Owners of O2-branded Samsung Galaxy S II phones should now be able to update to the latest version of Android, the network has announced. Writing on its official Twitter feed, O2 says the update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for its Galaxy S II users is now available through Samsung's Kies software. O2 is the second British network to release the update, joining Three, which launched its ICS build last week. T-Mobile UK and Orange are promising the update in April, while Vodafone says it's still testing its version.

However, in a bizarre (and frustrating) turn of events, unlocked Galaxy S II owners in the UK have been left waiting for their update. After informing customers that ICS for unbranded UK phones would be landing last Monday, March 19, Samsung now says it's not able to offer any estimated release date. In a post on its UK Facebook page, the manufacturer assures increasingly impatient users that it's going as fast as it can --

Samsung UK is working hard to bring Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to our Galaxy S II customers. We are unable to confirm exact dates as the software testing and approval process is subject to several variables, but we are working as quickly as we can. Thank you for your patience.

This development is a reversal of the usual Android update situation. Generally, when a new version is released, unlocked phones are the first to get it, while carrier-branded phones have to wait around a month for additional testing to be carried out. We're not sure exactly what's holding up the ICS release for unbranded British devices, as the update has already landed in many other countries, including Poland, Hungary, Sweden, and Korea.

Impatient Galaxy S II owners can always change their CSC code and apply another region's ICS update directly through the ODIN utility. Or for those feeling brave, there's also the option to root and install an ICS ROM directly through a custom recovery. (If you don't know what any of that means, you're probably better off sticking it out on Gingerbread until Samsung releases the official update package.)

As ever, Galaxy S II phones in the U.S. have a little longer to wait for their updates, on account of the hardware differences from carrier to carrier. Leaked builds for certain devices have started to appear over the past few days, though, which is a good sign.

Galaxy S II users, be sure to shout out in the comments and let us know if you've received your ICS update yet.


Reader comments

O2-branded Galaxy S II's get ICS update, unlocked UK models left waiting


this is a joke 3UK got ICS last week and Now O2 ver. is out yet still no sim free version released by samsung lol
its strange they have released carrier branded versions before a version what as no carrier input so does not have to be held up by extra testing

Jesus, the Android ICS updates are so out of hand. First off Google is unable to update their own line of Nexus phones successfully to 4.0.3 going on what is now four months. The Galaxy Nexus has been waiting for three months to get it's updates to 4.0.3, 4.0.4 or 4.0.5 to squash some of the many bugs it shipped with. So Google is no where in sight of a working 4.0.4 or 4.0.5 for it's own phones, meanwhile the code for the bug ridden 4.0.3 is still available for some reason and the OEM's are using it to push their OTA's out in a timely manner that was pleaded of them to start doing by their users over the last couple of years. So the OEM's are trying to keep their end up, but in doing so are providing and awful user experience as 4.0.3 is crap. On top of that it now looks like even Samsung is unsure of how to properly roll out it's updates. Are they trying to wait it out for a working version of ICS like 4.0.5 or are they just screwing up? It took Samsung four months to even release 4.0.3 so if and when 4.0.5 gets released from Google you need to add at least another four months to that until we finally see a fully working version of ICS on the SGS II. That is if Samsung even feels like supporting the SGS II anymore in four months from now. You have to wonder if Google is even communicating to Samsung about 4.0.5?

Seems their is a lot of questions that have arisen over the last four months, yet we still see no answers in sight.

I understand your other points, but why is ICS crap? Im running LP2 in the US and its great. No issues at all. If running the most recent OS is important to you, then chances are you are familiar with Odin. Its just a quick flash away.

Here is just one of the many ongoing (unanswered) threads on Google's own help forum regarding the many problems in 4.0.3. Not everyone on ICS has run into issues, but too many have.


It is very well know and documented that 4.0.3 has many bugs. These bugs will be making their way along with the 4.0.3 updates to all other devices in the comming months. It will not be fixed until Google updates the source to 4.0.5 or whatever the fixed version will be. Sadly it will probably be too late for the majority of people hoping for a 100% working update that had already been updated to the bug ridden 4.0.3. Do you really think that after how long it has already taken the OEM's to get ICS 4.0.3 onto it's flagship devices that they will still be showing this much support four or more months from now to upgrade their then aging former flagship devices to 4.0.5? Probably not.

Nope, still waiting for that sweet ICS on my unbranded UK SGS2! This is all very strange indeed! At this rate we may see the SGS3 before the update! I read on XDA that the unlocked version will be a more recent firmware, so I guess that could be to explain - it will be interesting to see if it's 4.0.3 or 4.0.5.

on a side note the tmobile one has an ics yesssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh its a miracle flashing right now. seriously there's tears of joy on my face (not kidding)

I was able to update to ICS the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S2 bought in Moscow, Russia on March 22, 2012 via Kies, but still unable to update same unlocked phone purchased in UK,even though I am doing the update here in Moscow.

I live in Africa and I upgraded my sgs2 to Official Android 4.0.3 XXLPQ firmware using ODIN. Runs perfectly and has kept all my settings, contacts etc. during the update.