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Sony Xperia Ice Cream Sandwich update begins

Sony's started rolling out the Android 4.0 update for its Xperia phones, starting with the Xperia Arc S, Neo V and Ray.

Sony has started rolling out the Android Ice Cream Sandwich update to its Xperia smart phones, starting with the Xperia Arc S, Neo V and Ray.

Writing on its official blog, Sony confirmed that from today, all Xperia mobiles released in 2011 will start getting Ice Cream Sandwich. Those three devices listed above are up first, with the update arriving in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway to start with.

Sony says we can expect the update to arrive in other parts of the world in the next 4-6 weeks. Following that, updates for the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, Play, Neo, Mini, Mini Pro, Pro, Active and Live with Walkman will be winging their way to smart phones starting from the "end of May/early June".

If you want to check on whether the update has arrived for your model yet, Sony's thrown together a great big spreadsheet (hurrah!) that you can check your phone's model number against.

Unfortunately, to update your phone you'll need to connect it to a PC or Mac, but it's good to see Sony offering names and dates for its smart phone updates, even if most of those dates are still hauntingly far away.

Samsung's currently making a right pig's ear of updating the Galaxy S2 to Ice Cream Sandwich, with SIM-free devices unusually set to receive the anticipated new software after their network counterparts. My eyes will be on Sony to see how helpfully and clearly it communicates update news to its customers.

Folks will also be keen to see exactly how stable the new update is, especially following Sony's recent comments regarding the "extreme stability" of Gingerbread. Sony said that while Ice Cream Sandwich is "new and compelling in many ways", it's "not a bad idea to stay" on the older version of Android.

If you want a sneak peek at what Ice Cream Sandwich will look like on your Xperia phone, check out Sony's video of the beta version in action below. In the meantime, let me know which Xperia phone you own -- and what you're hoping to see from the update -- in the comments or on our Facebook wall.