Last year Qualcomm teamed up with ASUS to launch its first-ever smartphone — the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders. As its name suggests, the phone was aimed at Snapdragon Insiders, a new community of Snapdragon fans and enthusiasts that Qualcomm announced last year. The phone was designed and manufactured by ASUS, which also oversaw distribution, sales, and software support. From a phone that comes directly from Qualcomm and costs $1,499, you would certainly have high expectations. At the very least, you expect it to receive timely security updates. But it looks like the phone isn’t a priority for Qualcomm or ASUS anymore.
The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders hasn’t received a new feature update since March. While that’s pretty bad by itself, the situation is even worse when it comes to security updates. It may sound ridiculous, but the phone hasn’t received a single security update since January. That’s as bad as it gets. A top-of-the-line flagship from one of the biggest chipmakers, which costs $1,499, by the way, is on a six-month-old security patch. At launch, Qualcomm had promised the phone would receive “4 years of regular security updates,” but the chipmaker is already running six months behind less than a year since its launch.
At launch, the smartphone will run stock Android 11 and Qualcomm will provide 4-years of regular security updates.
— Snapdragon (@Snapdragon) July 9, 2021
The update situation was certainly not this bad in the beginning. Looking at ASUS’ software page, we can see that the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders had seen a new software update roughly every month between August to January. The last update came in March, and while the changelog mentions “updated Android security patch,” there was no change to the security patch level, according to Redditor u/hdoublearp. The phone remained stuck on January 2022 patch.
By this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the phone is also stuck on the same Android version it shipped with (Android 11). There’s no word from ASUS or Qualcomm on when the phone will get Android 12.
We’re not sure who to blame here, but it certainly looks bad on both Qualcomm and ASUS to leave a top-of-the-line flagship without any security updates for months. In response to u/hdoubleharp‘s original Reddit post, a Community Manager from Qualcomm said they’ll check with the team and “look to get you an answer.” But we haven’t seen any further updates from them either. We’ll let you know as soon as Qualcomm or ASUS issue a statement on the matter.