Are Sony and LG Ready to Up Their Game in 2012?

November 28, 2011
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Sony is promising to update their whole Xperia line-up to Android 4.0 next year, and also LG says they will update at least 4 of the Optimus phones to ICS: LG Optimus 2X, 3D, Black and LTE. Out of the 4 the LG Optimus Black is the only single core one, so this gives us confirmation that Android 4.0 will work on single core phones, too, in case you were worried – with the whole Nexus One not getting it thing.

Of course, I believe Nexus One is not getting it mainly because of internal storage constraints than anything, and perhaps because even Google doesn’t want to extend the update process for more than the promised 18 months of updates (back at I/O 2011). So all the other single core phones that have at least 1 GB of internal storage should be capable of receiving Android 4.0, but of course that will ultimately depend on how willing are the manufacturers to do it.

Sony scored major brownie points in my view when they announced that all the Xperia phones in 2011 will get Android 4.0. I’m glad they did it not just because I want them to update their own products, but because it would hopefully teach the others to do the same, too, as a way to maintain their competitiveness, if for no other reason.

On the other hand both Sony and LG devices are not exactly seen as the best of the best in the Android market right now, so they need all the (other) advantages they can get. Having the software up to date will go a long way, but it also depends on how fast the top 3 players such as Samsung, HTC and Motorola will be updating their devices.

Ever since LG announced they will start making Android phones, I’ve thought that the best way for them to get a lot of fame in one go, would be to offer stock Android on their phones. Not only would it be cheaper for them because they wouldn’t need all the extra development, but it would actually set them apart from the competition who are all interested in skinning Android.

Sony, too, could benefit from this, as their phone division hasn’t exactly been a moneymaker lately. Plus, it would give them precious time to be ahead of the competition when it comes to updates. For example, I think it will be many months before we see the first HTC phone with Android 4.0. They may actually be the last of them to offer it. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling HTC will really take their time to put the next version of Sense on top of Android 4.0, which is a pretty new codebase, so that could take a while.

If they get the software part right, and also the hardware and design part, maybe we will finally see some real competitors in Sony and LG in 2012.

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