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Sony Ericsson Releases Ice Cream Sandwich Alpha ROM for Experienced Users

In a rather unprecedented move, Sony Ericsson has released an alpha build of Android 40 for their Xperia line of smartphones. The build is installable on unlocked handsets and is intended for use by advanced developers and experienced users. While the ROM contains many of the new features found in Ice Cream Sandwich, it is not intended for everyday use. Many features remain absent, including the ability to place phone calls. Here is the full list:

  • Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps are not included (for example, Gmail, Google Maps, etc.).
  • Modem is turned off and SIM card will therefore not be recognised (this also means you can’t make any phone calls).
  • Bluetooth™ is turned off.
  • Wi-Fi® is turned off.
  • ANT+ is turned off.
  • FM-radio is turned off.
The build is intended to demonstrate ICS running on Xperia devices as well as provide developers with a bit of a jumping off point. It is also Sony Ericsson’s way of saying “we are working on an update, but it’s complicated” and “we are making a big effort to show our support of independent Android developers and the open source community.” You can find the downloadable ROM, instructions, and other details at the source link below.



  • RedPandaAlex

    That’s pretty cool–definitely gives Sony some credibility as an android OEM

  • http://twitter.com/samcobra Samcobra

    I actually really appreciate a company for doing this. As long as the hardware drivers are in the image, I’m assuming developers can then work on getting a more solid AOSP port onto the phone.

  • http://Twitter.com/eggoespada Eric Gonzalez

    Why can’t the biggest companies do this? Sony Ericsson has shown great attempts to work with trying community. Hopefully they operate the same as Sony. Also, bring these devices to the US!

  • The Hater

    Thumbs up for this.

    • RitishOemraw

      You are a disgrace to your name!
      Shame on you and your blasphemous comment!

      on-topic:
      Nice work Sony-ericcson…thumbs up!

      • lynyrd65

        He’s hating on Apple and Moto, duh. He’s just doing it in a passive, Count of Montecristo sort of way.

        • RitishOemraw

          Whats next, The Terminator being all passive aggressive?

  • http://Phandroid deh2002

    It’s a great start, Samsung yesterday and Sony today. What can we look forward to for tomorrow.
    I think it’s great that both companies have given devs a head start.

  • MarcusDW

    So its looking more and more like ICS is gonna be officially on phones faster than Gingerbread was.  This is exciting.

  • Jarl Wijman

    hmm, no calling and no wifi, i’ll wait for a beta

    but its nice to know they’re working hard on it

  • Cipher Zero

    “Sony Ericsson has released an alpha build of Android 40″
     AWESOME! Sony actually went into the future to pick up Android 40?! Talk about staying ahead of the game! Is the UI holographic? Does it turn into a holodeck? I want to try it out!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Rochford/808118947 Ryan Rochford

    yeah we all think this is great, but really its sony saying “hey! go ahead and do our work for us, we cant seem to figure this out…..let us know when you do!” 

    • BryanMacKenzie

      Or just letting the small minority of people who will flash it and find most of the bugs without complaining because its alpha and release a even more stable beta/final for the general public.

      • DYNK

        Are you a DEV?? Have u seen other companies realease alphas? Heck not even beta. Even cynogenmod team dont release alphas for the general public. SE are trying to create this “we are Dec friendly” image. Obviously they dont know how…just finish the damn ICs port is a quicker is a better idea. This is just them boasting whilst other manufacturers work quietly giving us a stable upgrade.

  • DYNK

    Sorry but this is just pure laziness. Instead of putting the time in giving an alpha which half works why don’t you just work quitely and hard to release an official of ICS before anyone else!

    Or can u be half assed to do the work & testing yourself . Alpha is just shocking. At least Samsung release pre-release versions where all the drivers work. This is just appalling.

    • BryanMacKenzie

      It really isnt. Right now Dev all over the planet are scrabling to get their apps to work on ICS. The first apps in the market with good reviews with eat huge market shares. Se knows this so they are saying “hey devs, al features dont work but we have already added all our customization test your apps on our phones” This way bugs get worked out faster and the long term image of SE improves with less FC and lag. Its very smart. You obviously just dont grasp the entire reality of the situation.

      • DYNK

        How can devastating test their stuff out. SIM NOT WORKING meaning they cant really test in mormal conditions and no 3g or 4g AND WIFI NOT WORKING. GAWD HATE FANBOIS WHATEVER THE FRUIT!

        • BryanMacKenzie

          Where is your bussiness sense? They disabled the phone and wifi and 3g.. probably because they are unstable. If they released it with them being unstable you would get hundred of people downloading it and complaining about how their phone is freezing and restarting… they did it so that if you want to test it then you can and made it undesirable for all others.

  • lynyrd65

    This should be the example for ALL other android manufacturers. I might consider Sony for my next phone because of this!

    Motorola, please get off your power trip and HTC, keep your promises!

  • http://Coltonmkaiser@mail.com Colton

    They have most of the features working, they are just turned off because it is a test ROM only showing the coming availability of ICS on the xperia line. This is not meant to be similar a leaked build butvto show off features of ICS and assure an update is on the way. I believe all manufactures should take this example as a way to silence unruly anxious customers.

  • zorxd

    Good strategy. They get free beta testers.

  • jon Hutchinson

    Still not impressed. I had the x10 since launch. slow updates, awful customer support. Said I will never go back to them. Still keeping that promis

    • HalfwayCrook

      Thats ericcson, what about just Sony?

  • jack kramer

    Ugly!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • WhoaManWtF

    So it is basically a dev tool assuming they released the drivers as well?