Dec 12 AT 11:19 AM Anthony Domanico 90 Comments

And the first handset maker with an Android 4.0 update is… Huawei?


Handset makers are hard at work figuring out ways to bring Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) to their Android devices. While HTC and Motorola were quick to mention which devices would get the ICS update, both companies were beat to the punch when it comes to releasing the much-anticipated OS upgrade to their devices.

Huawei has released a demo-build of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Huawei Honor smartphone onto its website. Though the Huawei Honor is not currently available in the United States, it is rumored to be coming soon to Cricket Wireless as the Huawei Glory, though no official announcement of the release has been made. Since Huawei doesn’t have their Honor phone available in the U.S., their Android 4.0 build did not have to go through carrier testing, a process which makes the upgrade cycle unbearably slow in the U.S.

Regardless, the fact that one company is releasing Android 4.0 could suggest that other companies will soon follow suit. Or, at the very least, that handset makers will soon be putting their finishing touches on their ICS builds to submit to the carriers for their approval.

Kudos to Huawei for getting it out so early, and being the first handset maker to offer an upgrade to their customers.

Via: Engadget

Source: Phone Arena

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • mikeyDroid

    They probably have half the politics as a US carrier, but good for them!

    • WarDrake

      i think you have an extra “but” in that sentence up there ^_^

    • faun

      Then again a lot of Europeans buy phones off-contract and unbranded (therefore presumably also without carrier-politics), so this really is a remarkable achievement!

      I’m still eagerly awaiting a leak for my SGS2 so I can put an AOSP ICS rom on there…

    • booyootoo

      Here in europe the updates for non branded phones are released quicker than the branded ones. But still the updates take a long time before they are rolled out.

      Kudos to Huawei. I hope other manufacturers increase their release rate…

    • thechad

      Good for them.

  • Fabio R

    Intresting to see how Huawei is evolving from a cheap smartphone manufacturer to a serious company with good products

    • lxgeorge

      Yes I’ve been quite intrigued by their evolution. On a different note, does anyone know the specs of the Honor? I seem to remember reading an article on Android and Me awhile aho

    • stenzor

      Sounds like LG to me


    All major manufacturers please take notes!

  • dl22

    I know there are going to be quick ports to devices that didn’t come with ICS, but that still leaves the user with integrated buttons which isn’t necessary in ICS. That would bother me!

    • WarDrake

      Actually… you can turn on or off the virtual buttons when you’re making a port, and if not, a patch can easily be applied as well, so you can account for integrated buttons on every phone out there ^_^

      There’s something for everybody on ICS ^_^

  • oko loko

    Big brands… beware :)

  • Andrew Huff

    The fact that Huawei is the first should make every other manufacturer feel shame. I mean seriously, Huawei? Really?

  • keridel

    asus started this trend and i for one love it. Samsung take note!

    How can samsung not be able to update the sgs2 in a timely fashion? they had 4.0 before anyone else. why have that still not got an update ready?

    useless beggars

    • goncalossilva

      Yeah, Asus started this. I hope it becomes a trend!

    • BiGMERF


      • Patricio Acuña

        fk touch wiz, they should roll out stock ICS on i9100 series cuz that one is not branded afaik

      • keridel

        i agree touchwiz is the reason. but they still had the 4.0 code before anyone else. at least 2 or 3 months it would be nice to see them actually sort their phones out before EVERY other OEM does it.

        • kazahani

          I give you props from my Vibrant, which is still running 2.2 =(

  • goncalossilva

    Wow, Huawei is teaching everyone a lesson! Let’s hope other manufacturers get jealous and work harder :)

  • WarDrake

    Kudos and lots of respect to Huawei for pulling the rug from under every other manufacturer ^_^ Now let’s see the race begin ^_^

  • ramenchef

    Blame the carriers, not the manufacturers. US carriers have such stupid requirements for updates that the rest of the world does not require of OTA updates. It’s rather ridiculous.

  • Rob Vermeij

    hmmm but the others are not releasing test builds which I do not consider as a finished global update.

  • Kaote

    Not exactly the first place I would have expected to see ICS, but great to see it rolling out.
    Hopefully ASUS will release it for the Transformer soon.

  • Patricio Acuña

    i mean really samsung pull the finger out of the hole give us the ICS updates already or at least push verizon to release the nexus for petes sake

    we all want ICS >_>

  • tpulu

    Huawei? Good for them!.. do they run Vanilla Android? If so, probably contributes to the reason they can get it out so early.

  • ranwanimator

    To be fair the carriers want phones out there that they have to troubleshoot as little as possible. That’s why there’s so much testing (I imagine). If a broken or glitchy phone gets out there, it’s nothing but expense and headaches for the carrier. Better to make sure it doesn’t get into the wild that way.

  • Kevin Amundson

    Hopefully this can be viewed as a stepping stone towards getting 4.0 released in the US. Hint… Hint… Verizon… Google… Let’s see the Nexus Galaxy.

  • Martjn2

    Why can’t there be more pure google vanilla android phones quicker updates and everyone is happy? :P

  • James Conley

    I wish all devices were updated from google so we could cut out the carrier lag that we see. It was rough getting my magic just to see it take over a year to update. Now devices get it seems like just one update and by the time you get the update it is a release behind.

  • Scotter

    Mislead often?

    “…demo-build of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Honor smartphone onto its website.” <– what does that mean?

    "… the Huawei Honor is NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE in the United States … RUMORED to be coming soon to Cricket Wireless as the Huawei Glory… though NO OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT of the release"

    Uhm… how is this a meaningful article? Like how is Huawei *actually* ahead of Samsuck or any other company putting out ICS? Do they have a phone for sale now? No. Is there an exact release date? No. Is this article pure fluff?

    • Nick Gray

      We know that most of our readers live in North America, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not valid news simply because you can’t buy this phone here. A SIM unlocked Huawei honor can easily be purchased online.

    • amgala

      Mislead? More like you misread

    • kazahani

      There’s actually a whole big, brave world out there. It’s not just us here in the USA.


  • zyphbear

    I imagine not only the lack of carrier testing, but also because of the lack of special skins is what helped hurry the process along. Though there are a few tablets that have already been demoed with ICS too, so as much as the skinning may be part of the delay, requiring a 3rd party (carriers) to re-check the OS sounds like a tedious process.

  • jamal

    Huawei, tell ‘em how it’s done.

  • Chad

    If Cricket Wireless ends up getting this phone, there should be no reason why every US carrier won’t be able to update Android devices old and new that are capable of handling ICS.

  • Steve Heinrich

    One step closer to a Nexus S update!… Right?…

    Good to hear ICS is rolling out to someone in an official way. As for me, I will be waiting for an article with a title with a lot of acronyms… USA OTA ICS

  • Brook Marin

    part of the “carrier testing” timeline issues lies in getting in line at a certified independent test center to run the tests. the carriers make the manufacturers go through these independent sites to verify there won’t be any issues on their network.

    I have gone through various testing, it’s not just magical FCC testing, but also PTCRB along with other tests that carriers wish to use. There are only a handful of qualified labs to do these tests and with the number of devices that are in queues to get tested it can take time to push devices through.

    most of the labs have various chambers set up for the different types of tests to run to help the process along, but it usually takes a week to get a device to go through all of the testing just for PTCRB and that’s if there are no issues (which rarely happens).

  • amgala

    This unfortunately isn’t very surprising news. The major manufacturers in the U.S. just have too many tests to do anything in a timely manner. Just look at the (and I hate to bring this up again) Galaxy Nexus for Verizon…too many hoops to go through for a “Google” device.

  • Billy

    “…Android 4.0 update is… Huawei?…”

    Didn’t the GNexus already have an Android 4.0 update. 4.01 or something. I think Huawei is second in line …


    • Taylor

      It’s not really an update if it’s baked in (as in the Galaxy Nexus).

      • Billy

        I was being light-hearted … hence the little smiley. I get the point of the article was about existing handsets being upgraded.

        Although, I disagree that it wasn’t an updated … since it was pushed to existing handsets over the air. But its all cool. :)

        • Taylor

          Didn’t even see the smiley…

  • romy134

    I’d still wait for HTC

  • tha_bigga78

    Huawei is the Hyundai of cell phones IMHO!

    • tha_bigga78

      …which is a COMPLIMENT!

  • Kenneth Ohonba

    Hey Samsung get with the program and push out that 4.0 update…….. For a company that manufactures Cricket phones to be ahead of the game doesn’t look good.

    • Patti

      I have the Nexus S and I received the OTA update for the Ice Cream Sandwich a couple of days ago.


    I hope the ICS update will arrive to mobile devices soon.

  • HoLfElDeR

    Didn expect this one

  • humidity

    I swear, everywhere else gets cool tech stuff before we do in the U.S.!

  • Taylor

    Google’s really botched the ICS release. Carrier exclusivity to a poor partner in Verizon, repeated delays in releasing it on phones and tablets (much less the delays in the hardware releases themselves), and now it’s available first on a non-Nexus device. Why did I spend $529 on a Nexus S last year?

    • simulant

      This. As a Nexus S owner I consider the delaying of ICS for the Nexus S until after the Galaxy Nexus ships a huge slap in the face.

      • Steve Heinrich

        I agree. It definitely makes me wonder if I’ll get another Nexus Phone.

  • Marc’us H.

    We keep waiting for a taste of ICS, and there they are just GIVING it away! ;)

  • inviolable

    Didn’t expect this, but that’s a good thing. One might figure a company in the consumer industry would be burning the midnight oil (I hate that quote) to be the first with new and big software updates, but it seems to be the same thing every time. Now here. comes Huawei out of nowhere

  • ToonPanda

    Hahhhaha like a boss beating the big guys!

  • Omar Santiago

    thats sad that a smaller unknown company seems more dedicated than the big players that probably wont update our devices till their ics phone go on sale first! congrats huawei

  • jenskristian

    Hopefully Samsung is soon to follow in Europe.

  • TJ Mir

    Lol…the official ICS phone isnt on sale yet in the US while Huwaei already have started releasing the latest Android built!

  • Anthropic

    Huawei are the Chinese government, in the words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!!”

  • CTown

    How does one pronounce this company? Maybe that’s why no one buys Huawei phones. Who wants to be asked for their phone manufacturer and can’t even pronounce the name. Talk about embarrassing!

    • tmihai20

      Back in the days when HTC wasn’t as popular as it is now, people would make fun of HTC phone owners. It’s pretty clear that it’s that hard to pronounce (at least for me). I bet Huawei raced its employees like crazy to get this done. The chinese government owns a certain percent of every major chinese company, that doesn’t make it 100% owned by the chinese government. Like or not, the Chinese are major players now.

    • Anthropic

      who-aar-way if the who part is really fast and blends in to the ar part.

      I work with them on projects and the company still terrifies me.

  • Nathan D.

    well at least someone knows how to get things done.

  • danyR

    Thanks to this there’s already a handful of ICS ROMs appearing for other Huawei devices, mainly the budget-friendly-still-very-capable Ideos X5 (U8800). For anyone interested:

  • kusic

    Kind of scared of Huawei’s connection to China’s army.

  • IntlGrizzly

    Gotta give em props

  • honourbound68

    Good job hawed. And thanks for naming the phone after me :)

    • honourbound68

      Huawei oops. Hate autocorrect sometimes

  • Hall Lo

    nice to see some company already got ICS rom done :) wish that others will release some soon too!

  • aranea

    Come on Motorola i want ICS on my Atrix. Given how long it took them to bring GB 2.3.4 I don’t think so though. Maybe google buying motorola mobile will get things go faster.

  • Jorge Eslava

    Why do big brands and carriers in the US not care if the updates are delayed? Sales.

  • Ilyse Rose

    That’s really interesting, but it kind of makes sense. The updates are usually delayed by the carriers needing to get their bloatware and testing done.

  • Adryan maldonado

    even though its only a demo thats pretty freaking awesome. its really annoying and the U. S carriers really should learn from this

  • zippyioa

    It would be nice to see other manufacturers pushing ICS to their high end devices with the same punctuality

  • eliander mendoza

    Although i don’t have a smartphone with them i guess its “cool” that at least one company has done the danm update so far….

  • PiTTDRoiD

    Knock…knock….Samsung…..where are you?….

  • tagon

    Impressive, but kind of makes me sad holding a Nexus S in my hand and hearing that another phone, a non nexus device, is getting ICS before me.

  • William McNair

    Seriously? I guess anybody getting it is good news. I hope Moto gets some good feedback for my Razr

  • donger

    ICS please come out and play.

  • FSFatScooter

    Impressive. Most impressive.

  • Karlnorway

    I have a co-worker that is bugging me after I told him about the update. I have HTC and he got Huawei. Good for him ;)

  • sgumer

    i am shocked because i have not heard much about them at all.

  • miss.rubio

    Soo is CricKet going to have the Galaxy Nexus soon?

  • Suhi

    I have an Ideos X5 Pro. Gingerbread update is missing from huawei’s site..since 2011 dec… And we talk about 4.0? LOL