Motorola Android 4.0 Upgrade Accelerating in Q3

Motorola, which has been cleared to be acquired by Google, updated its Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, upgrade schedule. Some ICS bumps are coming in Q3, but most are coming later.

Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI), which just received the approval to be acquired by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) by U.S. and European regulators, has updated its timetable for bringing Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, to its legion of Android smartphones and tablets.

Unfortunately for ICS fans, it won't be particularly soon. While the ICS bump began rolling out for the company's Xoom WiFi slate last month in the United States, the upgrade won't be arriving on many of the OEM's most popular Android gadgets until the third quarter this year.

That includes the Motorola Atrix 4G and Atrix 2 handsets for AT&T (NYSE:T), the Photon 4G smartphone on Sprint (NYSE:S), and the Droid Xyboard 10.1 and 8.2 tablets on Verizon Wireless, all in the U.S. The ICS timeline gets murkier for many of Motorola's newer smartphones.

Motorola has affixed the "further details to follow" description about an ICS upgrade to the just-launched Droid 4 and Droid Razr Maxx, the Droid Razr, Droid Bionic and the Xoom WiFi+3G devices. The Droid 3 and Droid X2 are also on this short list.

That schedule won't satisfy many users attracted to some of the OEM's best high-end handsets, but such is the price consumers pay at a time when Android upgrades continue to be a messy affair.

Motorola provided the update on its support forum Web page, where back in December it detailed the upgrade process for bringing its devices to a fresh version of Android.

Users may check the forum for news about when upgrades are available, though they will also receive alerts from their handsets or tablets when an upgrade is available over the air.

Meanwhile, a lot is going on with Motorola of late.

The OEM, which last month inked a deal to build smartphones and tablets with Intel Atom processors, is set to unveil an Intel handset at Mobile World Congress later this month.

On Feb. 13, both the European Commission and Justice Department blessed the company's $12.5 billion merger with Google, which will use the company's 17,000-plus patents to firm up its defense of Android from Microsoft, Apple and other players in the increasingly litigious mobile market.