HTC’s flagship smartphones are finally getting Android 9 Pie update, more than six months after Google released the update for its Pixel smartphones. HTC, which has hit a rock bottom in the smartphone world, had initially promised to roll out software update within 90 days of its release but has missed that timeline. While the Taiwanese giant has sold the core of its smartphone division to Google, it continues to make phones and thus issue software updates. The company took to Twitter to announce that it will release Android Pie update for its flagship smartphones.
The post from HTC does not clearly give any timeline for the release of Android Pie update for its smartphones. It suggests that HTC U12+ and HTC U11+ will get Android Pie but the owners of these devices will have to wait at least a few weeks before their devices switch from Android Oreo to Android Pie. To recall, the Android Pie roll out for these devices was promised way back in August of 2018, when Google announced the final release for its Pixel devices. HTC plans to release the update for a total of three devices – the HTC U11, HTC U11+ and HTC U12+.
HTC says it is still working on the update and it is expected to become available in the form of an OTA update starting in the second quarter of this year. The company is still “working on ensuring the update is compatible with our phones.” This means the update could arrive either next month or in June, by when Google would be preparing to release the Android Q update for its Pixel devices.
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There is a lot to read between the lines in HTC’s post including the fact that the update might arrive only for one or two of the devices before expanding to add all supported smartphones. And the update will be limited by geography and considering HTC’s dwindling sales, it is possible that the update will be pushed first to users in its home market. HTC and Samsung show how Android’s fragmentation remains an issue despite Google’s effort to fix the gap with Project Treble and early access to AOSP for OEM vendors.