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Ice Cream Sandwich Release Date: Gingerbread OS Phones to Get Upgrade Soon

Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich was unveiled on Oct. 19 at the "Samsung Mobile Unpacked: Google Episode" media event in Hong Kong, China.

Its flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was also unveiled.

While the Galaxy Nexus is currently the only phone powered by Ice Cream Sandwich, many Android 2.3, Gingerbread powered phones may soon get an ICS update.

Android product manager Gabe Cohen and Android user experience director Matias Duarte told Engadget that the Nexus S smartphone would be getting an Ice Cream Sandwich OS update.

Android is "currently in the process of releasing Ice Cream Sandwich for Nexus S,” they said.

“Theoretically [it] should work for any 2.3 device.”

Before its unveiling, an Ice Cream Sandwich powered Nexus S was bought on e-Bay and was the source of many of the ICS specs that were leaked.

Other smartphones proposed for an Ice Cream Sandwich update are the Nexus One and Galaxy S2.

However, a number of older Gingerbread powered phones may also eventually get an Ice Cream Sandwich update.

Geek.com notes that the various networks and manufacturers of Android phones will determine what devices will get the Ice Cream Sandwich update, and when they will be released.

Updates could take from several weeks to several months.

Commentators have noted that the Ice Cream Sandwich OS has not been released as a free download.

They suggest that due to the NFC, near field communication technology that powers mechanisms like the phone-to-phone sharing utility, Android Beam, a direct download update from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich is probably not possible.

The Ice Cream Sandwich powered Galaxy Nexus will release in November on Japan's NTT DoCoMo network.

Verizon Wireless is currently the exclusive U.S. carrier of the Galaxy Nexus, but networks such as Sprint may carry the phone in the future.

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