There is nothing like the excitement of trading in a mobile phone and getting your hands on the very latest piece of technology from the leading smartphone manufacturers in the world. Whatever your brand of choice, whether it’s Apple, Samsung, HTC or Sony, we all like to think that we are fully up to date with the latest technology. There are times, of course, when we aren’t able to recycle our mobile phone in its entirety and we simply wish to download the latest software upgrade. How disappointing it must be for those of you who bought a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S when you learn that Sony have recently confirmed that the phone will not be upgraded to the latest Android software, the Jelly Bean (4.1 for those of you who prefer not to use the rather silly sounding code names that Google use to identify their OS versions).
What do Sony themselves have to say about this piece of news? Sony product manager recently posted on the company’s Facebook page that “Unfortunately Arc S won’t be getting the Jelly Bean update but we’re always developing new phones and making sure they get the latest deals”. I think it is fair to assume that as the Arc S, which is the flagship phone for Sony, is not getting the upgrade then none of the lesser models will be either. No apology seems to be forthcoming, it’s more an attitude of that’s your bad luck, if you want the latest software then buy a new phone.
Of course, the fact that the Arc S is the heavy hitter in Sony’s fold would suggest that it will be getting the Jelly Bean at some point and it is more a question of when. The cheaper models such as the Tipo and Miro are almost certain not to get the upgrade at any point. Sony may well be hanging on for the next, as yet unannounced, Android upgrade from Google and will leave the Jelly Bean be. This would be understandable to some extent as Jelly Bean doesn’t bring a vast amount of new features and is more of a style overhaul. When Google made the leap from version 2.3 (Gingerbread) to version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) there were a raft of new features and enhancements to apps and the move to 4.1 (Jelly Bean) just doesn’t bring that level of new features.
Even so, had I purchased a phone in October of 2011 and now, just a matter of months later, was told that it is to all intents and purposes, out of date then I would be very much less than pleased. The phone is still available in the shops now and it is certainly not cheap, coming with a price tag of around £200. It’s almost understandable that Sony are not overly concerned about providing support for phones that carry the outdated Sony Ericsson tag but you would think they would have a little more nous about keeping some kind of brand loyalty.
Whatever Sony decide to do with the Xperia over the next couple of years I think they may have dropped the ball with this particular issue and some consumers may look elsewhere when they next trade in their mobile phone.