearing eight years old and officially only supports up to Android 6.
Despite Qualcomm having abandoned its support for the Snapdragon 801 SoC, Fairphone still managed to update its second phone by tapping LineageOS, an aftermarket custom Android ROM.
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Qualcomm, in its defense, has pledged to increase chipset support for major Android updates to three years, up from two.
On average, Android phones are supported for up to 2.5 years. Apple iPhones, meanwhile, are supported for up to seven years.
Hopefully, when Google makes great strides with Project Treble, the average lifetime of Android handsets improves.