Qualcomm will reportedly not support Nougat on Snapdragon 800/801 Androids
While Android users tend to almost exclusively point the finger at the manufacturers of their devices or mobile carriers for delays in update deliveries or premature software support termination, there are actually a number of criteria a phone has to meet before getting an essential OS makeover.
And sometimes, it’s not the OEM’s fault at all a product that still seems relatively powerful is no longer eligible for a new Android flavor. Case in point, the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact. Sony recently hinted at Marshmallow marking the end of the upgrade road for both two-year-olds, with a reputable Twitter tipster now claiming it’s because they pack Snapdragon 801 chips.
Apparently, Qualcomm “will not release graphics drivers” for either the 801 or 800 CPU, so the “HTC One M8 and other devices” based on said processors “won’t get official Android 7.0.” Going deeper, it sounds like this odd “refusal” to support a pair of still very robust SoCs relates to Nougat’s Vulkan API integration, a new high-performance 3D graphics standard the SD800 and 801 are simply not compatible with.
Technically therefore, it’s nobody’s fault, but if you really want to blame someone, give HTC or Sony a break for a change. At the same time, perhaps Qualcomm and Google could collaborate on a workaround of sorts, though you have to wonder if such efforts would be worth it. After all, phones like the One M8, Nexus 5, Galaxy S5 or LG G3 are past the 24-month mark anyway, the Z3 is exactly two years old, while the much younger OnePlus X remains stuck on Lollipop.