Following the recently released Samsung Galaxy Nexus, owners of other makes of Android smartphones are understandably eager to get their hands on the latest and greatest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Google released the source code for Android 4.0 a few weeks ago, allowing any manufacturer to build a version of the improved mobile OS for past and present smartphones, assuming the hardware is up to scratch.
Even for just-released models of smartphone with quite similar hardware to the Galaxy Nexus, delays of several months are expected before an update is made available. Sony Ericsson and Motorola both took the unusual step of describing the process and the causes of the typical long wait that users must endure.
Both pointed to lengthy qualification and testing regimes performed with mobile networks as the largest contributor to update delays.
"There may be a two-month preparation cycle to enter a carrier lab cycle of one to three months," wrote a Motorola representative on the firm’s Inside Motorola blog. The company didn’t provide any hard dates.
Contrary to what people may think, it is not the Bring up phase, but the Certification and approval phase that is the most time consuming process when it comes to getting a new software release out on our phones," wrote Sony Ericsson.
The company pointed out that carrier testing is "a task that the custom ROM community doesn’t have to take into consideration."
SE committed to releasing Android 4.0 updates for all of the 2011 Xperia-branded Android smartphones.