Dec 20 AT 10:16 AM Sean Riley 102 Comments

Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II to lead Samsung’s Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades in Q1 2012


In the wee hours of the morning, Samsung took to Facebook to at last outline the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade plans for a number of their high profile 2011 devices.

It won’t surprise anyone that the Galaxy S II tops the list for an upgrade in Q1 of 2012, but joining it in the coveted first slot is the much less prevalent Galaxy Note.

Unfortunately those are the only two devices greenlit for a Q1 2012 helping of Ice Cream Sandwich at the moment.

The rest of the “ICS-upgradable GALAXY devices” include the Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy R, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Samsung only indicates that details on the updates for these devices will be forthcoming.

Quick caveat to all you US Galaxy S II owners: I wouldn’t start holding your breath until your carrier has weighed in on the matter. It’s also worth noting that the special edition Galaxy Tab 10.1 that was given to developers at Google I/O this year has never even seen the Android 3.2 update, so whether Samsung has any plans to continue support for it is unknown.

A perusal of the comments on the announcement show that original Galaxy S and Galaxy Ace owners are the most irate about their devices seemingly coming to the end of their upgradable life. A smattering of original Galaxy Tab owners are chiming in with their disappointment, as well.

With the benefit of letting the other major manufacturers commit to their plans first, it looks like Samsung has drawn a nearly identical line in the sand for upgrading their devices.

Is there anything that you are shocked to not see on this list? If not, what do you feel is the drop dead point for Samsung to get these updates completed without frustrating owners of these devices?

Thanks, Rob!

Source: Samsung Mobile Facebook

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • zyphbear

    Kudos to Samsung to say some of the devices they are going to update!
    Let’s keep our fingers crossed and see how many other OEMs do the same soon.

    • faun

      I don’t think announcing that their flagship and a phone they’re still in the process of releasing will be getting ICS within 4 months is sticking their neck out too much. Q1 could mean March 31st after all (and that’s assuming they don’t miss the deadline altogether like so many do.)

      There’s nothing in this announcement that you wouldn’t already assume… Let’s see if they deliver the updates in a timely way – that will be the real test!

      • mr 1338

        given Samsung i am glad my Galaxy S2 is even on the list. Fortunately i have the international version…
        my next phone is gonna be Sony Ericsson for sure. They have made a 180° Turn and now officially support the Cyanogenmod Team, release Alpha builds of their updates and promised updates to ALL their 2011 Phones.
        That is how it´s meant to be

        • Lane Montgomery

          Yeah but to be fair their alpha build doesn’t support text messaging or calling.

          Sony has talked a lot about changing their ways, and they have taken some steps that suggest they will be following through on that, but I have been disappointed way too many times to get my hopes up.

          I will concede they are looking the best at this point, but just like has been said about Scamsung, we’ll see how well they follow through.

    • WarDrake

      The best thing about this, is that the people making AOSP roms, now know that soon they’ll have the compiled libraries for ics from the manufacturers themselves.

      • Deter

        I’ve rooted every android phone I’ve had to get things like titanium backup, but never did anything with the custom ROMs. is it easy? what is involved?

        • iamXiV92a

          Most ROM installs are pretty straight forward, but it all depends on the phone (and the ROM itself). Most of the custom Gingerbread ROMs for the Dell Streak had weird quirks

        • Lane Montgomery

          It is fairly easy if you can follow the directions in the step-by-step tutorials.

          The hardest part I have found is making sure what version of each layer of software you have. It isn’t just the actual OS, but lower-level things like the HBOOT on some devices.

        • Lane Montgomery

          Never mind, I see you already rooted, then it is just a matter of pushing a replacement recovery like ClockwordMOD if you haven’t already so you can back up your working system. Then you just download a .zip, reboot into your recovery, wipe your system, and install the new ROM.

          Then if something doesn’t work or you don’t like the custom ROM, then you can revert to your backup system image in just a minute or two.

          Just remember, frequent backups are the key to staying happy when trying new ROMs, and make sure to copy some of the backups off your SD on to your computer in case you fry the SD. So if you have to buy a new SD you can just push the backups back onto it and go on your merry way.

          • RogerX

            I’m on my second Vibrant board because I dared to try CM7/clockworkmod on my original one. I did the full backup, tried a new OS for 3 weeks, and went to do restore… error on boot. No problem, fire up Odin, try to flash back to stock. Write error. Tried to re-flash, screen went black and it never turned on again.

            Had to buy a device with a broken screen on eBay and swap the board to have a functioning phone again. Meh… I’ve never seen a Motorola owner brick their phone, but I managed it.

    • desean

      For one, I am just glad that I have gotten the international SGS2 :)

  • ArticulateFool

    Props to Samsung for being on the ball!

    Other manufacturers should follow their example.

  • YMS123

    Nice to see Samsung committed to upgrading their devices

    • RogerX

      Oh they committed to first-gen Galaxy S owners too. Right after the debacle with earlier android devices never getting Eclair, after promises they would. When Galaxy S came out, Froyo had been released… but we had to wait many months (especially Fascinate and Vibrant owners) for the Froyo upgrade, until after Ginerbread had been announced. And here we are a year later, and still no Gingerbread ROM for my Vibrant. (CM7.1 is uber-buggy on Vibrant.) They just released Gingerbread on the Vibrant 4G, but it looks like my phone was effectively end-of-lifed 6 months after it shipped. Apple upgrades their OSes for three years, but I hold out and buy the “premiere” Samsung device on launch day in 2010, to get buggy GPS hardware, horrible battery life, and no OS upgrades. Don’t be fooled. You’ll get one OS upgrade if you’re lucky, and they’ll be on to the next batch of suckers.

      • clocinnorcal

        Exactly right! I am also a Vibrant owner who bought the phone on release day. Painfully waited for a shitty build of froyo from sammy and tmo. Still no Gingerbread to be seen anywhere. I wish they would at least leak a build of GB so devs can release a rom without all the bugs. I guess its to much to upgrade a phone more than once. Now even CM wont support any future builds for Vibrant without samsungs source code. Way to keep us updated. Its such a disappointment, especially with the great hardware(minus GPS) they put in these phones. I guess I’ll be getting a HTC next time.

      • LukeT32

        Gotta love Sammy

        • Deli

          That is NOT a samsung issue. it’s the US carriers. The international version of GS1 had froyo/gingerbread a LONG time ago. US carriers are the bane of your updates. Even here in Canada, we get updates a bit faster. But international version will be samsung’s priority as they come unlocked.

          • RogerX

            So why do iPhones on all carriers get updated regularly and for three years?

  • AsakuraZero

    this was expected since the number of leaks recently, now… i want that ICS on my phone nao!

  • keridel

    I will be massively suprised if they stick to this and the american carriers are next to useless when it comes to updates.

    I think htc will have theirs updated first with a new version of sense. Then samsung.

    Asus will have the ics tablet done first as well.

    • BiGMERF

      This is exactly why all my future phone purchases will be unlocked over seas phones.. No more US carrier BS !

      • redraider133

        Or get a nexus, then you will always have quick updates and no waiting on carriers.

        • WarDrake

          Yeah… see what happened with the new nexus?
          i won’t be surprised if verizon manages to delay updates on it too…

          • josegb2011

            Well as soon as i got my nexus i had the update waiting for me is that slow for u?

        • DroidSamurai

          Except that you still can’t expect your phones getting major OS updates after 1 year. The Nexus One will forever stuck in the land of Gingerbread, which was released roughly 1 year after the N1 was out.

          • zerosix

            There is ICS rom for T-mo G1. Do you still think, that Nexus One won’t get this update?

          • Futureboy

            Well, you can’t fault Google for not being able to push ICS to a device with old hardware (N1 doesn’t have enough on-board storage). The straight from Google Nexus updates were appealing when Google was pushing updates more than once a year. Now that they’re rolling out major updates on a yearly basis, you can expect a Nexus device to get the yearly update quickly and still have the pure Google experience (more or less, depending on carrier, but I won’t go into that here) the following year. And with the speed that technology moves, and the way each consecutive OS size tends to increase, I wouldn’t recommend anyone hold their breath expecting an update for the second year. It would be a nice bonus, but the limitations of older hardware and the progression of technology is what typically determines upgradeability (excluding carrier’s decision of whether or not to support, of course-but again-not getting into that here).

        • R.S

          Yeah, no long wait for updates on the Nexus, just a long wait on the actual phone itself! Lol

        • BiGMERF

          i do have a nexus.. A GSM nexus at that.. the real Nexus..LOL. Ready set FIGHT !

  • CeeJay

    While variety and choice are amazing, I’ve always felt that if the manufacturers focused more on several phones instead of releasing one every couple weeks they would have the resources to update more of them…

    • faun

      The problem is they don’t get any money from updating their existing phones, only when you buy a new one – so it’s basically against their interests to update at all (except for influencing future sales of course!)

      I don’t think releasing less phones would change that equation significantly, only more heated competition and promotion between brands on who is better with updates will change things.

      • AsakuraZero

        not having happy costumers because you dont update or give support to theirs phones cost money, why? an unhappy costumer will not recommend the phone or the brand because of slow support or updates, and that means less devices sold for that brand

        the best marketing its not always the one on tv or on adversments, its the people

        sure this would be more directed to OEM unlocked phones, than carrier branded phones

  • anamericanbanned

    Yet another update my original Galaxy S will not be getting. I love the hardware, but carrier support has been so poor here in the US. Thankfully the teamhacksung devs have brought ICS to my phone and I can say that the hardware is more than capable.

    • nsnsmj

      The crazy thing about the Galaxy S is that is has basically the same internals as the Nexus S, so it’s completely capable of running ICS.

  • Steve Heinrich

    I would say that 3 months, for me, would be the max to release updates without completely frustrating the users.

    I hope that other manufacturers start to take a proactive approach to updates like this. It would be another distinguishable “feature” to show off.

  • jamal adam

    Hopefully, once these updates roll out the carriers don’t put up a wall of defense and make us wait longer.

  • stenzor

    So happy that I have the international version of the SGS2

    • WarDrake

      Nice! ^_^
      i also only buy International version phones ^_^

  • bellken

    nice to see my Galaxy Tab 8.9 on the list

  • h0ruza

    I fear the worst for the ICS upgrade. Touch Wiz integration is guaranteed because the phone was sold to customers with Touch Wiz .

    How many mid cycle upgrades has anyone seen where the UI was transformed to this degree? I can’t think of any that didn’t have a major launch campaign and a run of media explaining what has happened and why to the general public.

    ICS will only get a decent shout on a device built with ICS in mind so lower your expectations my fellow geeks.

  • Thomas Biard

    Didn’t Motorolla or Verizon already promise a 6 week delay for ICS once the G-Nex was realeased? I’m guessing it has been in the works for a while and it will be leaking soon, and pushing in about 5 weeks.

    • redraider133

      No they said 4-6 months for their phones to be updated(moto said that)

  • redraider133

    Wonder how long it will take the carriers in the us to test it and then send it out?

    • Louis A

      That’s really a good question and I am pretty sure that will be the bottle neck.

  • clshores

    Will this include the Sprint version?

    • w9jds

      My guess is that all carries with the phone will get it. The catch is that when Samsung releases it you will have to either wait for your designated carrier to officially push it ota to your phone (which can take a long time) or just flash it yourself once it appears in the public.

  • staryoshi

    I’m hoping that Sprint rolls out ICS for the Epic 4G Touch in a timely manner. I don’t mind touchwiz on 2.3.6, but I’ll probably have to take matters into my own hands to remove it when ICS is available.

    • w9jds

      Nice thing is that you can now disable/freeze anything you don’t like on the phone with android :) unless Samsung takes that feature out of their custom build.

  • Lewis McGeary

    This is not too surprising. It’s a shame for tablet owners(like those lucky enough in the Tegra contest) but I suppose the phone owners far outnumber them.

  • ndub21

    It’s a good thing that Samsung is committed to updating their newer flagship devices, but I am really glad I no longer have to worry about when I’ll get an update or even IF I’ll get an update since I have the Galaxy Nexus. It’s a good feeling.

    On another note: Hurry up and update my Galaxy Tab 10.1!!!!! I want ICS on it (stock ICS I might add)!

    • Louis A

      I know right. It will be really nice too if google comes through with the Nexus Tab.

  • Darknight42020

    Just the fact that Sammy said anything at all is shocking… A manufacturer known for keeping consumers out of the loop til the heat is too much. Q scheduling is just another way to say “it’s coming” but as I said, for them to say anything is the news… Not the obvious.

  • aceofhearts24

    I feel like this is a first from Samsung. Getting the ball rolling on releasing an update for the OS fairly soon when in the past they’ve been slacking and taking forever for even minor updates. Lets see if they keep their word but glad to see this from Samsung

  • Wayne Jones

    Anybody think the Samsung Droid Charge could possibly get the update?

    • Lonnie Brownell

      Probably not, damn it. It just got Gingerbread! It’s only 6 months old, and Verizion had it in its adds this weekend, still selling for $199! So you’d think it’s still relevant.

      Will have to start watching for custom ROMs; I wish the CyanogenMod guys would add it to their list of devices.

  • twugd

    No official ICS on Samsung Galaxy S? That’s sad. Especially since the Nexus S already got ICS.

    • w9jds

      That is because Nexus S has different hardware and system setup. The Nexus S is made with Google so that it can easily accept AOSP code so the hardware and software are totally compatible. Where as the Galaxy S is strictly a Samsung phone so it has different kernel and hardware setups. However, the good news is that there is an unofficial port of ICS for you Galaxy S that runs all of the software just fine.

  • jefflarkin

    Hopefully the AT&T SGS2 won’t lag the international one too much. I’m tempted to install a more vanilla rom anyway though.

  • Siddhesh Jadhav

    Pretty sad! Was ome of the first few owners of the Galaxy S in India. Next purchase is surely not going to be Samsung. Maybe Motorola, after being acquired by Google would be a safer bet for upgrades. What do you’ll say?

  • Donald Williams

    makes me kinda wish I had a Samsung. Nice to see the manufactures are still willing to upgrade their product.

  • RandomRobotics

    Really, no Galaxy S?
    I guess it shouldn’t be surprising, they still haven’t given us Gingerbread on the SGS. I guess Samsung has abandoned this phone, and I think I’m going to abandon Samsung.

  • spintrex

    It’s good to see Samsung holding true to their word… I wasn’t expecting the update to some time in summer… I can only hope that Sprint doesn’t pull a Galaxy Nexus roller coaster release that Verizon just showcased.

  • Adryan maldonado

    Nothing really surprised me but im upset to hear that they may not support the google i/o tablet which is the one have. Don’t understand why but I guess I have the modding community to help me aka cyanogenmod team.

  • Adryan maldonado

    Which is the one i* have.

  • protozeloz

    This is exelent news :D keep the good work coming and help reduce fragmentation

  • Louis A

    People with those devices are gonna love it! ICS is really a beast!

  • Trevor Cameron

    This right here is why I waited for a Nexus branded product. Google does a fine job of creating software, I don’t need an OEM thinking that they can do better and then holding me back from getting updates!

  • Billy

    The GSII is a great phone … excited to see it first in line for upgrades! Go Sammy!

  • Tal

    Currently because of pound to cad$ at Handtec the Note is about 660$ before tax. I am so very tempted. And on top to see an ICS in a month or so … have to swipe it … ohh man!

  • nunoloule

    Q1 2012 means 3 months of waiting. To much. And only for their 2 top smartphones.
    Nothing for S1. Nothing for the Tablet’s.

    The Samsung Tablets are still running the 3.1 version, as the Asus TF101 are running the 3.2 since mid-summer.

    And this happens with the only manufactor that produces the ultimate Android version, with Nexus.

    In my opinion, Samsung (as any others) should work for constant Android upgrades on all their top products (dual cores), and there is no good reason for that not happening.

    • Greg

      Samsung Galaxy 10.1 is at Android 3.2, has been for about a month now, so not sure what you are talking about.

  • Jayson Olson

    That’s cool that Samsung always seems so vocal about upcoming developments and what’s in the pipeline, unlike many other manufacturer’s.

    I’m still waiting for Motorola to say more about upgrading the Bionic. There was some ‘mention’ of it the week of release, but I haven’t heard anything since. I’m anxiously awaiting a taste of ICS for my Bionic.

  • brady

    I’ve been running ICS on my Galaxy S for 3 weeks, so I know it is perfectly capable of running it, especially since it doesn’t have any touchwiz BS on it. Samsung just doesn’t want to invest in old devices when they know people will just upgrade

  • Rob Vermeij

    I really hope they give the choice to use the ICS launcher instead of TouchWiz :-)

  • nagnag

    Well i like a lot samsung and the product they make but i would hesitate in the buy any or.tablet from them. Why ? Because less than a year ago i bought the 1st tablet, the galaxy tab 7″ and i had to wait for 7 month tp get gingerbread and now nothing more anymore. Jees the.product has just one year so less than the 2 years garantee. Also they made their special.connector just like apple but no much company produce accessories for them. I boght the hdmi connector but it doesnt work well and will not be connect any other product of the galaxy line (just for the gtab).
    I d like to buy the notes but for the reason they dont update much i wont. I thin asus is beter on that matter and i ll have a lok at the prime. My dream is an ubuntu tablet but nothing will come before 2014.

  • iamXiV92a

    Here’s to hoping that the Skyrocket receives ICS (though I’m sure it will)

  • Marcus

    I didn’t see the Captivate Glide on that list… its dual core, isn’t it? Hopefully Samsung will update that list with more phones. I’m pretty sure the entire Galaxy S line is perfectly capable of receiving ICS

  • n25philly

    Hopefully when Samsung releases the update for the Galaxy Note they turn on the 1700 band so those of us with T-mobile can get 3g on it. The chip being used supports the band so they simply decided to turn it off arbitrarily.

  • Skis03

    I wish they would push out the software faster. I would like a Galaxy Tab with ICS on it.

  • Hall Lo

    Updates! :D Hopefully updates for more devices soon!

  • Dan13

    Just imagine ICS on the Galaxy Note. It’ll be great with that huge screen!

  • SCJaredJ

    Updates will be great….but probably add at least 3 months to this timeline for any US carrier.

  • nsnsmj

    Honestly, the devices should be updated no later than by the end of January. The best models for these manufacturers to follow would be to release stock ICS first, then do another update later where they add their crappy customization. Samsung did something similar with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 I believe, though TouchWiz isn’t as pervasive on tablets as it is on phones.

  • cherrytree

    I want this on my SGS1 as well!

    • ruvort

      same here

  • Paul Atreides

    Hmm if this holds true, I may get the white Epic 4G Touch if nothing mindblowing is announced at CES and/or Sprint isn’t getting a Galaxy Nexus anytime soon. Definitely, need a closer look at the Touchwiz for ICS before my final decision. My OG EVO is starting to show it’s age.

  • ruvort

    Samsung… much plastic


    now if the other companies would start updating their phones…………. :)

  • Martjn2

    Hope there ics flagship (gs3) is announced at mwc in feb! I really look forward to ces and mwc!

  • HoLfElDeR

    i want ice cream sandwich upgradeeeeee

  • Oskar Wismierski

    At least they said they will upgrade..however if its gonna come with the shitty, gingerbread looking touch wizz on top then no thanks.. Root and Vanilla :)

  • Fabio R

    I want a SGS2 upgrade but without touchwiz!

  • jimmy0x52

    I’m not holding my breath for the ATT version of this to get upgraded in a similar timeframe. Even then, I’m loving CM7 too much to go back to TouchWiz so I’ll likely just await CM9.

  • humidity

    Nice to see non-Nexus phones getting the ICS treatment so soon! :)

  • beatrixasdfghjk.

    Hey, why isn’t the Galaxy Nexus getting I – OH WAIT.

    But honestly, I want to see how ugly TouchWiz is, or isn’t going to be. Hopefully isn’t.

  • Samar

    Really looking forward towards Galaxy Note with ICS buit-into it.

  • the5thdimension

    I would love to see ICS come to the GS2 without the TouchWiz. I know that ain’t happening. Hopefully Cyanogen will have it ready for the GS2 around the same time.

  • Jorge Eslava

    We’ll see if they deliver the updates in a timely way, that’s what really matters.

  • bihler07

    Snif i didnd see the galaxy s in this ics for me thats not cool guys !! :’(

  • denis2la

    Компания Samsung поделилась своими планами относительно обновления последних гуджетов до новой версии Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Как сообщается, первыми «Ð¼Ð¾Ñ€Ð¾Ð¶ÐµÐ½ÐºÑƒ» получат два топовых устройства: Galaxy S 2 и Galaxy Note. Эту случится в первом квартале следующего года.

    Остальные устройства «Ð²ÑÐºÐ¾Ñ€Ðµ последуют» за парочкой флагманов. Вот список гаджетов, подлежащих обновлению: Galaxy R, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.7, и Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. При этом, в разных странах сроки могут немного отличаться.
    Несколько дней назад в интернете уже засветился ролик с тестовой версией ICS для устройств Samsung, на котором видно, что многих фишки операционки «Ð·Ð°Ð³Ð¾Ñ€Ð°Ð¶Ð¸Ð²Ð°ÐµÑ‚» оболочка TouchWiz. Будем надеяться, окончательная версия прошивки окажется более продуманно.

    Жду с не терпением!! на SGS2 кто за ставьте +1

  • donger

    nice, ics on a samsung note would be pretty sweet.

  • Keil R.

    Just glad my brand new S II LTE is getting the update asap, here’s hoping the same for my Transformer!