Sony Xperia ICS Upgrade Slated For March

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) will arrive on Sony Ericsson Xperia handsets in March next year

Sony Ericsson has reaffirmed that it will begin upgrading its Xperia smartphone portfolio to Google’s Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) platform in March or early April next year.

Sony, which is doing a phased roll-out over several weeks, said the first smartphones to get the upgrade will be the Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray.

Ice Cream Rollout

Beginning in the end of April and early May, the company will bring ICS to the Xperia arc, Xperia Play, Xperia neo, Xperia mini and mini pro, Xperia pro and Xperia active, as well as Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman.

Xperia smartphone owners will receive a notification in the phone telling them to download the software over the air via 3G or WiFi. Users may also connect their Xperia handset to a computer and download it via PC Companion.

For some consumers, especially platform-savvy technophiles, knowing when a major OS upgrade is coming for their handsets and tablets is a huge deal, which is why top Android OEMs are providing more guidance into their upgrade timelines and processes.

Sony, whose developers have been adapting the current Xperia software to work with ICS since Google open-sourced the code 14 November, provided a detailed overview of its Android platform upgrade process earlier this month.

In short, Sony’s engineers tested the code to make sure it compiles correctly and debugged it. Sony then shared the code with its external partners. Read the rest of Sony’s technical details here on the company’s developer blog.

Upgrade Plans

Sony is just one of a handful of vendors that have come out with information about their ICS upgrade plans. Samsung, whose Galaxy Nexus was the first ICS-equipped handset, unveiled its upgrade plans earlier this week but was somewhat more vague than Sony.

Samsung said it will upgrade its Galaxy S II smartphone, Galaxy Tab tablets and other devices to ICS beginning in 2012.

Motorola is assessing this source code and will spend the rest of the month deciding which of its devices will get the upgrade and when. Motorola handsets, such as the Motorola Droid Razr, Droid Bionic, Motorola Razr and the Motorola Xoom tablet, will get ICS.

LG said that it will make ICS available for such high-end LG smartphones as the Optimus 2X, the Optimus Black, the Optimus 3D and the Optimus LTE next year.