Samsung and Google hosted their joint mobile unpacked media event yesterday where they unveiled both Ice Cream Sandwich OS and the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
The Galaxy Nexus will be the first mobile device released with Ice Cream Sandwich pre-installed, but the new software is expected to be available as an upgrade for more Android devices in the future.
One of the first handsets to receive this upgrade will be the Nexus S smartphone, according to Android product manager Gabe Cohen and Android user experience director Matias Duarte.
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.