Most OEMs don't have much of a reputation for providing timely and consistent OS updates. There are a few exceptions here and there — LG's V20 is set to become the first non-Nexus smartphone to launch with Nougat sometime around September — but while there may be a growing trend for devices to receive major updates shortly after they're released, it is much rarer to see them getting software support for more than a year or so. Only last year did Google begin promising 3 years of security updates and 2 years of major OS updates for all Nexus phones and tablets — which is still almost half as long as an iPhone's lifecycle.
Hoping to stand out among the sea of Android OEMs, Honor has committed itself to delivering "24+ months of software updates" for devices introduced in 2016 and on. Taylor Wimberly, a customer acquisition manager at Huawei Technologies (which owns Honor), has even gone so far as to challenge other manufacturers to follow Honor's example. "I hope that by announcing this policy that we can change the industry for the better. Seriously, all OEMs should be doing this and I welcome them to join us."
The promise of 24 months of software updates is especially significant given that Honor typically sells its phones for comparatively low prices, leaving little wiggle room for the additional development costs involved.
It may be worth pointing out that on Google+, Wimberly phrased the commitment as "up to 24 months," which may be construed to mean the polar opposite of "at least 24 months." Assuming the announcement was made in good faith, we can expect to see phones like the new Honor 8 reach the end of its software lifecycle in Q3 of 2018 and not 219 days from now.
Although it was suspected, it is now confirmed that the Honor 5X will benefit from this commitment from Honor, thus guaranteeing it'll receive software updates for at least 24 months from its release, just like the Honor 8. The policy and the devices included in it can be viewed on the HiHonor site.
- Taylor Wimberly