Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NTT Docomo to shelve ICS update for Xperia handsets

Back in March, 18 handsets were being planned for upgrade to Android 4.0 ICS, including the Xperia acro SO-02C. An additional 7 were being considered for upgrade, including 3 other Xperias. Now, it turns that no Xperia handset will be officially upgraded to ICS.

Handsets that will not get ICS are:
  • F-12C
  • Xperia PLAY SO-01D
  • Xperia ray SO-03C
  • Xperia acro SO-02C
  • Xperia arc SO-01C
Docomo also announced that three additional phones will get ICS:
  • Disney Mobile on docomo F-08D
  • Disney Mobile on docomo P-05D
  • GALAXY Note SC-05D 

I hadn't noticed before, but the original "18" handsets was actually only 17 because the Acro was listed twice - once as being confirmed for upgrade, and once as being only considered for upgrade.

Docomo cites the lack of memory in these handsets as the reason for not upgrading to ICS.
AndroidTM4.0へのバージョンアップの際、メモリ不足となる場合があり、その際十分な性能が確保できない可能性があるため、AndroidTM4.0 へのバージョンアップは見送らせていただきます。

From what I can tell, each of these has 512 MB of RAM, which is certainly enough to run ICS. The Nexus S was officially updated and only has 512 MB. Perhaps this is not enough to run ICS when bloated with all the Docomo crap?

I've been critical of the Xperia line in the past. Working with the X10 is frustrating. The phone was brought to market in a beta state, and, even though it had the same hardware as the Google Nexus One, it was, comparably, a pig.

While I want to support domestic makers, until they begin reliably providing "after service," which I define to include upgrades, I find it difficult to recommend them. Since HTC hasn't been so successful in Japan, right now it seems that Samsung is the brand to recommend.

via @dsilva


  1. Sony _is_ issuing updates to these phones though; it's NTT that won't apply them, right? Same thing with my old X10 Android phone, where the last update to 2.3 was never released by NTT. It's a said state where Docomo is the best option out there...

    With that said, I'm running ICS on a tablet with 512Mb RAM, and it really is marginal. Use anything memory-intensive (such as a browser) and switching apps gives you large, very noticeable lag as it madly swaps memory in the background. When you return to the browser, your cached pages are of course gone and will have to be reloaded from the net again.

  2. After seeing what Sony / Docomo did with the first Xperia I don't think I would ever get one. The new ones do look pretty nice. As far as a tablet goes I am pretty happy with my Xoom and it will get the 4.1 update, no thanks to AU who only recently updated to ICS.

    I am not sure what phone I would really buy right now if I had to. My SC-02C took a pretty bad fall yesterday and the screen is slowly turning purple / off white. A replacement screen is $200 so I think I will just wait and see how bad it gets.

  3. Perhaps all that SP-Mode stuff means there is not enough usable memory to make ICS run smoothly.
    I was told that I have no choice but to switch to SP-Mode when I buy my next device.

    I have an X10/SO-01b but Docomo's strategy there was not a bad one.
    They would essentially buy out anyone's "contract" so you buy a different device right away.
    I think it was from November to March.

    Better to have a new device than one where the carrier really really really really really doesn't want to support you.

  4. I've run ICS straight from AOSP and cyanogen on the Nexus S, and I am satisfied with the multitasking. The biggest issue I see is the OS uses more battery than 2.3 did.

    I think I saw that it ICS was being pushed by other carriers, so probably just Docomo. And if it was having memory problems, it could be due to spmode like Derek says below.

  5. I actually used the Regza T-01C, and that was one hell of an experience, even after updating to 2.3. I switched to Xperia Arc - which had too little internal memory for my use - and am now on the SO-03D Xperia Arco HD. I actually do think that Sony has significantly improved from the X10 (totally agreed that it was a dud).

  6. i am an iphone user and i really want to give android a go but this just sounds like such a nightmare.

    i bought into all the galaxy iii hype and was considering getting one but when i actually checked one out i was underwhelmed.

    have iphone 4 at the moment and i guess i will wait it out and see what apple brings to the table in september.

    i hate softbank though.

    probably better off just getting an ipod touch and using it on emobile. i hate all carriers!!

  7. I'm sorry for the OT, anyone know why sc-02c official ICS update were suspended?

  8. I'm guessing there were some quality control issues. My wife has it installed on her phone and she has been complaining that it has been locking uo and freezing quite often.

  9. thank you very much Nicholas for your reply!

  10. no problem ;)
    CyanogenMod 9 has been running really well for me lately though.

  11. I know I know, but I would like to test also the official one :)

  12. Force quitting keyboards on some installs.