Nexus devices are supposed to be first in line to get the latest Android updates, right? Maybe not, it turns out, if you bought your phone or tablet through a carrier instead of straight from Google Play.
The search giant has quietly updated its official policy on software upgrades for Nexus and Google Play Edition devices, adding a quick disclaimer for carrier models. Google’s policy now notes that while most updates should hit stock Android devices within two weeks, it could take even longer “based on your carrier.”
Until recently this might not have been an issue, since Google generally sold these devices straight from the Play Store unlocked. But the Nexus 6 is different. The $649 smartphone has been sold and subsidized by all four major U.S. carriers. That means pre-installed bloatware in some cases, and down the road it could mean delays on future software updates.
Of course, no carrier can actually stop you from updating your Nexus device. Even if Verizon or AT&T decides to hold off on pushing an over-the-air update due to some small bug, you’ll still be able to flash the new software manually. It’s not quite the same though, and for some people it may not be worth the hassle.