Sony have finally given us all a spot of good news this week, announcing that all Xperia smartphones released in 2011 will be receiving an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich within the next few months. Roll-out will start in Scandinavia, with Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland, with the Xperia arc S, ray and Neo V, with other markets being covered within ‘four to six weeks’. Sony have also pointed out that by the end of May, the Xperia arc, Play, active, Neo Mini, Mini Pro, Pro and Sony Ericsson Live will be getting their fill of ICS updates, so pretty much all you Xperia owners can breathe a sigh of relief.
So, that’s the news, now here’s the rant; why on earth does it have to take this long? Admittedly Sony aren’t the most deserving of damnation at this point, being fairly punctual in comparison to a lot of other manufacturers, but the general uptake of ICS has been nothing but poor across the board. The OS was released over five months ago, and yet figures for uptake still haven’t broken the 5% barrier. Given that Ice Cream Sandwich has been indisputably the biggest change to the OS (as well as the biggest improvement) in years, this is quite a shock. Perhaps the world is happy with Gingerbread, good as it is, and we’ve all lost our taste for a little excitement?
What’s really brought this on, of course, is the revelation that – never mind updates for older handsets – many new models are being shipped with Gingerbread. This is understandable when it comes to budget phones like the Galaxy Ace 2; after all, you do want to hold something back for the big spenders. But when it comes to high-spec handsets, like the Sony Xperia Ion, which is being released with Gingerbread despite packing in a dual-core processor and coming with a price tag of a few hundred pounds, it’s harder to fathom. You would be forgiven for thinking that a few hundred pounds would buy you the operating system that’s now nearly half a year old – but no. Calm down Android fans, you’ll just have to wait.
It’s important not to be too negative about this news; after all, it is a good sign that uptake is on the rise. That, and Sony certainly aren’t the only ones guilty of overlooking Ice Cream Sandwich; so far this year, only HTC have done us proud by announcing the operating system on all three of their new handsets, including the budget HTC One V. To look on the bright side, it’s probably an indication that Gingerbread was an immensely popular operating system, which explains why manufacturers are so reluctant to change. Well, I say: embrace it. Onwards and upwards, to a better, more user-friendly future.