04
Feb
sony thumb

Nothing lasts forever. As it is with leftovers, so it is with Android phones, or at least their manufacturers' willingness to expend time and money updating the software. XperiaBlog reports that Sony announced a dozen of its older Android phones won't be getting any more software updates. That means no software at all, not just major Android version bumps. The former flagship Xperia S and its American cousin the Xperia Ion are probably the most popular phones among them. Here's the full list, complete with the last major Android revision officially released:

  • Xperia S (4.1)
  • Xperia ion (4.1)
  • Xperia P (4.1)
  • Xperia J (4.1)
  • Xperia U (4.0)
  • Xperia SL (4.1)
  • Xperia arc S (4.0)
  • Xperia acro S (4.1)
  • Xperia go (4.1)
  • Xperia miro (4.0)
  • Xperia sola (4.0)
  • Xperia tipo (4.0)

xs last

All the models in that list are at least 18 months old, with some stretching to two years. Looking back through our own archives, we can see that many of these phones made it as far as Jelly Bean 4.1, and others were at least upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich. The Xperia L saw a little late-life action with an AOSP build of KitKat. Sony is also pretty liberal when it comes to bootloaders, so those with the inclination for root can try their luck with custom ROM scene. If you've still got one of these phones, it might be time for an upgrade anyway.

Source: XperiaBlog

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Régis Knechtel

    Most of them are perfectly capable of running KitKat. F*** you, Sony!

    • Armando Rodriguez

      The Galaxy Nexus also is perfectly capable of running 4.4, fuck you Google?

      • david

        you guys dont understand that its not really the OEMS who are in charge of determining that. There is also driver support, chipset makers, etc. so really understand the situation before you rage. also, just because its end of life it doesnt mean throw it out the window. Does it stop making calls because its not getting any more updates, or get texts. grow up and get a grip on reality.

        • Armando Rodriguez

          I know that the problem is the chip manufacturer, Qualcomm with the Xperia S line and TI for the GN, but the OEMs or Google should have that things sorted out, they should have an agreement with the chips makers for at least the Nexus line.

          • david

            there is no way to predict the future. chipset makers must have their own regulations and timelines. Maybe there is no way to create drivers that support the current OS and the effort, money, and staff to do it outweighs the benefit to get it done. remember, they are companies. They have to look at how much return they get on their investment. This equates to them not caring if people who still own those devices get upset, because they know they ll get over it and buy something else.

          • Régis Knechtel

            I understand they need profit. But can you imagine if a car manufacturer stops parts production after 1 or 2 years? Chipset makers should provide drivers for at least a few years.

          • david

            cars and phones are apples and oranges. think of like it your PC at home. How quickly does that become obsolete. Once you swipe your card there is already something better being pushed out by the company. Its the game. Im not siding with the companies, i agree with you there. I used to buy a new phone just to keep up, and realized that i am wasting my time. Ive had my htc one since launch date and will keep it until it can no longer be replaced. Thats my investment. Id rather not worry if htc will be supporting it because that is not my motivation anymore. And like i said, my phone still works as it should.

          • Régis Knechtel

            Exactly! Why should companies use a chipset if the manufacturer can't ensure drivers updates? Because they don't want it! If you can have an up to date phone for years, they can't sell you a new one. This makes me sooooo angry!

          • drksilenc

            there is a reason why they arnt using them anymore because they got out of that buisness...

        • Bojan Tomic

          Yet CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android and many more can upgrade phones (like Gnex) to 4.4. Hmmmm. Yup, it's companies' fault.

          • david

            creating roms with AOSP is different than an offical rom with supported firmware, drivers, kernel, baseband, etc. Most of those roms are in alpha, beta, and have bugs. AOSP is different than what SONY runs on their phones or even samsung with touchwiz, sense on htc. Yes its based on pieces from AOSP but completed reworked into a unique framework. Also cyanogenmod cannot reverse engineer drivers, they can work with what they have to get things sort of working. they also have a list of supported and unsupported devices.

          • Android Developer

            I've never seen an AOSP based rom that doesn't work better than the official, stock ones, especially if the devices are popular enough.

            Sure some of them have bugs, but even the stock based roms have issues (and even of popular devices).

        • Android Developer

          If that's not their fault, they should sue them and offer the end users an alternative, using the money they get from suing them.
          They made a commitment after all. They should respect it.

          Sony has actually almost didn't update the listed devices to the 18 months duration. In fact, some of them didn't even get an update that was announced on the same months they were released...

        • Mike Reid

          It's all about money, not support timeframes. Xperia P, U, Sola and Go are all the same chipset. Two got 4.0, two got 4.1.

          And the Go was released later, yes still only got 4.0. The more expensive ones got 4.1.

          There are others similar, like: Xperia S 2012 "flagship" versus cheap Tipo:

          "xperia S - released on 2012/2 - should be supported till 2013/8 (4.3 ) , and it has 4.1.
          Xperia tipo - released on 2012/8 - should be supported till 2014/2 (4.4) , and it has 4.0"

      • Régis Knechtel

        Yes! F*** all companies which do this kind of thing. It's a disrespect.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

      Actually, I'm running 4.4 KitKat on my Xperia S perfectly* fine right now!

      * With minor bugs like the FM radio not working, nor the mobile Hot Spot function apparently. Which kinda is a major bug.

      • Memphis May [S]unjay

        But you lose Sony's amazing UI.

      • Twelk

        Unfortunately the boot loader on my S is not unlockable.

  • evolutionx1

    If I'm not wrong, SL was launched with Android 4.0 and still it's getting abandoned at 4.1. Not surprised as it's Sony we're talking about. Samsung is so much better in updating their flagship devices. Although late, they update their phones for ~20-24 months.

    • Régis Knechtel

      Not all of them. I have a S Advance and Samsung stopped updating it 1 year after release date.

      • evolutionx1

        "Samsung is so much better in updating their flagship devices." I don't think S Advance is Samsung's flagship phone while on the other hand Xperia SL was.

        • Régis Knechtel

          Sorry about that. I missed "flagship" :P

    • Armando Rodriguez

      Samsung can do it because they use their own chipset (Exynos), they arent tied to a 3rd party for driver support.

    • sguyx

      Samsung does not do better!

      Their premium class Note 10.1 has been without upgrade.
      - release autumn 2012 with android 4.0
      - got android 4.1 on january 2013

      Then nothing! Over a year withouth upgrades, no 4.2, no 4.3, no 4.4.

      • Android Developer

        i agree - It's even worse on tablets, where you miss the most of the tablets features in case you decide to use AOSP based roms....

  • Ben

    When evoking the 18 months "rule", don't forget that some (most) of these devices didn't get major Android update within the first 18 months. For example, the Xperia S came out 2 years ago, and stopped at 4.1. What happened to 4.2 and/or 4.3 which came out within the 18 months window ? As Régis wisely said, F*** you, Sony!

    • Kaitlin J. Howard

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      ●●● ●�●● ●●●�● ●●●● ●●●they also have a list of supported and unsupported devices.

    • cyleo

      While I understand the frustration, Sony is not the only one to blame. Don't forget that Qualcomm is the one that stopped support for the S3 that is used in the Xperia S/Ion. It is therefore impossible to run anything higher then 4.1 on the ion/XS (or you have to hack your way around it like in the custom roms, but once the chipset maker stops you from doing that, it becomes kinda hard).

      The same story holds for the novathor processor used in the XP, Ericsson stopped the support.

      I don't say Sony would update these devices if they could, who knows? But I do know it's to easy to just blame it on Sony.

      • Ben

        Ultimately, they're the one committing to keep their devices up to date for 18 months, and therefore work with their partners to fulfill their promises. If you can't, responsibility is still on you.
        As a user, I wouldn't do the mistake to buy one of Sony's devices and I shouldn't care, but as an Android developer, this kind of behavior is the reason why Android apps quality is still behind iOS's : maintaining compatibility on devices that manufacturers refuse to update is a waste of time that could be easily solved.

    • Android Developer

      i've made a full comparison between the released dates , the android versions and the expceted support time.
      nothing makes sense here.
      not only they didn't update to the versions that were announced during the 18-months support duration, but they even ignored them multiple times (sometimes 3-4 versions) and some of the devices are still on the 18 months support duration...

    • http://twitter.com/anishbhalerao Anish Bhalerao

      It's FUCK you Sony. Not f***.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    This is why you stick with Nexus

    • Régis Knechtel

      Except for Galaxy Nexus :P

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        It had its fair share of support, besides if you aren't into custom roms an upgrade from GNex to Nex5 would be a decent option

        • Régis Knechtel

          Yes, i know. That's exactly the reason they won't update it: to make you buy a new one.

          • Crispin Swickard

            I have mine for nearly 2 years by the time it was announced it would not officially going to get 4.4. By that point I had already decided on getting an N5 since it was feeling a bit sluggish compared to all the more recent devices out there. While I still felt a bit burnt that my now backup phone would not get an update officially anymore even though its no longer my main phone.

            However like mentioned there are several non-offical options, and I am running CM11 on it right now, which I had to use if as my primary phone temporarily due to some sort of defect that caused my first N5 to stop working. Running 4.4 it runs at least as well as any of the previous official releases. (Better in my opinion than 4.0.X, and 4.2.X)

            Anyone that did not want to upgrade still using their GNex can still experience 4.4 with transparent navigation/status bars, and all on it if they make their own choice to do so.

  • iboalali

    I have the Xperia P, and I don't care that Sony dropped the support.
    my phone is getting new features via the Play Services. so I can't complain.
    If I want a newer OS, I just install CM on it

  • Android Developer

    I don't get it. the 18 months doesn't seem to work well with my math . Maybe sony has its own math...

    I've taken data from wikipedia and GSMarena, and here are my findings:

    Android 4.1 - 2012/6/27
    Android 4.2 - 2012/10/29
    Android 4.3 - 2013/7/24
    Android 4.4 - 2013/9/3

    xperia J - released on 2012/10 - should get at least Android 4.2 (same month of it). in fact it should be of 2014/4 ... which is Android 4.4 ...
    xperia S - released on 2012/2 - if we add 18 months, we get 2013/8 , which is at least Android 4.3
    Xperia arc S - released on 2011/9 - if we add 18 months , we get 2013/3 which is at least Android 4.2

    I could go on , but this doesn't seem right...

  • Leandro

    F*** you Sony.
    I don't really care you EOL'd these devices, what really pisses me off is that I bought a device from xda's "oem of the year" only to find you guys lock the bootloaders on simlocked devices.
    And the Xperia P has official jb, but the U doesn't, where it has been proven it's totally capable of running it, even with half the ram.

  • Claw

    This shit is a joke. My gf has a Sola and it's on fuckin' ICS, and a horribly bad build too. So why did they even bother to "end these devices' lives"? They were already dead 2 years ago.

  • http://dpashk.com/ Dmitry Pashkevich

    I am so sad about this... Sony's update policy for the Xperia S was so spectacular, I used to receive fantastic, feature-packed OTA updates virtually every month, and now it's going to end?! What are you doing to your faithful users, Sony?! Was so looking forward to get Android 4.5 or whatever it will be on my precious SXS...

    /Sarcasm off

    • Twelk

      It's nice to have it in writing I guess. Been having so many sleepless nights waiting for 4.2

  • Diego

    Make a petition on change.org, to force to update all the phones that aren't updated when the firmware is released. They are forcing us to buy new phones to stay up to date. Is frustating to see that when a new firmware is released, the companies need 1 year to port to our phones, while in xda a single Developer ports in few days.

    • danishdhanshe

      I have signed so many of those but nothing ever happened! (Used multiple email ID's)

  • Martin Deschambault

    I have an S with a "Bootloader Unlock Allowed: No" - now what? If Sony won't support it any further, who do I contact to have this restriction removed? I'm with Rogers in Canada.

  • DZV

    I was seriously considering buying one of the upcoming Xperia Z models (coming out within a couple of months?), but I really hate the idea of getting stuck on an outdated OS when newer versions come out. Is there another brand that I should consider, that keeps their phones more updated?

    ps. Sony, I hope you'll consider a more desirable update strategy.

  • http://Egosistema.net/ RSX

    The Xperia E will be updated, YES!! =D

  • Diego

    Why is this article deleted from the page?

  • calmdownbro

    I hate Sony for their locked loaders. At least you can you can upload a custom firmware on Samsung. You are free to brick your device. Yeah I know that you could buy an unlocked phone, but this is pure bullshit. "Because carriers asked..." and you were such a d*ck that you implemented a mechanism that can't be circumvented.

    * I'm talking about locked boot loaders which prevent custom firmwares.
    And it's not because I want to be the cool kid on the block. Every Sony (lower-end even more) is hogged down with both Carrier AND Sony shitware software.
    And you can't remove them. Rooting won't help either because it's still just a half-solution.

    Did I mention that I hate Sony?

  • lv1585

    Why cant people get if their asses and do something useful like update something instead of bringing out new stuff that can wait!!!!
    I liked sony but their getting rubbish

  • Bastard

    They weren't really updating them in the past months so this changes nothing.

  • dud omfgg

    Oh....... this phone hangs so damn often (xperia s) than only thing I can say is.... 'FCK YOU SONY'

  • dariush

    i will never buy Sony again . it,s so ridiculous to stop updates and service for a mobile that Sony make it . like ION that is the first smart phone .
    Samsung is better than Sony the trash ...
    i have ion . when i hear Sony will never release updates for Sony , i become so angry .
    Sony . it sucks .don,t waste your time with Sony .