When will your Samsung smartphone get Google's latest Android update, 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich?
Samsung was the first manufacturer to bring an Ice Cream Sandwich phone to the market, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. In an ideal world, that should have given the company an advantage over its competitors and enabled it to quickly roll out the ICS update to its other devices. Unfortunately, that isn't the reality. We detailed why this isn't the case in our feature on why it takes so long for Android phones to receive the latest software updates.
Samsung has confirmed it plans to provide Android 4.0 updates for most of it's high-end Galaxy devices, including the popular Galaxy S II smartphone. The company has released a global timeline for these upgrades, but a Samsung Australia spokesperson was clear to point out that it only has worldwide details and "nothing specific for Australia" just yet.
Globally, Samsung has promised to upgrade both the Galaxy S II and the half-smartphone, half-tablet Galaxy Note to Ice Cream Sandwich in the first quarter of 2012 (by the end of March). The latter hasn't officially been released in Australia, but Vodafone has confirmed that the Galaxy Note is "coming soon". It launched late last year in various other markets.
In addition to the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note, Samsung plans to upgrade two other smartphones — the Galaxy S II LTE and the Galaxy R — "soon after" this time frame. These two smartphones are global models and aren't currently available in Australia, though local Android blog Ausdroid reports that Telstra may soon be releasing the Galaxy S II 4G. This is likely to be a slight variation of the Galaxy S II LTE suited to work in Australia on Telstra's 4G network.
Like all Android phones, the exact time frame for each of these upgrades will vary by market, depending on the carrier and the particular smartphone in question.
Disappointingly, though not unexpectedly, Samsung's range of low-end Galaxy smartphones — the Galaxy Y, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy 580 and Galaxy 5 — won't be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich. The company's original Galaxy S, a premium device when it launched less than two years ago, is also excluded from the update list.