Sony has historically had a difficult time selling phones outside of its home country of Japan, especially in the United States. Most of the company’s phones have offered impressive hardware, but Sony’s software support has slipped behind much of the competition, and pricing has been an issue for years. The new Xperia 1 III seemed impressive in our initial hands-on coverage, but now Sony has confirmed it won’t get the same software support as many other Android flagships.
The confirmation comes after some confusion around Sony’s update plans for the phone. Sony Netherlands originally implied (via DroidApp) that the Xperia 1 III would receive two years of security patches and a single OS upgrade (Android 12), which is not good for a phone that costs $1,299.99. However, the company later clarified in statements to Droid-Life and GSMArena that the phone should get “the latest Android updates for two years after its launch.” The full statement is below.
It is not correct that Xperia 1 III will have only one time Android OS update. We aim to support Xperia 1 III with the latest Android updates for two years after its launch and we expect to have Android OS updates more than once during that period.
The updated promise of two Android updates isn’t much better, especially when Samsung has maintained three years of OS updates for many of its phones, and recently started promising four years of security updates on some models. Google has offered three years of OS and security updates for all its Pixel phones, and recent leaks indicate the Pixel 6 could push that to five years.
It’s disappointing to see Sony fall behind the competition with software support. Hopefully, the company will re-evaluate its plans and work to extend the life of the Xperia 1 III.