back to article Samsung stops providing security updates to the Galaxy S8 at grand old age of four years

Four years after it first hit shelves, Samsung has finally stopped issuing security patches for the venerable Galaxy S8. The phone, first released in early 2017, no longer features on the company's list of supported devices, signifying its end of life. Early signs of the phone's looming discontinuation came last March, when …

  1. ecarlseen

    "For an Android"

    No one dare speak of the other major mobile device vendor that is currently providing updates on even their low-end devices for 5-6 years past introduction and 2-3 years past end-of-sale, without anyone having to make a fuss about it. (note to butthurt downvoters: your tears are delicious).

    1. juice

      Re: "For an Android"

      > note to butthurt downvoters: your tears are delicious

      To be fair, the article writers were probably hoping to avoid some loony fanboi jumping in with a FRIST POST!!1!!1 comment.

      Ah well.

      Equally, assuming your're talking about a certain fruity company, I'd note that there's a big difference in business models. Not least when it comes to the total number of unique handsets.

      E.g. in 2020, Samsung released approximately 55 models - and that's not counting any hardware revisions or variations (e.g. Exynos vs Snapdragon, or even models where the base design gets less RAM).

      And that means that there's a hell of a lot more needed when it comes to getting software patches for all these models and variations tested and certified.

      Conversely, our Fruity Friend has released just 29 different iPhone models in total - and another 21 iPad models. And I think it's safe to say that Apple's profit margins on their hardware is likely to be significantly higher than Samsung's.

      Especially since - as per the current case with Epic - Apple gets a large chunk of secondary revenue from the App Store.

      So yeah. I'm not entirely sure who's meant to be butthurt. From what I can see, given the different circumstances, Samsung actually look to be doing reasonably well when it comes to pushing out updates...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "For an Android"

        Your logic makes no sense - the Samsung is not that much cheaper.

        So a samsung galaxy s8 buyer subsidised their other product launches?

        I dont care to subsidise a multibillion dollar corporation's product strategy nor bottom line.

        They can choose to launch 550 variants, it doesn't mean I should pay for it, nor apologise for that.

        As for epic,

        Samsung store happens to be dumb. That's their failure, it should not be their customer's.

        1. juice

          Re: "For an Android"

          Wow. Looking at the downvotes, there's a lot of butthurt fruity-company lovers out there :)

          To take the somewhat confused responses from the (sadly anonymous) person who did respond:

          > Your logic makes no sense - the Samsung is not that much cheaper.

          Eh? The entire point is that Samsung makes a much wider range of phones, all of which are targeted at different price points and market segments - many of which Apple does not cater for.

          E.g. looking at Carphone Warehouse, the cheapest Samsung phone is the A02s at £139.99, closely followed by the A20e at £149.99.

          Conversely, the cheapest Apple phone is the iPhone 7 at £299.

          Personally, I'd say that a 50% difference in price definitely counts as "much cheaper"!

          And honestly, when buying something which is 50% cheaper, do you really expect to get the same level of after-support service? The money for that support has to come from somewhere...

          > So a samsung galaxy s8 buyer subsidised their other product launches?

          No - and nor did I say anything which suggested that.

          What I did say is that Samsung's profit margins per handset are lower than Apple's per-handset profit margins.

          To take the iPhone 7: at launch in 2016, that cost $769 and had an estimated BOM of about $220.

          Conversely, the Samsung S7 (released the same year) cost $669 at launch and had a BOM of around $255

          Which means that (to vastly oversimplify and ignore things like R&D costs, labour costs, etc), Apple was getting $550 per handset, versus the $415 which Samsung was receiving.

          And these were both flagship models at the time; the budget phones Samsung releases are likely to have much thinner profit margins - e.g. with the A20s at $250, I'd be surprised if Samsung was getting more than $100 back in profit.

          > I dont care to subsidise a multibillion dollar corporation's product strategy nor bottom line.

          As per above, that's definitely not what I said. And beyond that, it's a really stupid thing to say, since you "subsidise" a company's product strategy and bottom line every time you buy a product. After all, where else would the money for R&D (and/or lining exec paypackets) come from?

          > Samsung store happens to be dumb. That's their failure, it should not be their customer's.

          I'll agree that Samsung's store is crap. But that's not the point here.

          The point is that Apple offers a fully integrated eco-system - you're not buying a phone, but you're instead buying a turnkey appliance which hooks seamlessly into a wealth of other Apple technologies. E.g. the iPad, the Macbook, the Apple Watch, the App Store, Siri, etc, etc.

          And Apple makes money out of every bit of this eco-system which you make use of.

          Conversely, Samsung is selling phones which hook into a shared eco-system primarily owned/controlled by Google. So they don't have the same ability to earn money. And with the need to pass all the certification/licencing hoops that Google throws up, they have much higher overheads.

          So yeah. Higher costs and lower profit margins = less money and resources for long term support.

          Is that all clear enough, or would you like me to get the crayons out?


          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: "For an Android"

            "And honestly, when buying something which is 50% cheaper, do you really expect to get the same level of after-support service? The money for that support has to come from somewhere..."

            You are correct. No, I don't, at least I wouldn't if the ones that cost the same or more had comparable lifetimes. They don't, so this particular argument doesn't work very well. If the Android ecosystem consisted of the landfill devices which wouldn't get support, the mid-range ones with three years, and the flagships with six or more years, then the comparison would work. Otherwise, if Android devices were all much cheaper than Apple devices with the difference in price accounting for the difference in support time, that would make some sense too. As ridiculous as Apple's prices are, Android manufacturers have prices in the same ranges.

      2. Mishak Silver badge

        I'm not sure how they build their software...

        But I would have put together an automated build system that uses meta-data to define the various platforms so that updates only had to be applied to one set of files* for all handsets using a particular version of Android.

        Sure, there will be a few "special cases" as well.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: I'm not sure how they build their software...

          I'm sure they've never thought of that…

          Have you ever worked with SoC systems that mix RTOS with a user OS and allows for network provider customisations and may require regulator approval for changes?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Have you ever worked with SoC systems that mix RTOS with a user OS?

            Yes, most of my working life - but not in mobile.

      3. Alpine_Hermit
        Thumb Down

        Re: "For an Android"

        I’ve owned several Samsung phones over the years since about 2010. Plus Acer. Plus Nokia, plus Microsoft. The Samsung’s were lucky to receive 2-3 updates in their lives.

        Three years ago I finally bought my first iPhone out of sheer curiosity as well as a smashed Microsoft phone, a 6s for just £350 new.

        First released in 2015, September 25, that’s approaching 6 years. I’ve had security and functional updates every couple of months and last weekend it upgraded to iOS 14.5.1….same as a £1000+ iPhone 12 series.

        Not only is the software up to date, the hardware is rock solid and in superb condition and the photos and audio remain excellent despite being 6 years old. Best phone I ever bought.

        And no, I’m not a buyer of fashion, fanboy etc, just always choose function and this time i got a superb ROI for this phone primarily used for my business.

        1. DCdave

          Re: "For an Android"

          I suspect we have a different definition of "function", but fair enough.

        2. Anonymous Coward

          Re: "For an Android"

          > Three years ago I finally bought my first iPhone out of sheer curiosity as well as a smashed Microsoft phone, a 6s for just £350 new.

          Okay, I'll bite. Why did you buy a 6S and a smashed MS phone? Were you intending to film a YouTube side-by-side comparison?

      4. Dave559 Silver badge

        Re: "For an Android"

        I'm gobsmacked that Samsung released over 50 models in one year, that seems such an incredible wasteful dilution of effort (although I'm well aware that back in the day Nokia were just as bad).

        You can say many things about Apple, but it surely does make sense that limiting yourself to a handful of models is going to make long term software support (something that all Android-using manufacturers should be ashamed of) so much easier.

        Does it really benefit anyone to have two or three phones with fairly similar prices, and very slight difference in specs/features, replicated at every price point throughout the range?

    2. karlkarl Silver badge

      Re: "For an Android"

      I would rather no updates at all than one that artificially cripples my hardware, encouraging me to replace the hardware ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "For an Android"

        I have an iPhone 6, still working, which also got a security update, literally yesterday.

        Bought November 2014, so that's 6.5 years old. It doesn't get the latest iOS 14, but the iOS 12 it has was updated yesterday to iOS 12.5.3. It's not even an iPhone 6S, but it still received an update.

        I'd love to know which Android models have been updated that long because I may buy one as an alternative, just to keep half a hand in another platform. I'm guessing that will probably mainly be the phones sold by Google?

    3. hoola Silver badge

      Re: "For an Android"

      Updates to the underlying OS are irrelevant if the Apps that run on will not support older versions. This is a major problem for Android and iOS.

      I rarely use iOS but attempt to help a friend set something up in an iPad. The iPad was older but was updated the the latest security patches. The problem was that the version of iOS was too old to support the App that was needed and could not be updated to the latest and greatest that was needed.

      Issues around updates are more around the version of the OS that is being run. Unless you can also update that then it is becoming increasingly challenging.

      Windows, for all its faults will still run stuff from donkeys years ago.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: "For an Android"

        This is a major problem for Android and iOS.

        IOS, yes, Android less so. A friend of mine with a collection of fruity devices routinely gets annoyed about having to buy newer version of apps to support newer versions of IOS or be forced to get newer versions of IOS or new devices in order to use newer versions of software. Android is, for better or for worse, far more pluralistic so it's only recently that support for Android < 6 has been dropped from apps.

  2. LB45

    Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

    I guess this means my S5 will continue to not receive updates?

    Yeah,yeah. Still works, still does what I need. I keep it as stripped down as I can and have no "apps" that come anywhere near any personal finances or health.

    I'm not even sure Lineage supports it anymore though to be fair.

    1. boblongii

      Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

      Still using an S5 here too.

      I don't understand why it's legal to drop support for a durable consumer item which is less than 10 years old (in any field).

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

      It does (depending on the variant):

      1. toejam++

        Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

        My concern with using Lineage is that it breaks IMS services such as VoLTE, VoWiFi, and visual voicemail. There are patches for some manufacturers' handsets, but apparently Samsung and LG use some nonstandard methods that prevent such patches from working. So you'll be stuck using 3G calling unless you can get a third party VoIP app working.

    3. LRO(EX)

      Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

      My S5 is doing sterling work as my standby brick in case my I-toy gets nicked. My S3 still switches on but no sim currently inserted. It would be nice for a law requiring support for a minimum of 10 years & a right to repair these devices. I know - dream on !

    4. TReko

      Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

      You can probably replace the battery on your S5.

      My S8 is sealed with glue and the battery soldered in. The battery is not designed to be replaced.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

        > The battery is not designed to be replaced.

        The battery is designed not to be replaced! ;-)

        (although I don't know why they bother when support is cut anyway).

      2. LB45

        Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

        Ah yes. Just put in a new battery, the third one of it's life.

        Still have the other two, they charge but don't last more that an a couple of hours. I keep them charged as "spares" but honestly don't really use them.

        Still use the headphone jack and removable SD card as well.

        Amazing how 'obsolete' still beats current shiny at certain functionality.

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

      I liked the S5 so much I had two of them! They ran fine with LineageOS apart from a slight problem setting the storage location for photos in more recent versions and a slight flakiness in Bluetooth when using it for navigation.

      I passed them on to friends when I bought myself an s10e, which while most defintely a better phone and a worthwhile update, also just highlighted how good phones in general have become.

      I think the S8 was released on the cusp of Project Treble which means, that while Samsung might be dropping support for it, it should still be receiving updates directly from the Play Store. Samsung has since then clarified and AFAIK extended support for its "flagship" products.

    6. Plest Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

      Not as old but my S7 is still going strong, a recon jobbie I bought cheap off Ebay and stuffed in a PAYG TESCO sim at £10/month. So long as my wife can find and nag me while I out of the house and I can play MP3s in the car off it, that's all I need from my mobile!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    planned obsolescence

    Galaxy S8


    - April 2017 for $725

    last full OS update

    - Android 9 march 2019

    security update

    - EOL

    iPhone 6s


    - Sept 2015 for $799

    last full OS update

    - iOS 14.5 may 2021

    security updates

    - current

    So an iPhone older by 1.5 years, got 2 additional years of full OS updates, and is continuing to be supported. So 3.5 more years of product life than the samsung. That is nearly double of the entire support life of the S8. So an iPhone 6s at twice the price would be comparable.

    These have Samsung's own Exynos so there is little excuse. The phone has 4 GB of RAM so the OS update is not limited. There are no killer features in newer phones in the last four years in Android OS to justify EOL.

    A new mid tier phone released today with Android 10 is probably of comparable performance to this 4 year old Galaxy.

    No the S8 still performs better.

    And the iPhone is still being supported, so the above comparision is going to get worse for Samsung.

    So much for FOSS - I'm leaving the Android ecosystem - its clearly better for my wallet and the planet.

    1. TVU Silver badge

      Re: planned obsolescence

      "So much for FOSS - I'm leaving the Android ecosystem - its clearly better for my wallet and the planet"

      The last thing I heard was that Google are going to be increasing their support time for Chromebooks (a good thing) whereas certain individual Android phone manufacturers, including Samsung, only offer limited time support, presumably in an attempt to boost sales, but that's not good for the customer or the environment.

    2. boblongii

      Re: planned obsolescence

      I'm not sure why FOSS has anything to do with Samsung's decision.

      1. VicMortimer

        Re: planned obsolescence

        It doesn't. Android as it exists in Samsung devices isn't FOSS. It's a locked-down encrypted bootloader proprietary OS that has some open source components.

        What runs on Samsung phones out of the box is no more FOSS than iOS is. Here, have a kernel:

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      Apple supports even further back than 6S

      The iPhone 5S launched in Sept 2013 just received a security update TODAY - it along with the iPhone 6 is on iOS 12.x which Apple no longer supports with new features, but it still gets the same security updates as iOS 14.x.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Apple supports even further back than 6S

        It might not be supported, but my Windows phone still works. And security is no problem - what self-respecting scammer would write malware for Wndows Phone?

    4. Nifty Silver badge

      Re: planned obsolescence

      There's one huge difference between Android and IOS though.

      Without rooting, you can install APKs on an Android. Very useful for re-purposing the device once updates stop.

      With IOS you are snookered.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    security patches for the venerable Galaxy S8

    wait! what about my S2, eh?! I'm still waiting for MY security patches. That said, it's rootable, so Samsung can foad...

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    The S8 might be 4 years ago since it was launched, but not everyone bought it the day it was released. When did Samsung stop manufacturing them? Or the last new one to be sold by the mobile network? I suspect its more like 3 years than 4 years ago

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "signifying its end of life"

    I'm sorry, the end-of-life of a product should not be when the vendor is tired of supporting it, it should be when the last example of the model has ceased functioning.

    Okay, one might argue about security and such, but in that case, the vendor should be required to provide an up-to-date model at bargain price to replace the model that is no longer secure.

    It's time we stop allowing companies arbitrarily decide what they wish to support. You put it out there, you deal with it until nobody is using it anymore.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: "signifying its end of life"

      Nobody is probably a fairly steep challenge - but the EOL should be prominently published at point of sale.

  7. Youngone Silver badge

    Galaxy S8 User

    I bought an S8 the year after they were released, because current flagship phones cost stupid money and offer nothing I want. Last years model is fine.

    The hardware is pretty good, nice screen, really good camera and the fingerprint reader works most of the time. A glass back is a stupid design decision however and if you don't keep it in a case it will last 5 minutes I would think.

    Samsung's take on Android has gone from being "meh" to being terrible to being great and is back to being terrible.

    They made the weird decision to start playing an ad every time I opened the music app, then they put up persistent notifications about moving my data from the Samsung cloud to Microsoft's one because Samsung's is shutting down and I had a great deal of trouble turning the stupid thing off.

    This will be the last Samsung phone I own, but now that The Register has pointed me to Project Sakura I can at least figure out how to unlock it and install a current OS, even if it is developed by someone called "LordShenron".

    1. JetSetJim

      Re: Galaxy S8 User

      Interesting project, I was almost optimistic for my handset. Go to the web page, drop down the Samsung list for supported devices... no S7 :(

      As my S7 is getting rather long in the tooth (3rd battery now slowly dying, case well and truly cracked) am wondering what phone to get next. I think I'll probably give Samsung a miss.

  8. Jim-234

    Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

    For all the iPhone lauders.

    Your 5+ year old iPhone,

    Does the battery still reasonably work and hold a decent charge?

    With the latest software update does the phone still perform nicely or has it slowed down considerably?

    I know few people in my friends and family that are happy with the performance of their iPhones after 4 years, let alone more. Generally a mix of either battery life / battery issues or the latest software updates making the phone crawl force them to upgrade their iphones in 3 to 4 years at the most.

    1. Alpine_Hermit

      Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

      I have a 6s and an SE from 2016. Both now updated to 14.5.1 same as their latest 12 series. Works as quick as always. Batteries at 85% and 95% respectively.

      I make sure my photos etc are uploaded to iCloud and OneDrive and a few times a year i hard reboot and all is well.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

      I can take this one:

      "Your 5+ year old iPhone,"

      SE, 2016.

      "With the latest software update does the phone still perform nicely or has it slowed down considerably?"

      That's not a problem here. The performance is reasonable on the most complex tasks I run. Admittedly, there are even more complex tasks I don't run, so I could see it being a problem, but for my usage, including navigation and a variety of apps, performance is fine.

      "Does the battery still reasonably work and hold a decent charge?"

      This is the big problem. The battery is inconsistent. Sometimes, it will hold a charge for two days. Other times, it will fail in five hours. I attempted to have Apple replace it but they have refused due to the age, so I will be trying to replace it myself and see if that fixes things.

      However, hardware reliability isn't the full story. If the battery replacement fixes things, I have a device running the latest OS version including security updates. If I have an Android device of a similar age with a new battery, I still have a compromised device. Whether Apple is perfect is not really the question (they're not even close). The question is where they stand compared to the competition. They stand ahead of it.

      1. bengoey49

        Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

        iFix it sells replacement battery or try iSmash if you are in the UK

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

      The iPhone 6 I have ended up in an Apple battery replacement program (if I recall, a bit of a scandal at the time) so I took advantage of that to have its battery refreshed, and it's still quite happy - and got that security update to 12.5.3 yesterday.

    4. Plest Silver badge

      Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

      Phone makers have been their own undoing, desperately trying to ramp up the CPU, memory, etc to show off the phones made 5-6 years ago are still able to run the latest mobile software for their platforms!

      Upshot, fewer people are now upgrading and simply going out of contract, switching to cheaper monthly contracts and just going until the phone is so knackered it doesn't work anymore.

      My wife is a rampant Apple fan, always got the latest iPhone every 2 years, she stopped 4 years ago and only recently started looking to upgrade when she smashed the edge of her iPhone and even then only looking at the next one up from hers to get a little more internal space. When "fanbois"/"fangirls" are thinking twice that's when you know things are in a bit of a state!

      1. Adelio

        Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

        My current phone is an S9+ and is out of contract.

        I always by phones with micro SD slots (and a headphone socket).

        The way Apple sells phone (Zero ability to upgrade storage and charge a hefty premium for the previledge) was something i would not consider.

        There are very few phones left for me to buy that have a headphone socket and expandable storage.

        If they would also allow me to replace the battery then that would be evn better.

        My wife has an S7 and is not interested in upgrading. It still works.

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

        "When "fanbois"/"fangirls" are thinking twice that's when you know things are in a bit of a state!"

        Or you know the market is "mature" - the incremental gains simply aren't that large any more, certainly not year on year.

        We haven't had a phone on a contract for many years, preferring to buy phones and have SIM only contracts (and prepaid for the youngest, who really doesn't need an actual phone very often).

        The last update we made was to an XR, because as a wheelchair user I wear gloves alot, and face ID beats touch ID as a result (masks are an obvious pain).

        At some point we'll update one of the other phones in the house, and the trickle down will kick an iPhone 5s out of the bottom of the family tech tree... Released 2013, we probably got it in 2014, which means we're on about an 8 year cycle (by the time it drops off the tree).

    5. The Unexpected Bill

      Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

      Yes. I have a first-gen iPhone SE.

      The battery is probably best described as "rather goofy" in regard to its behavior, but it still works acceptably well and has never shut down unexpectedly in regular use. (Cold temperatures have always bothered it, and this has gotten worse with age.) It claims 94% capacity. I'm pretty sure that's a fib. It's the original battery.

      The one unexpected shutdown that it had was a byproduct of the previously noted cold weather conditions, and I wasn't surprised when it happened. iOS noticed and told me it would throttle the CPU, but gave me the option to disable all throttling and restore full performance at my own risk, which I did. (Unless there was a time when this couldn't be reversed, I'm not sure why people complained about it.)

      As to performance, I have no complaints whatsoever. Even on iOS 14.5.1, the first-gen iPSE is still very snappy and responsive. As much as I hate cellular phones, this to me is the nearly-perfect phone.

      Although I'd like for it to see iOS 15, I'll be surprised if it does. At least it should still get security updates for a while...

    6. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

      Does the battery still reasonably work and hold a decent charge?

      Yes - although it is on it's second battery

      With the latest software update does the phone still perform nicely or has it slowed down considerably?

      It's still fine - the slow downs you are thinking of are battery life related, new battery, no problem.

      Don't get me wrong, it's slower than a more recent phone, but it's not terrible.

    7. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Have you actually seen the performance of a 5+ year old iPhone with the latest Software?

      If your friends/family have iPhones with battery issues they should have the battery replaced. You can't even walk through a mall without running into a little kiosk somewhere that will do it, often more than one, so the argument that "there isn't an Apple Store near where I live" or "Apple charges too much" is pretty weak.

      Anyway, the same will be true of Android phones of the same vintage, it isn't like they have better batteries than iPhones.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. bengoey49

    Google Original 2016

    Original Pixel ( 32 Gb) launched October 2016

    Bought November 2016 £500.00

    Google has no battery replacement service in the UK, can go to iSmash for battery replacement.

    Still works fine but £500 for 3 years update is expensive compared to Apple

    Last Security Update for the Original 2016 Pixel October 2019

    Use iPhone 11 as my main phone since last year as I need to use Banking Apps

    I still use the Pixel for back up

  11. vmistery

    Whilst I understand people comparing the Android to Apple ecosystem for you do have to remember that Apple is more likely to receive an ongoing benefit from each user than most Android manufacturers even on an old device. Apple will get App Store and services revenue which means they can subsidise that ongoing support cost whereas Samsung May get a handful of people using its store at best. In my opinion Google itself as the primary benefactor of people having Android should take more of the responsibility for patching the OS. They have made things better in the last few years and things are slowly improving but there is far more the could and should do. In my opinion devices should get a decade of security updates and a guarantee it can have a battery replaced for a sensible amount.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      I wonder about this. Apple hasn't been getting very much money from me even though I still have an IOS device. All the apps I bought were purchased years ago. I don't use them for subscriptions. Most apps I have downloaded recently are free apps for some service I'm using. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that app revenues are concentrated on a small group of people who play a lot of mobile games and frequently buy things in them, which would mean that most users are not providing them very much at all.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Sure what he says isn't true for everyone. But if you spend $0 on an ongoing basis and someone else spends $120/yr on an ongoing basis because they have Apple Music, that's an average of $60/yr between the two of you.

  12. Stuart Halliday


    So I guess my Galaxy S9 is doomed next year or sooner?

  13. Binraider Silver badge

    Samsung, contributing only ever so slightly less to the e-waste problem than (some) other Android makers. Don't you just love the greenwashing?

    Hate phones. Hate phone culture. The only way to avoid is not to join!

    1. Plest Silver badge

      Just buy second hand tech

      Phones are useful but I haven't bought a new mobile phone for 7 years now, I always buy second hand off eBay.

      Doing my bit for recycling electronics that might otherwise go off to a beach in a remote country.

  14. Naselus

    Well, what do you expect if you only had to pay... wait, HOW MUCH?

  15. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    Hey I'm using that!

    I'm still using my S8. It doesn't burn up my battery like the 5G phones, has a neat curved screen, a headphone jack, microSD card, and an LED message waiting indicator. I even bought a brand new one as a backup for my next phone because subsequent models are more expensive and provide me less of what I want. When did we get into the habit of plunking down $1k on a new phone every 4 years?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Hey I'm using that!

      Can I ask what benefit a curved screen brings on a phone, I can see the appeal on a desktop screen that's physically large, but on a phone?

      1. dinsdale54

        Re: Hey I'm using that!

        The advantage is the curved screen provides a greater exposed area to crack the screen when you drop it.

        Oh, you meant advantage for the owner, rather than Samsung? Nothing I can see.

        I'm on my second Samsung, S4 then S8, Due to the reasons on this thread there won't be a third.

  16. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    4 years is disgraceful. If this was an Apple device, you'd be ripping seven shades of sh*t out of them; not praising the longevity.

    For shame, Reg.

  17. fnusnu

    Samsung upcyling

    This looks interesting:

    The Galaxy Upcycling at Home feature is available on all Galaxy S, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Z models released from 2018 with Android 9 and above. Samsung will add support for more devices in the future.

  18. Wolfclaw

    As an S8 owner, the phone is still perfectly good in battery life and performance, only recently moved to a iPhone. Time manufacturers are forced to unlock phones they no longer wish to support, rather than try and force users to refresh and fill up landfills, as I bet the number of recycled phones is still low.

  19. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    ...and this is why I never buy Samsung phones or tablets. My venerable (by today's standards) OnePlus 5 received the latest android slurpware OS a couple of months ago and it runs sweeter than ever. They've even fixed the auto call recording facility.

  20. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    See also... Apple still supporting* 6-year old iPhones.

    * and 'supporting' doesn't mean "One update + a few security patches". It means full OS updates and patches, for upwards of six years after purchase.

  21. sebacoustic

    bought a S8 for my daughter's christmas present this year... she's happy with it.

    Does this mean its use is now deprecated?

  22. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Planned obsolescence

    The software way.

    Isn't there any law against that?

  23. Rol

    Dipped in aspic

    A mobile with its apps and o/s fixed in time. Any new apps need to comply with standards that are unswervingly adhered to, and the o/s NEVER gets updated to accommodate developers latest attempts at breaking everything so as to leverage more shite at the consumer.

    Think along the lines of a calculator - it does the exact same job as it did when you first bought it thirty years ago, despite the advances in number gurning along the way. If you now need it to connect directly to your bank manager, then go buy in to that weirdness. Do not expect everyone else's calculator gets bricked to satisfy a niche market.

    With a recognised and immovable standard, the whole industry could rally round and just stick to the plot. If it becomes obvious that a new technology would be of practical use in the mobile market, then bring out a new device using a new ecosystem, not one that seeks to break the existing one.

  24. DarkwavePunk

    I know it's not a phone, but Samsung.

    Bought a Samsung Galaxy Pro 10 tablet when it came out. I'm an artist (of sorts) so the S-Pen thingo is really neat, pressure sensitive, not the worst lag I've had on a tablet. Paid Mega-Wonga (think that's a technical term) for it back in the day in the hopes that my digital dream would come true. Nothing new works on it, LinageOS still doesn't appear to support the S-Pen thingywhatsit. Now it just sits in the corner glaring at me as if to say "Android 5.0.2? You fucking wanker!"

    Oddly enough my pencils and paper still work. Point being it's an old, yet very capable bit of kit that's artificially limited. This makes me wary of all such toys.

  25. Aussie Doc

    Optional sensible title here

    Must say my current phone is a rooted S6 that is more than enough for me and runs all the apps I need to run my business but I expect one of those apps to complain soon.

    I also write fantasy and often use my phone with one of the graphics apps with a 'pen' to assist with my worldbuilding or the note taking apps to grab ideas when I'm in the Doctor's waiting room - an unfortunately regular occurrence these days.

    All my older phones are part of my security camera setup - I have a big woodwork shop, metalwork shop, electronics workshop and a small 3d printer workshop (I live large block in Outback® Oz) and the battery consumption and camera power is great for surveillance stuff.

    Small solar panels keep each one charged as required, the 3d printer makes any special holders I need and I built small wifi controllers to allow me to turn/move the cameras as/if needed.

    My old Galaxy 7 (I think) tablet runs a host of electronic apps in my e-workshop so, all in all, I get decent usage out of old tat.

    Of course, your mileage may vary and I do expect to have to update soon because one of my business apps says there is a major update pending.

    It's in my coat ----->

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