Sony has just announced that the Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray will be receiving Android 4.0 in mid-April and continue over 4-6 weeks. For those of you wondering about the newly minted Xperia S you will have to wait a bit longer. According to Sony the Xperia S "will be upgraded to Android 4.0 starting from the later part of the second quarter, we will get back with more detailed information on timing over the next weeks."

In an unprecedented move Sony is leaving the upgrade optional for users:
Because this update is a significant revamp of some of your phone’s features, , so that you continue to enjoy optimum experiences from your Xperia smartphone.

Therefore, we’ll only be making it available for download via PC Companion and Bridge for Mac (i.e. not over the air via 3G or WiFi), and you also won’t receive any update requests or notifications.
Bet nobody has ever seen that before. They understand that with a complete overhaul of the UI, it could cause a lot of confusion with inexperienced users, which in turn has the potential to turn into a support nightmare. "Oh my god my phone is entirely different! What's going on?!!" is not an unlikely scenario. Sony see's the value in a well informed customer and has even set up a developer page explaining all the new features that ICS will bring. Looking at the care they are going about to inform their customers is a quite remarkable. Something I personally have never seen. Has anyone heard_insert your smartphone manufacturer here_ tell them "we want to make sure you take a conscious and informed decision to upgrade"?

Please feel free to check out their blog to read the whole article. We'd like to see other manufactures take a page out of Sony's playbook and offer this kind of support and openness. Great customer service is invaluable.

Source: Sony