Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
1/11/2012
11:15 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Android 4.0 A No-Show At CES

More than 20 new Android smartphones launched, but why are they running Android 2.3, not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich?

Ultrabooks Of CES: Visual Tour
Ultrabooks Of CES: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
CES 2012 is packed with smartphones. They're everywhere. More than 20 were announced by companies such as LG, Motorola, Pantech, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. Too bad they're running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest operating system from Google.

Let's look at what phones were announced.

First, from LG we have the Connect 4G for MetroPCS, the Spectrum for Verizon Wireless, and the Viper for Sprint. All will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and promises of upgrades to Android 4.0 at a later time were wishy-washy at best. Of these three devices, the Spectrum and Viper are key handsets for LG. The Spectrum sports 4G LTE and a 4.5-inch true HD IPS display. It also has a Qualcomm 1.5-GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel main camera, and 1.3-megapixel front camera. It is a flagship phone from LG for Verizon Wireless. The Viper will be LG's first LTE 4G smartphone for Sprint.

Motorola announced the Droid 4 and RAZR MAXX, both LTE 4G phones for Verizon Wireless. The Droid 4 is the best Droid smartphone from Motorola yet in terms of hardware and design; it has a fantastic keyboard. Thanks to the user interface customizations made by Motorola, however, Android 4.0 won't be available to it for months to come. Same goes for the RAZR MAXX, a thicker, more battery-packed version of the Droid RAZR.

[ Check out what's been launched at CES. Read 5 Hottest Smartphones: CES Day One. ]

Samsung announced a range of devices for U.S. network operators, including the Attain 4G for MetroPCS; the Galaxy S II Blaze 4G for T-Mobile; and the Galaxy Note, Exhilarate, and Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD for AT&T. The AT&T handsets, in particular, are critical, because they all include support for AT&T's LTE 4G network. None of these phones ship with Android 4.0.

Pantech outed just one new handset, the Burst for AT&T. This little smartphone supports AT&T's LTE and brings affordability to 4G with a $50 price tag. Too bad it, too, lacks Android 4.0.

Sony Ericsson announced the Xperia S for world markets at the Xperia Ion for AT&T. The Ion is an Android phone with a 12-megapixel camera with Sony Exmor R sensor and 4.7-inch full HD display. A front camera also supports 720p capture. It also includes HDMI-out and is PlayStation certified. It includes support for AT&T's LTE's network. It ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Now, here's the kicker. Huawei, the Chinese electronics giant, also announced new smartphones, the P1 S and the P1. These phones, which are ridiculously thin at 7.1 mm, are the only two phones announced at CES that will ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Too bad they won't be available to U.S. buyers.

To Huawei, I say, "way to one-up the competition."

InformationWeek is conducting our third annual State of Enterprise Storage survey on data management technologies and strategies. Upon completion, you will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive an Apple 32-GB iPod Touch. Take our Enterprise Storage Survey now. Survey ends Jan. 13.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
AndroidFan
50%
50%
AndroidFan,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2012 | 1:40:47 AM
re: Android 4.0 A No-Show At CES
tw426...just to set the record straight, I am no Android Fanboy, just a fan. I happen to own an equal number of iOS products along with android, but I prefer Android. You're right I exaggerated a bit on the GN's obsolescence, but phones coming out at the same time or shortly thereafter had 8 MP cameras. The 1.2 Ghz Ti OMAP 4460 on the GN is fairly new but just an incremental step up from the year-old 4430 (which is in the new droids for some reason). The new LG Spectrum seems to have the hardware spot on, its just missing one thing. ICS. Which still begs the original question...why?
tw426
50%
50%
tw426,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/11/2012 | 8:56:02 PM
re: Android 4.0 A No-Show At CES
Zeman's articles never do answer much, but they often ask very good questions. That one needs an official answer too. The GN is not really 12 mo old tech AndroidFan(boy), in fact, if it had the plus screen of the GS2 AND a bigger battery, it would be essentially perfect.

I do not understand the marketing behind the thin imperative anyway... we need to start demanding and accepting 12 or 16mm phones with 3500 or 5000 mAH batteries. Faster and/or multicore processors and large screens use more energy.
AndroidFan
50%
50%
AndroidFan,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/11/2012 | 7:31:27 PM
re: Android 4.0 A No-Show At CES
This article asks a really good question. But doesn't give the answer. What is the explanation for no ICS phones? I think I have some pretty good ideas as to why this is but am looking for an official explanation. I am 6 months past my contract expiration on my O.G. Droid and I am not going to fall for the "It will be getting ICS sometime soon" game. I'll buy the phone that comes with it out of the box. And not the Galaxy Nexus, which is basically 12-month old tech. Is anyone going to announce a phone built with good specs AND runs ICS?
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 20, 2014
CIOs need people who know the ins and outs of cloud software stacks and security, and, most of all, can break through cultural resistance.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.