Samsung Galaxy S II Getting Ice Cream Sandwich Upgrade in Q1

Samsung details upgrades for Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. The OS is coming to the Galaxy S II smartphone and Galaxy Tab tablets early next year.

Samsung Dec. 20 confirmed that it will be upgrading its Galaxy S II smartphone, Galaxy Tab tablets and other devices to Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform beginning in 2012, a disclosure that should appease several Samsung phone and tablet owners heading into the new year.

Google announced late last week that the Samsung Nexus S would be getting the ICS upgrade over the course of the month.

ICS upgrades for the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II LTE (Long-Term Evolution) edition and Galaxy Note handsets will begin in the first quarter next year. The bump will come to the Galaxy R phone and Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9, Tab 7.7 and the new Tab 7.0 Plus over the course of 2012.

Samsung vowed to make separate announcements detailing ICS OS updates for each market according to market situation and carriers' requirements.

Samsung is actually the proud maker of the first ICS device, the Galaxy Nexus "pure Google experience" smartphone, which boasts a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display and is powered by a 1.2GHz processor.

The Galaxy Nexus rolled out in the U.K. last month and from Verizon Wireless in the United States last week. Consumers can snag one from Amazon Wireless for $149.99 with a Verizon contract.

While the Galaxy Nexus' hardware is sleek, ICS is the real star of the smartphone.

ICS marries the Android smartphone and Honeycomb tablet branches, offering some of the holographic user interface perks and software navigation keys for which Honeycomb is known.

Honeycomb-styled multitasking, notifications, the Face Unlock facial detection feature and Android Beam, which lets users share information via near-field communications, are all major components of ICS.

Samsung is hardly the first Android OEM to pledge ICS support for handsets in 2012. Motorola and Sony, as well as LG, have all discussed their plans for ICS upgrades going forward.