Last week we broke the story that Verizon would be managing system updates for Pixel devices that it sells, and the immediate assumption was that Verizon would delay those updates — not an unreasonable assumption at all based on the carrier’s track record. Now, less than a week later, Verizon has contacted ArsTechnica to state that it won’t be delaying updates. Good right?
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Seemingly to clarify the situation, Verizon had the following to say:
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.
That contradicts what Google told us last week. Where Google stated that Verizon would manage system updates (but not security updates), Verizon is stating that its devices will receive the update similar to how iOS devices do, with updates pushed directly from Apple (or in the case of the Pixel, Google). In other words, Verizon is saying that Google will actually be pushing the update.
You could chalk all this up to one big misunderstanding, but that seems unlikely considering the Google gave us the first statement an entire week ago. Now, Google has corroborated what Ars heard from Verizon, saying “OS updates and monthly security patches will be updated on all Pixel devices (Verizon and non-Verizon versions) simultaneously.”
Confused yet? We are too. We’ve reached out to Google to get further clarification on the matter and once we get a reply, we’ll further clarify the situation.
Last, Verizon also mentioned to ArsTechnica that Verizon Pixels would come installed with three Verizon apps (MyVerizon, go90, and Verizon Messaging), as we mentioned last week, however, the carrier has confirmed that none will be system apps. The device is also unlocked for use on other carriers (as all Verizon devices are), but as far as we know the bootloader is still locked.