HMD promises Android P update for all 2017 Nokia smartphones

HMD has already committed to dishing out Google’s unannounced Android P to owners of all existing Nokia smartphones.

This year, we’ve seen Finnish upstart HMD making solid use of its paid-for Nokia brand licence, churning out Android-powered Nokia smartphones at an impressive rate. The phones have been generally well-received, and the promise of an Android 8.0 Oreo update by the end of 2017 is a welcome boon.

But HMD is going one step further, and confirmed that all existing Nokia smartphones launched in 2017 – like the new Nokia 8 – will be getting an upgrade to Android P. The announcement came at a launch event in the Philippines this week, and is a major incentive for anyone to buy the phone – as you can be confident you won’t be left out to dry when the new software arrives.

It’s an interesting announcement, mainly because Google hasn’t even announced Android P. In fact, Google only recently released the final version of Android O (now known as Android 8.0 Oreo), so Android P still seems a long way off.

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Nokia 8

What’s likely is that Google will follow tradition and announce Android P at its annual Google I/O developer conference, which will probably take place in the second quarter of next year. However, the final Android P build probably won’t become available until September time – to pave the way for a Google Pixel 3 release.

Typically, phone makers then tinker with the software to create their own custom version of it. This multi-stage process typically adds another few months onto the release roadmap, so anyone using a non-Google phone will likely have to wait until the end of 2018 – and probably into 2019 – to get Android P.

HMD seems convinced that it can ship Android P to customers soon after the software’s release, but given that we haven’t seen Android P yet, it all seems far too soon to say anything for certain.

The good news is that HMD is seemingly committed to keeping its current roster of Nokia smartphones relevant for at least three major versions of Android, which is more than can be said for some other phone makers.

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