Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Corporation, speaks next to the image of a Sony Xperia Z smart phone during a Sony news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 7, 2013. (Photo : Reuters)
One disappointing feature of the new Sony Xperia Z smartphone is its operating system - it ships with the slightly out-of-date Android 4.1 installed.
But Sony has promised the Xperia Z will get an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update soon after its launch, and recent rumors point to March.
"What you can see below is the first screenshot of the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean update for the Sony Xperia Z (C6603)," writes Xperia Blog, an outfit with friendly ties at Sony.
"It was sent to us by an anonymous tipster with some of the baseband and kernel details understandably masked. It shows us that the Android 4.2.2 JB update will have firmware version 11.1.A.1.450. However, we are told this is a beta version, so expect the firmware version number to be in the form of 11.1.A.X.XXX by the time it is released."
"Best of all, we are told that the official release for this Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean firmware will take place at the end of March in Europe."
Of course, this is only a rumor at this point, but a quick release of Android 4.2 would quell much of the grumbling surrounding the rolling release of the phone. Sony's new flagship phone is slowing becoming available in Europe, and the company seems to be taking a cautious approach to the rollout.
Still no official word on a U.S. release date, though it's expected within the first quarter of 2013. If Android 4.2 hits the Xperia Z before it makes across the Atlantic, it's possible that U.S. versions of the phone might come with Android 4.2 preinstalled.
In fact, that could be Sony's plan. With the Mobile World Congress smartphone show just around the corner and plenty of competition from HTC, Samsung and Apple, Sony is betting heavily on the Xperia Z, so it wants to get it just right. Maybe the quick OS update and the slow U.S. release are meant to coincide, to give Sony enough time to offer 4.2 off-the-shelf with new Xperia Zs in America.
We'll keep you posted on release dates for both the Xperia Z and its Jelly Bean build.