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Samsung Galaxy S2 SIM-free owners finally getting ICS update

SIM-free S2 owners can now download ICS via Kies, Samsung confirms.

Samsung Galaxy S2 owners who own SIM-free devices can now download the Ice Cream Sandwich update, Samsung has confirmed to CNET UK.

"Samsung UK has been working as hard as possible over the last few weeks to get Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) rolled out to all our Galaxy S II customers," the company said in a statement.

"We can confirm that 'Open Market' [SIM-free] and all network upgrades are now complete except for Orange and T-Mobile which will follow as soon as possible, pending software testing and approvals. Thanks again for your patience."

Earlier today, Galaxy S2 owners had been reporting the long-awaited update to ICS has finally been made available for download -- with several S2 owners contacting me directly to confirm they had been able to upgrade their device. Posts on Samsung UK's Facebook page also pointed to ICS finally being slathered atop SIM-free S2es.

If you own a SIM-free S2, the ICS update can be downloaded via Samsung's device management software, Kies, by connecting your S2 to Kies -- either via USB or Wi-Fi -- and checking for the update.

The Reverend Roger T Pitman, a self-styled "technology nerd", contacted me via Twitter to report he was in the midst of downloading the ICS update earlier today. "ICS for Galaxy S2 Via Kies for SIM free rolling out now!" he enthused.

Another Twitter user, Les Cornwall, flagged up comments by Virgin Mobile users on a community forum reporting ICS is also available to download to their devices (which are also SIM-free).

"Just got Ice Cream Sandwich 4.03 for SIM-free via Kies," wrote another SIM-free S2 owner, Jonathan Reilly, posting a note on Samsung's Facebook page.

However, even as some S2 users were reporting being able to get the ICS update, Samsung UK's official Twitter feed was denying it had officially been released.

In a tweet posted from the @SamsungUK Twitter account earlier this morning, the company said: "If your SGS2 is SIM free then we have no release date just yet, once we do will post in on here and Facebook immediately," it wrote. "If you are not on SIM free then we recommend that you contact your network provider."

SIM-free S2 owners have had a lengthy wait for ICS. Speaking to CNET UK in an exclusive interview at the start of this month, Samsung's UK VP Simon Stanford suggested they would have to wait for all other UK mobile networks to get their update out first. He also would not give a completion date for the ICS update rollout when I spoke to him -- saying only: "We're really pushing it hard over the next coming weeks."

Several S2 owners posting to Samsung's Facebook page today criticised the company's tardiness in officially confirming the update, and attacked its poor record on generally keeping customers in the loop.

"Whilst I am very thankful Samsung have at last come to their senses there are two points to note here," wrote Rev Pitman. "1. It is the community who are again announcing this and not the official web pages of Samsung Mobile (.co.uk, Facebook, Twitter) and 2. This really proves their previous statement to be untrue. They did not need to wait for the networks as all the networks have not released it yet (T-Mobile have not even started on it). Well at least O2 got theirs out before us eh?"

"I do think an apology and promise it will not happen again is needed now," added the Android-loving vicar. "Oh and a commitment to feeding better information to those who are supposed to be their front line customer service personnel would not go amiss."

Three and O2 were the first two networks to release the ICS update for S2 owners.

Vodafone initially planned to release the update last week but postponed it. However, according to posts on a Vodafone forum, the operator has now released ICS -- oh, and look at this, just as I'm filing this story, Vodafone has emailed me to confirm it has released the update.

Are you still waiting to get ICS on your S2? Are you mad as hell about Samsung's communications vacuum and will you just not take it anymore? Let off some steam in the comments below or post on our fully updated Facebook wall.