A year ago, Qualcomm announced a phone that it planned to sell to the Snapdragon Superfans of the world, which is never not going to be a weird thing to type, because such a thing can’t exist, right? That thought aside, the phone was only produced in a limited quantity by ASUS and priced at $1,500, making it a purchase most would (rightfully) never consider.
Unfortunately for those who did buy one and claim to be the superfan of a mobile chipset maker whose chipsets you use because of a monopoly in the US, your $1,500 phone isn’t getting great support. Some of the folks who own the “Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders” (yes, that’s the official name) took to reddit in recent days to ask if their really expensive phone had been abandoned.
The question was fair when you consider that the phone last received an update in March that only brought the device up to the January 2022 security patch. It’s now June and the phone is still on that same January patch.
Maybe worse, the phone is running Android 11 and I just have no reasonable reaction to that news other than to tell you to throw that thing in the trash today and unsubscribe from the Snapdragon Insiders program immediately. That’s absurd. Google is about to release Android 13 to the world in a stable format and yet Qualcomm, who has this single phone to update, one that they wanted $1,500 for, is closing in on being two versions of Android behind.
Qualcomm has since weighed-in on the situation and is promising another update on June 20. They also suggest they will continue to release updates every 2-3 months after that. No word at all on Android 12 has been shared. When first announced, Qualcomm committed to 4 years of “regular” security updates. I guess 2-3 months could be considered regular.
One could potentially put the blame on ASUS for the slowness, as this is a phone made by them and then branded by Qualcomm, but this is really Qualcomm’s problem. There is no excuse for a phone this expensive to see updates this infrequently and then shouldn’t be let off the hook.