Buying a phone with the latest operating system is easy. Getting your wireless carrier and phone manufacturer to properly support your device with updates… well, that’s a challenge. Despite almost all manufacturers claiming Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) updates would come swiftly after the OS’s December debut, new devices are still shipping with old versions of Android and updates just aren’t happening for a lot of users. Even Motorola, with its close ties with Google (which are about to get even closer) still hasn’t updated almost any of its handsets and tablets to 4.0. In response to requests, it has created a big list of what devices will get Android, and when. The dates are still extremely vague, with three months of padding attached to each nearly all their devices, but at least it’s something.

Motorola devices getting Android 4.0:

  • Xoom Wi-Fi Only – January 2012
  • Droid Razr – Q2 2012
  • Droid Razr Maxx - Q2 2012
  • Droid Xyboard 8.2 tablet – Q3 2012
  • Droid Xyboard 10.1 tablet – Q3 2012
  • Motorola Xoom 3G – Q2 2012
  • Atrix 2 – Q3 2012
  • Atrix 4G – Q3 2012 (update to Android 2.3 available)
  • Droid 4 – Q3 2012
  • Droid Bionic – Q3 2012
  • Xoom Family Edition tablet – Q3 2012
  • Motorola Xyboard 8.2 tablet – Q3 2012
  • Motorola Xyboard 10.1 tablet – Q3 2012
  • Photon 4G – Q4 2012
  • Electrify – Maybe getting ICS, maybe not
  • Everything else – Check the Motorola full update list, but you’re probably out of luck

According to a report by SlashGear, Motorola has sent this list to some of its users with a note attached:

“You may be wondering why all devices aren’t being upgraded to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Here’s the deal. We work very closely with Google and cell phone carriers for every software update. And, obviously we want the new release to improve our devices. If we determine that can’t be done — well then, we’re not able to upgrade that particular device. Happy upgrading!”

It’s a very positive letter, but to those who bought a Droid over the holidays and expected a quick upgrade, or others who have another year to live with the Droid X2, Droid 3, or other devices not being upgraded, it probably would have been great to have this chart a long time ago.

Will Google ever get its upgrade act together? If manufacturers continue to stay almost a year (sometimes more) behind Google’s official updates, it won’t be long before a more nimble competitor takes advantage, as Apple does every time it instantly updates iOS for almost all of its users.