Today Motorola updated its “Motorola Android Software Upgrade News” page with new information about which phones and Tablets will get Ice Cream Sandwich.

I’ve saved you the effort of going through the page by separating out the Australian devices.

So from the below table we can see that the RAZR (Optus), Atrix (Telstra) and the Xoom (WiFi & 3G) will make the cut and have a time frame of Q2 this year.
What is disappointing to see is that the recently released Defy+ will not be getting Ice Cream Sandwich and there is no surprise about the rest of the devices.

The Update Table…

Device Upgrade Status
MOTOROLA XOOM WiFi + 3G ICS Upgrade in planning. Further details to follow.
MOTOROLA XOOM WiFi Only ICS Upgrade rollouts begin in Q2 2012.
MOTOROLA RAZR ICS Upgrade rollout begins in Q2 2012.
ATRIX ICS Upgrade in planning. Further details to follow.
DEFY+ Will remain on Android 2.3.
DEFY Will remain on Android 2.2.
MILESTONE Will remain on Android 2.2.
MILESTONE 2 Will remain on Android 2.2.
CHARM Will remain on Android 2.1.
FLIPOUT Will remain on Android 2.1.
BACKFLIP Will remain on Android 1.5.
DEXT Will remain on Android 1.5.
QUENCH Will remain on Android 1.5.

How does Motorola update a device?

Motorola also decided to take the opportunity to shed some light on how they progress through an update cycle and have a pretty little process flow below.

The duration of each cycle varies and in some cases is dependent on our carrier partners’ requirements. As our products complete each phase, we get closer to releasing upgrades and therefore we can provide a better estimate as to its availability.

  • PHASE 1 – EVALUATION & PLANNING: During this phase, we evaluate the benefits, technical issues and user experience of an upgrade. Generally, we are not able to provide release dates in this stage. There are also some cases in which we can state that an upgrade will happen but are not able to provide a release date. Please note that some products that enter the Evaluation and Planning phase may not complete the upgrade cycle.
  • PHASE 2 – DEVELOPMENT: This phase represents the development of the software upgrade. When a device is in the Development Phase, we will provide an estimated calendar quarter for its availability. This date and the development activities are subject to change.
  • PHASE 3 – TESTING: Testing is an important phase to ensure that an upgrade works properly and delivers an improved experience. Testing time may vary depending on the device and carrier requirements. Once a potential upgrade enters this phase, Motorola Mobility will provide the approximate month that we expect an over-the-air (OTA) upgrade to become available to consumers. Availability still depends upon completion of testing and certification by carriers or relevant authorities.
  • PHASE 4 – AVAILABLE: Once the upgrade is approved by the carrier or local regulators, Motorola Mobility will note on this site that the software is available. In most cases, consumers will receive a notification on their device that the OTA upgrade is available. An available upgrade or update may be rolled out over a period of time in order to best manage the deployment volume and experience. At times, a small testing group is provided the upgrade before it’s made available to a larger group. On your Motorola Android Phone or Tablet, you can go to Settings ⇒ About Phone/Tablet ⇒ System Updates to manually check for an OTA upgrade. All estimated release dates are based on available information and are subject to change.
  • Where the Carrier gets involved…

    From my experiences with Motorola, Phase 1 – Evaluation and Planning is where they will talk to the Carrier and find out if the number of units sold and Carrier marketing strategies will accommodate for an update as well as hardware capabilities and effort involved.
    Phase 3 – Testing is when the test builds will be sent to the Carrier for network testing and as we know some carriers are far more stringent than others (I of course refer to Telstra).

    Its good to see Motorola trying to be more transparent and we can hope that Google’s recent acquisition will transfer some of it’s unofficial business motto of “Don’t be evil”.

    Source(s): Motorola Support Forums
    • http://www.motoask.com Motorola Atrix

      Most people will have upgraded their phone before these updates hit…

      • Matt Booth

        And if they’re wise, they are likely to update to something other than a Motorola given their current experience..

    • Level380

      Totally pissed at Motorola! The atrix is getting a updated but it’s only the mb860 one!

      Why no love for the ME860!!!???? Darn you Motorola!

    • Anonymous

      Sorry Moto, but your abysmal update schedule is what I inform people of all the time when they look at your phones. The milestone was a fantastic phone ruined by poor software. I don’t like making a $600 purchase and then feel like that you dont support the device. Maybe in the future I will change my mind, but you have to prove it first.

    • Anonymous

      Testing does not only involve carrier testing, it also involves testing with relevant regulatory agencies. When the baseband software changes, the device needs to re-apply for certification from many different agencies: A-tick in Australia for compliance with Australia’s frequency regulations, Wifi certification from Wifi Alliance, Bluetooth certification from Bluetooth SIG, etc. 

      This testing and applying for new certification is what takes most of the time. 

      As much as I don’t like it, I understand why we need these certifications. There are great public health and safety issues at risk here. 

      Also, bonus points to Motorola for being more transparent. They have certainly learnt a lot in the past 12 months. 

      • Irwin

        Absolutely agree, was just highlighting the parts where Australian carriers are usually involved.

    • Nigel

      Lol, they can’t even get their own updates they have done right. Milestone 2 is already on 2.3. This is the reason I went with Samsung for my latest phone, motorola are awful for updates

    • http://twitter.com/xavierdylan Dylan Xavier

      Does any one remember the Last google IO 2011? the agreement that google had with OEM’s to provide timely updates. Well that agreement is worth crap! we will see ICS on devices being released possibly a couple of months before the next OS is released. No point. Thank God for Root! Which is why i dont buy devices with locked bootloaders

      • Guest

        Because you know, Root can’t be achieved with a Locked Bootloader. Look less ignorant next time.

        • http://twitter.com/xavierdylan Dylan Xavier

          Dont be stupid. Although you can achieve root on locked bootloader devices you cannot flash a custom rom. my point about custom ICS updates!!

        • AlexGerontzos

          Probably on the case that ics is a completely new rebuild that require new kernals and such but regards to flashing custom roms, I have been flashing a number of roms with my x10 with cm 7 a number of miui roms on a locked bl and they worked fine even on a 2.3.7 build.

        • http://profiles.google.com/imroykun Ian Tester

          You can flash a custom ROM, you just can’t change the kernel. I have a Milestone and this is exactly the situation we’re in. Thanks to the hard work of Kabaldan we’ve had Gingerbread for a while and he’s working on getting ICS working. Still stuck on the same Froyo kernel though, so even Gingerbread required some hacks and ICS is going to be tricky. Kabaldan originally said ICS was just about impossible because of driver issues, but he clearly changed his mind.