By Aldo Panessidi
Sony is taking full heed of the old adage - « Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. » While this is not quite how the phrase was made notorious by former President George W. Bush, but it is a sentiment that Sony Ericsson customers can relate to. Way back when Android released v1.6 (time being relative in the technology world) for the Sony Xperia X10, customers experienced an unnecessary amount of pain when attempting to upgrade their smartphones’ operating system.
Prior to November 14th Sony Ericsson did not have access to the Android 4.0 ICS sourcecode, so they pulled up their shirtsleeves and began adapting their different devices. Since the code was optimized to work with Texas Instrument chipsets, there were some inevitable delays as Sony Ericsson rewrote most of the code from Hardware Abstraction Layer in order to interoperate with Qualcomm’s hardware. In a heart-warming display of corporate collaboration... this software coding is being shared with Android and its open source project – perhaps hinting at a willingness to pursue carrier neutrality with unlocked cell phone releases in the future.
The behind-the-scene coding work ensured that the migration to the Gingerbread v2.3 was, like its name, sweeter and smoother, with significantly less customer trepidation. Moving forward, Sony Ericsson has opted to makeover all the 2011 Xperia devices with the Ice Cream Sandwich Android OS v4.0 - across all their Xperia brand portfolio - Sony Xperia Mini Pro, Sony Arc, Sony Ray, Sony Cedar and Sony Play). For those Xperia smartphone users that prefer more tangible upgrades, a physical makeover with updated protective cases and skins may be more satisfying while waiting for the ICS OS release.
In their efforts to effectively communicate the upcoming upgrades, Sony Ericsson has been very open with customers. This is great and all, but consumer impatience is setting in. After all, it's the season for instant gratification - even if that new speaker dock for your smartphone has to sit on the closet shelf for a few weeks. To top off the impatience, some users still have some lingering concerns based on the Android 1.6 incident.
In true technology-forward fashion, Sony Ericsson released a detailed blog post which outlining the timeline of events for the ICS OS roll out. There is no firm date on when the ICS upgrades will be available to end-users as their mobile devices go through rigorous internal testing and then testing externally to receive certification from the various carriers.
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