Google announced the Pixel early this month in partnership with Verizon. While you can get the phone from the Google Store, Verizon will be the only carrier that will sell the phone directly. Our collective flashback to the Galaxy Nexus mess was seemingly confirmed when it was revealed that Verizon would be managing the system updates for the Pixel. Now, Verizon says those updates won’t be delayed.
According to Google, it will push the monthly security patches to the Pixel itself without direct involvement by Verizon. However, letting Verizon insert itself into the system update process seems like a recipe for disaster. The extra layer of carrier testing usually results in substantial delays. Verizon reached out to Ars Technica to make the claim that no, it won’t stand in the way of any major updates. The Verizon Pixel will get system updates “at the same time as Google.”
If the updates come out at literally the same time, I’m not really sure what Verizon’s role even is here. Perhaps the original statement from Google was just a confirmation that Verizon delivers the updates from its servers. Or Verizon might be saying it’s going to test the updates, but it’ll do it super-fast and won’t slow things down. Who knows if that’s true. Just given Verizon’s history, I’m skeptical.