Android 4.0: HTC, Motorola, Sony Chart Different Paths
Some manufacturers are choosing not to bestow Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on their aging gear. Here are some that will offer the update.
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Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been slow to reach devices already in the market. Though the first Android 4.0 smartphone went on sale in November of last year, many owners of devices purchased with Android 2.3 Gingerbread on board are still waiting for their upgrades.
Some of those Gingerbread device owners may be dismayed to learn they won't ever get the latest Android system software for their phone or tablet.
HTC, Motorola, and Sony recently provided new information on which devices will get Android 4.0 and when those updates will arrive. They've also noted which devices won't get Android 4.0. Let's look at how the field is playing out.
HTC. HTC is delivering Android 4.0 to a pretty decent selection of its devices. Looking at the smartphones slated for the upgrade, the list includes the Amaze 4G, Desire S, Desire H, DROID Incredible 2, EVO 3D, EVO 4G+, EVO Design 4G, Incredible S, Sensation, Sensation 4G, Sensation XE, Sensation XL, Rezound, Rhyme, ThunderBolt, Velocity 4G, and Vivid. Most of these phones are being sold by carriers in the U.S., though a few are available only in Europe or Asia.
As for timing, all the devices listed above will be updated by the end of August, but most will see Android 4.0 arrive sometime between now and July.
The bad news is that HTC's three tablet devices--the Flyer, EVO View 4G, and Jetstream--will not be updated beyond Android 3.2 Honeycomb. That's a shame.
Motorola. Motorola has committed to providing Ice Cream Sandwich to a pretty good selection of smartphones, but there are few glaring omissions. Most importantly, the Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX will get the update before the end of the second quarter. These are the two most recent devices it has shipped, and both are sold by Verizon Wireless.
Other notable U.S. handsets from Motorola that are on deck for Android 4.0 include the Atrix 2, Atrix 4G, Droid 4, and Bionic, all of which should be updated by the end of the third quarter. Owners of the Photon 4G will have to wait until the end of the fourth quarter for the update to arrive. If you're a Droid 3 owner or Droid X2 owner--both of which went on sale less than a year ago--forget about Android 4.0. It's not in your device's future.
Unlike HTC, Motorola will update its tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich. That means the Xyboard 10.1, Xyboard 8.2, and Xoom Wi-Fi + 3G/4G should enjoy some tasty dessert, which will start being served in the beginning of the third quarter.
Sony. Sony has already started rolling out Android 4.0 to some devices, including the Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray. Following those, the Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY, Xperia neo, Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active, and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will receive Ice Cream Sandwich starting at the end of May/early June. Most of the devices listed above should see the update by the end of June.
Sony will be quicker than Motorola to deliver Android 4.0 to its tablet devices. The company confirmed this week that both the Sony Tablet P and Sony Tablet S will have Ice Cream Sandwich by May 31.
If you don't see your device on any of the lists provided by HTC, Motorola, and Sony, chances are it won't be updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But that means your device is so old you should probably buy a new one, anyway. There are already a few Android 4.0 devices available in wireless stores today, so head on down and grab one.
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