OnePlus will offer 4 OS updates and 5 years of ‘regular’ patches for all flagships from 2023

OnePlus has confirmed that “selected devices launched in 2023” will now receive 4 OS updates and five years of “regular” security patches.

At an OxygenOS Open Ears Forum in London, the team behind OxygenOS explained many of the design decisions behind the recent Android 13-based update with some teases of OxygenOS 14. In recent years, there have been complaints from OnePlus owners about update cadence. The biggest news from this session was the increased update commitment from the brand known for its “Never Settle” ethos.

Head of software products at OnePlus, Gary Chen, confirmed that OxygenOS 13.1 will launch in the first half of 2023. With the OnePlus 11 series expected to come in the early portion of 2023, it’s highly likely that the firm’s next flagship will come with this expanded Android 13 build. Chen also confirmed that the OnePlus software team is already working on future OxygenOS updates.

“As a user-oriented company, we do everything we can to enhance user experience. With more users keeping their devices for longer, we want to make sure we can offer that possibility. This new update policy will give users access to the latest security and functional features required to power OnePlus’ signature fast-and-smooth experience throughout the lifetime of the phone.”

This is likely the Android 14-based OxygenOS 14, which is expected to be available first on Google Pixel hardware at some point in Q1 2023 as part of the regular Android Developer Preview phase. However, no further details were shared or what we could expect.

Expanding the update schedule for upcoming OnePlus devices will undoubtedly help calm the frustrations of long-time fans of the brand. In recent years, despite protestations and the apparent cancellation of the “unified platform” with Oppo’s ColorOS, OxygenOS now fully resembles the third-party skin
By offering a further year of full Android updates alongside “regular patches” for up to five years, OnePlus is at least making efforts to appease fan complaints. That said, when directly questioned at the Open Ears Forum, Chen did confirm that a bimonthly update cadence will still be adhered to when pushing monthly security patches to OnePlus devices.
Disappointingly, there was no explicit mention of existing OnePlus devices or the more affordable Nord series when discussing the new update commitment. It’s also worth noting that this is not the first time that OnePlus has increased device update promises. During the OnePlus 7T keynote, the BBK-owned firm shared that the 5T series would get Android 10 after planned support was set to end with Android 9. This leaves OnePlus 7, 8, 9, and 10 series owners in limbo at least until the company can confirm how this enhanced update pledge affects previous device owners.
The renewed commitment also means that OnePlus now matches Samsung’s promise to provide increased device support for its flagship lines. It also means that Google is behind another Android OEM’s support window. Currently, Google phones from the Pixel 6 onwards are promised five years of support. This translates to three platform updates and two further years of security patches, which could certainly put pressure on Google to update current policies if more Android OEMs continue to follow Samsung’s lead.