Sony has just announced it’s Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean upgrade plans, and it’s a huge disappointment. And somehow we all saw it coming. Sony has decided to abandon it’s 2012 flagship Xperia S owners till mid April, when they will update the smartphone with an outdated Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean (when Android 5.0 might get introduced the month after that). Additionally, it’s infuriating for Xperia S owners to have to wait for the inferior Xperia P and GO users to get Jelly Bean first. Not only that, the Xperia J with ancient hardware will also receive the Jelly Bean upgrade, but not the Xperia U and Xperia Sola. Perhaps Sony has forgotten that the Xperia U and Sola are their most selling smartphones in 2012 (in the mid range segment which sells more than flagships, and earns more profit than the entry level devices).
Jelly Bean for Xperia T, TX and V
Sony has at least done one thing right, update their current late 2012 flagships first. The Xperia T, TX and V will receive the Jelly Bean update between February and March 2013. It remains to be seen if this will be the only upgrade these devices will ever receive. My take is that Sony will update the trio to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but that is perhaps 3-4 months after Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie gets released. Fa!l.
Jelly Bean for Xperia P, GO and J
The Xperia P, GO and J will receive their Jelly Bean update from the end of March. The Xperia P and GO share the same Novathor Chipset. The Xperia P packs a qHD display and 1 GB of RAM while the GO has an HVGA display and 512 MB of RAM. The Xperia J packs an ancient Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 chipset with ARM Cortex A5 based CPU and 512 MB of RAM coupled with a FWVGA display. Needless to say, these are the last updates these devices will ever see.
Jelly Bean for Xperia S, SL, ION and Acro S
It’s slightly confusing that early 2012 flagships including the very popular Xperia S will receive the update only after the lesser Xperia P, GO and J. It’s a big upset for users who have been waiting for more than 6 months for an update. Flagships from Samsung and HTC introduced around the same time frame got their Jelly Bean update long ago. Sony has failed in that entirely. And it is apparently working really hard to piss it’s users off too. These smartphones will receive the Jelly Bean update April onwards.
No Jelly Bean for Xperia U, SOLA, Miro and Tipo
It comes as a big surprise that two of Sony’s most selling 2012 smartphones are not getting updated to Jelly Bean. The Xperia U and Sola pack the dual core Novathor chipset and FWVGA displays alongwith 512 MB of RAM. These devices are superior to the Xperia GO and yet they are not receiving the near outdated Android updated (it will be nearly 10 months old by the time all these devices receive it). Needless to say, this has left all Xperia U and SOLA owners furious, and for good reason too.
The Xperia Miro and Tipo share specifications with the upcoming Xperia E, which will come with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Perhaps that is why the Miro and Tipo will not receive the update. Besides, the Tipo and Miro and more of entry level and lower mid range devices. It is still understandable that they are not receiving the update. Sony just wants to sell their new device. Sad because if they had just updated their old one, people would continue to buy it.
What has SONY got to say?
Why the Xperia U, SOLA, Miro and Tipo will not receiving Jelly Bean
The quality of Xperia’s software experience is dependent on a number of factors including: screen resolution, hardware platform and RAM. In the case of Xperia go, this combination came together in a way that meant the user experience running JB was not adversely affected.
Unfortunately, in the case of Xperia tipo, Xperia miro, Xperia U and Xperia sola this wasn’t the case – so we made the decision to keep them on Ice Cream Sandwich.
How the decide whether to update an Xperia to Jelly Bean
Our priority has and always will be, to deliver the best possible smartphone experience – this means accounting for hardware, functionality and stability alongside Android version development.
As we are making the JB upgrade available to a considerable portion of our 2012 portfolio, finding a balance between these elements, means the process takes a little longer than if we had done it only for particular models at the high end.
We are continually investigating upgrades to the different/latest Android OS versions. As always, we will only share firm information when we’re confident of hitting the deadlines.
When we start an upgrade process we look for the way to get the very best out of the new software; that normally means starting with the most capable/latest devices. Once we’re satisfied that we’re really stretching the capabilities of that software, we then start to look at how we can re-create that user experience on earlier products. This takes a little more time but we believe it pays dividends in terms of the final product.
Why the 2011 Xperia family will not be updated to Jelly Bean
Xperia Arc S is part of our 2011 portfolio, which won’t be upgraded beyond ICS. The reason being – user experience is at the heart of our product development and support; after thorough evaluation, we concluded that the user experience for our 2011 Xperia smartphones will be superior if they remain on Ice Cream Sandwich versus being upgraded to Jelly Bean.