ICS update not coming to O2 UK owners of the Xperia arc, neo & ray

by XB on 3rd September 2012

in Android, Firmware, Xperia arc, Xperia Neo, Xperia ray

UK mobile operator O2 has announced that the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update will not be released for three of its 2011 Xperia handsets – the Xperia arc, Xperia neo and Xperia ray. Apparently O2 has been testing the potential update over the last few months but O2 says that the “the testing didn’t meet our requirements”.

More specifically they found that the “software update affected the phone’s speed and performance” on three different versions of ICS software tested. Given the performance hit and the inability to roll back to an earlier version of Android, O2 decided to not sanction the update. O2 confirmed that these phones will remain on Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread and, as things stand, no new software will be available going forward.

The news is a bit of a bummer for O2 owners of these phones, but highlights the tightrope which both mobile manufacturers and operators tread when deciding which handsets should be updated. Sony Mobile should be commended in updating the entire 2011 Xperia line-up to ICS. However, Sony itself talked of the issues users may face before the ICS update started to roll out.

Maybe, Sony Mobile would be better off only updating the handsets with enough grunt to do it justice? This would obviously create disappointment for those on phones with weaker hardware, but judging by chatter on here and other forums, many people are frustrated by the slow performance of ICS on their handsets. So what do you think Sony should do – update the higher-end phones only, or carry on as they are doing? Let us know in the comments below.

Via O2.

  • Alexandre Bote Tronchoni

    The question is…Why O2 don’t do what manufacturers do…? Imagine that situation: Ford says that all the Cars produced in 2011 should has a Upgrade of the electronic control of traction but…the shop wher you bought the car say you don’t…It’s incredible. The phone is Sony and O2 don’t have to say nothing about the updates of the phone…!!!!

  • Domino

    Wait for 4.1 for Xperia S

  • Let consumers choose. Let them update if they want. I switched to ICS on my ray and I’ve never been happier with it.

  • m-cd

    True. If the manufacturer believes that the phone should be updated with no problem, then that’s it. The Xperia Play is the perfect example.

  • huntedsoul

    F*&% you O2, glad that I flashed it :)

  • Marcus

    A number of Sony devices with equal or lower specs on paper to 2011 devices have been released which seem to be able to run ICS perfectly well. Something about this situation smells funny.

  • Rob Caldecott

    This might not be a popular view – but I can see their point. The ICS update *is* laggy, some apps are much slower (the dialler for example), video recording performance is shockingly bad and some games don’t even run let alone perform like they did on GB. So if you update to ICS and aren’t happy then who’s going to take the flak? Who are you going to complain to? O2 of course. And because you can’t officially downgrade to GB then people will naturally blame O2 and not Sony. Why should O2 have to take the blame – and potentially lose customers – because Sony borked the ICS update? Remember that most people with these phones aren’t techies, won’t know how to use tools like FlashTool, won’t know about XDA, etc. etc. When ICS was first released for the arc the official Sony support forum was stuffed full of people complaining – no wonder O2 decided against this sort of grief.

  • malih

    My condolences to those of us that are the customers of O2 UK.

    The ICS update can be somewhat slow, because of the bloatwares and unneeded services.But because Sony released it anyway, I can get tweaked ROMs based on it which makes things better for users by removing bloatwares and optimizing here and there.

    Sony maybe should limit the installation using less commonly installed software like the Update Service, instead of the more commonly used PC Companion, so people that are less adventurous don’t end up updating their phones.

    So yes, Sony should keep the update coming, developers can always optimize it to make the update better for daily use.

  • Rob Caldecott

    Welcome to Android. The only solution is to buy a Nexus device running stock Android which is what I’m going to do next time – hopefully the Xperia Nexus rumours are true!

  • malih

    mostly those devices have lower resolution so it would be less demanding compared to phones like Xperia Ray and Arc,

    for example the Xperia Tipo, I’ve seen a few video review, and it runs ICS well, but also does have the usual slowdowns in some places much like ICS update for 2011 Xperia phones

  • Raymond

    Tbh I think people should make thier own decisions if it is worse its their fault ics on my arc is fine and works well glad im on three UK.

  • TjaldidTjaldid

    update to jellybean and leave it at that

  • Just Flash .ftf.

  • Rob Caldecott

    Because your average phone user knows how to use FlashTools right? :)

  • RT

    It is true that ics causes lags. My Neo V is operating so slowly, I had to open a ticket to send it back for a reboot to 2.3. So now I have to figure out how to have a phone for the next two weeks. Most apps are ok, but calling is ridiculously slow. Push the icon, count to five. Push the number, count to five. It’s painful. Considering that my wife’s Xperia U which I haven’t ‘upgraded’, works in the blink of an eye. Sony should not have done this without an easy path back. Anybody want to loan me a phone for a couple of weeks?

  • paul4id

    no that is not the solution. Nexus devices are the antithesis to open-development and fairness in the Android world. The solution is to unlock your bootloader and install it for yourself.

  • paul4id

    Nonsense. The reason is that the Sony update, especially the kernel and drivers have not been updated properly to work with ICS.

  • Rob Caldecott

    Because your average user is technical enough to do this right? Sorry but this just isn’t going to happen. The fact is that people are at the mercy of the carriers unless you have a Nexus device and that isn’t going to change any time soon I’m afraid.

    Nexus devices are the solution not the problem.

  • Andrei

    SONY shall issue 2.3.7 version of gingerbread as alternative of ICS of a line of 2011.

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