At the international unveiling of Nokia’s three new Android smartphones back in February, a very public commitment was made to keeping the handsets up-to-date. HMD Global, the company behind Nokia’s smartphone return, made this pledge not only for the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, but also the entry-level Nokia 3.
Concerns have been raised about Nokia’s ability to keep its promise with respect to the Nokia 3, after the device launched with Android 7.0 Nougat. This is in contrast to the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, both of which run Android 7.1.1.
While the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 are both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 system-on-chip, the Nokia 3 is based around a MediaTek MT6737. It is this discrepancy that gave credence to the concerns, as MediaTek does not have a good reputation when it comes to releasing the driver modifications that are required for operating system updates.
During a recent conversation with GearBurn, Arto Nummela, CEO of HMD Global, acknowledged the issues around MediaTek chipsets, but said these factors had already been addressed.
“This is the nuance of it… MTK [MediaTek] doesn’t support 7.1.1,” he said. “Qualcomm supports that… we said to MTK, if you are our chipset provider, you have to commit to get the latest and greatest.”
Yet despite Nummela stating that HMD Global had raised the issue of Android updates with MediaTek, he did not provide details about the timescales involved. Nummela also did not set out whether any specific guarantees were given by MediaTek.
While there was nothing unique about the internal hardware on offer in Nokia’s new smartphones, one way the company sought to set itself apart was the promise of rapid Android updates. It was a commitment that covered both security patches and new operating system releases.