Sony abandons plans for Xperia PLAY Android 4.0 update

Devices running Android 4.0 (known also as Ice Cream Sandwich) remain very much in the minority on the complex, fragmented landscape of Google’s mobile platform. But while there remain relatively few models carrying the latest Android version – with many handsets still being launched with 2.3 Gingerbread on board – various manufacturers have committed to updating at least some of their devices to 4.0 in the coming months.

One such manufacturer is Sony, which confirmed its plans just a couple of months back. But not all is going to plan, it seems, at least when it comes to the Xperia PLAY. Despite being listed in March among those devices that would be guaranteed the update, a post on the official Sony Xperia Product Blog has confirmed that the company will now not be bringing ICS to the handset at all.

The reason for this U-turn? It seems that Sony’s engineers just can’t get the handset to perform reliably with Android 4.0: “After extensive in-house testing with our developer teams and working with our partners, we have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich.”

Sony claims it has “received similar feedback from the developer community; both experienced developers and advanced users, along with game content providers”, hinting at insurmountable problems with getting the OS to run reliably on the device. It added that “in this instance, the ICS upgrade would have compromised stability, where we look to ensure a quality gaming experience”.

It’s currently unclear what impact this might have on Sony’s plans to extend its portfolio of PlayStation Certified Android handsets beyond the limited few devices that are currently approved for PS gaming.

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog | Image via Sony

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