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ICS Updates for Sony Xperia Arc, Ray and Neo Blocked by O2 in U.K.

O2 store sign

Back in August, Sony starting rolling out its Android 4.0.4 upgrade to 2011 Xperia smartphones, including the Xperia arc, ray and neo. Those with an unlocked device will have already received it, but if your handset’s tied to a carrier, it can take a little while longer to arrive because it has to go through the necessary testing. If you’re an O2 customer, however, you won’t be receiving the update at all.

The British carrier has announced on its blog that it has blocked the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for the three handsets mentioned above. It maintains that the software affects speed and performance on these devices:

Unfortunately with the Xperia ray, arc and neo our testing found that the software update affected the phone’s speed and performance. These issues were present on three separate versions of the Android 4.0 software we tested and are caused by the software having more advanced hardware requirements than previous versions, as Sony explain on their site – “Android 4.0’s hardware requirements are more advanced than previous software updates, so your phone’s performance may be affected.”

Because the software affects the phone’s performance in this way and because you can’t revert back to an earlier version of Android without having your phone completely restored, we have decided not to approve the update. This means it won’t be available for O2 customers on these phones.

It’s interesting that O2 has decided to block this update after Sony itself has approved it. It’s certainly going to be disappointing news if you own one of these devices, and it means you’re now forever tied to Gingerbread (unless, of course, you decide to install a custom ROM). But at least you’re not stuck with a handsets that’s slow and unreliable following a software update.

If you’re an Xperia arc, ray or neo owner, how do you feel about this news?

[Via: Android Central]

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...