Sony Ericsson has already made it amply clear that its previous generation Xperia handsets won’t be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). However, all hope is not yet lost for the Xperia owners. The enterprising ROM chefs at XDA are already working on porting Android 4.0 or ICS to the Xperia X10. In fact, the first alpha build of ICS for the X10 is now available for download.
Zdzihu, who is one of the most respected developers in the X10 community, has succeeded in getting the ICS to boot on the X10. As of now, most of the basic stuff, including touchscreen, radio, bluetooth, and GPS is working. However, Wi-Fi, mobile data, and audio playback is problematic, and pretty much everything else doesn’t work. The ROM is based on the existing 2.6.29 kernel, and supports devices with unlocked as well as locked boot-loaders.
The biggest challenge in porting a new version of Android is getting the hardware drivers to work. Earlier, Sony Ericsson had stepped in and helped out the FreeXperia team to port the Cyanogen Mod to different Xperia devices. It will be interesting to do see if they intend on doing something similar with ICS. Even otherwise, the release of ICS for the newer Xperia devices should help the ROM chefs. However, we might not even have to wait that long to get a fully functioning ICS ROM, given the track record of Zdzihu and others at XDA forums.