HTC has announced that it will offer software updates for eight of its latest high-end smartphones early next year. In 2012 you should be able to install Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the following handsets:
- HTC Vivid
- HTC Sensation
- HTC Sensation XL
- HTC Sensation XE
- HTC Rezound
- HTC Evo 3D
- HCT Evo Design 4G
- HTC Amaze 4G
That covers most of the company’s current top-of-the-line smartphones. HTC will be working with wireless carriers to roll out the software updates, so there’s no guarantee that every user of these phones will get the software update.
Motorola has already confirmed that at least three of that company’s latest phones will receive Ice Cream Sandwich soon as well.
It’s possible that neither company’s phones will look exactly like the screenshots shown above though. HTC tends to modify Android with its own HTC Sense user interface, while Motorola uses its Motoblur customizations.
The first phone to run Android 4.0 will be the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which is expected to ship sometime this month. Google hasn’t yet released the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich, but the software maker is expected to do so shortly after the latest Nexus phone ships — and at that point phone and tablet makers will be able to start working with the operating system to include it on their own devices.
While it’s likely that HTC, Motorola, and other device makers will not offer Ice Cream Sandwich for older Android phones, I suspect independent developers will build a variety of custom ROMs that will bring at least some elements of ICS to those devices. It usually takes the developers behind the popular CyanogenMod Android software a few months to incorporate a new version of Android into their code after Google releases the source code.