By Johnny Wills | Oct 20, 2012 11:38 AM EDT
On Friday, Oct. 19, the Japanese semiconductor giant Sony shed light on its plans to update existing Xperia-branded smartphone to the latest version of Android operating system.
According to a post on the Sony Xperia Product Blog, the latest Sony Xperia models - the Xperia T, Xperia TX, and Xperia V - will get the Android 4.1 update in the middle of Q1 2013. Sony also confirmed that the Jelly Bean update for the international versions of Xperia acro S, Xperia Go, Xperia ion, Xperia J, Xperia S, and Xperia P. However, the company did not provide any timing details, but promised to keep consumers posted.
As far as pre-2012 Xperia phones are concerned, Sony doesn't have good news, even for 2011 Xperia models.
"We were glad to provide the Android 4.0.4 upgrade for our 2011 Xperia portfolio across most markets and the majority of models but, after thorough evaluation, we have concluded they will not be upgraded beyond Ice Cream Sandwich," read Sony's blog post. "Beyond Ice Cream Sandwich we would not able to guarantee owners of these smartphones the user experience you expect and we demand. We will however, continue to support all these products with firmware maintenance releases."
Many of the Sony handsets that will not see the Android 4.1 update are presently not even a year old. Released in June 2012, the U.S. version of Xperia ion is not in Sony's Android 4.1 update list. The infamous Xperia Play, smartphone with sliding PlayStation-style gamepad, is also out of luck along with owners of top-selling Sony phones like the Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo.
However, users who are lucky enough to get the latest iteration of Android earlier next year have a lot to look forward to. Android 4.1 comes with groundbreaking features such as Google Now and Project Butter. Improvements to notifications, keyboard, and voice-based apps, along with a few other updates have been made.
For many Xperia fans, the news of Sony axing the Jelly Bean update for its 2011 portfolio of Xperia handsets would come as a major blow. Given the importance of software updates in the consumer market, Sony should perhaps rethink its decision in order to stay in the same league as competing smartphones from its rivals.
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