Samsung Galaxy S2 Ice Cream Sandwich update lands on O2

O2 springs Ice Cream Sandwich update on S2 owners -- grabbing silver medal for second fastest network.

Natasha Lomas Mobile Phones Editor, CNET UK
Natasha Lomas is the Mobile Phones Editor for CNET UK, where she writes reviews, news and features. Previously she was Senior Reporter at Silicon.com, covering mobile technology in the business sphere. She's been covering tech online since 2005.
Natasha Lomas
2 min read

If you're a Samsung Galaxy S2 owner who bought your device from O2, today is your lucky day -- the update to Ice Cream Sandwich is now available via Samsung's Kies device management software.

A spokesman for O2 confirmed to me that the update is available now. To get it, O2-branded S2 owners need to connect their device to Kies, check for updates and download it.

O2 is the second UK operator to make the ICS update available to S2 owners. Three was first out of the gate, making ICS available last week to those who bought a Three-branded handset.

Owners of S2s who bought their phones from Orange, T-Mobile or Vodafone are still waiting -- as apparently are those who shelled out to buy their device SIM-free, despite Samsung originally telling them it would start rolling out the update in the week commencing 19 March.

Several CNET readers who spoke to Samsung customer service personnel reported being told the update wouldn't be available until April -- with one informed of a 24 April date.

Last week, Samsung provided this statement to CNET UK on the ICS update process: "Samsung UK is working hard to bring Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to our Galaxy S2 customers. We are unable to confirm exact dates as the software testing and approval process is subject to several variables, but we are working as quickly as we can. Thank you for your patience."

At the time of writing, Samsung had not responded to a request for an update on the situation, nor confirmed whether any UK SIM-free S2 owners had received ICS yet.

One CNET reader who contacted me summed up many S2 owners' sentiments about how poorly Samsung has handled the SIM-free update process. "(Samsung's statement) doesn't actually answer any of the questions put to them, it's just a generic 'ready when it's ready', without an explanation as to why network-branded updates are appearing before unbranded.

"If the update hasn't already gone through the 'testing and approval process', then why did they even bother announcing a roll-out from the 19th? I remember the Symbian days with Nokia where people would deliberately un-brand their phone so they would then be free from slow network-delivered updates and be on course for quick manufacturer-delivered updates. It seems Samsung have got this the other way around though!"

Orange has said it will push out ICS some time in April, while T-Mobile -- which is owned by the same parent company as Orange -- hasn't yet provided a timeframe for when its users will get the update but claimed to be "working hard" to get it out soon. Last week, Vodafone said ICS was still in testing.

Are you a SIM-free S2 owner? Let me know whether you've been able to update to ICS via Kies by leaving a comment below or over on our Facebook wall.