Update: Verizon says its Pixels will get updates at the same time as Google’s

Google
reader comments 198
Share this story

Update 2: Google agrees! The company told Ars "OS updates and monthly security patches will be updated on all Pixel devices (Verizon and non-Verizon versions) simultaneously."

Update: A Verizon spokesperson has reached out to Ars with the following corrections about its version of the Pixel:

"First and foremost, all operating system and security updates to the Pixel devices will happen in partnership with Google. In other words, when Google releases an update, Verizon phones will receive the same update at the same time (much like iOS updates). Verizon will not stand in the way of any major updates and users will get all updates at the same time as Google.

Also, the Verizon version of the Google Pixel is carrier unlocked, so you can use it where ever you like. Finally, we have three apps pre-installed on the phone Go90, My Verizon (which is your account management tool) and Verizon Messages (your messaging app). As you noted, all three can easily be uninstalled by the user."

Google told 9to5Google that "system updates will be managed by Verizon for Verizon models," which in the past this has meant slower, delayed updates. Verizon seems to be changing its update strategy for the Pixels, and now promises to "not stand in the way of any major updates." We've reached out to Google for comment and clarification.

Original story:
The Google Pixel phones are coming, and they're even being sold through a carrier: Verizon. I've speculated a few times now that it would be a terrible idea to purchase the Pixel through Verizon, however, and now Google has offered official confirmation that it is indeed a terrible idea to purchase the Pixel through Verizon.

Google gave the following statement to 9to5Google: "Monthly security updates will come from Google (for all models), and system updates will be managed by Verizon for Verizon models, and Google for unlocked models bought from Google Store."

This is better than I expected. Security updates will come from Google, so they will actually arrive on time. Verizon, however, is still free to stand in the way of your major updates, so don't expect to get them in a timely manner.

The Pixel phone has a very odd relationship with Verizon. In the US, Google and Verizon are advertising the device as a "Verizon Exclusive," but the Pixel phones are also available unlocked from the Google Store, Best Buy, Verizon, Target, and Walmart. Verizon isn't even the only cell carrier with the Pixel—you can also buy it from Google's "Project Fi" MVNO. The "Verizon Exclusive" marketing is doubly confusing when you consider the phone will work on any US carrier.

Some people buy devices from a carrier because they don't want to pay the full unlocked price up front, but this year Google is also offering financing plans that are identical to what a carrier would offer. The company also has a two-year "device protection" plan for $100 that is similar to the insurance carriers offer.

If you want to buy a Pixel phone, please don't buy the inferior Verizon version. You'll get a locked bootloader, delayed major updates, and there will even be (uninstallable, but still) Verizon crapware. If you really want to use the Pixel on Verizon, we recommend buying it unlocked and slapping in a Verizon SIM.


SHARE THIS
Previous Post
Next Post