Sony has recently announced the Android ICS update for the Xperia arc S, Neo V and Ray. Users need to wait for some more days to get the Android 4.0 ice cream sandwich update on Xperia arc. However Xperia arc users can install ICS update to their handset right now as because of similarities between the Arc and Arc S. Here is step by step guide for you.
Disclaimer: You should note that once you complete the process, your phone will be recognized as the Xperia arc S (LT18i). Android 4.0 ICS will work as advertised, but you may encounter certain bugs or issues as the firmware was not designed specifically for the Xperia arc. We are not responsible for something go wrong. Please proceed with caution and at your own risk.
Note: This tutorial does not require you to root your handset and it does not require you to unlock your bootloader.
1) Install drivers for the Xperia arc
This is essential step and it is important to make sure that your system had all necessary drivers installed for Xperia Arc. The best way is to install PC Companion or Sony Ericsson Update Service.
2) Switch on USB debugging on your handset
Now switch Xperia arc into the USB debugging mode. For this Go to Menu –> Settings –> Applications –> Development –> Tick ‘USB debugging’
Also tick ‘Unknown sources’ under Menu –> Settings –> Applications
3) Install Flashtool 0.7.0.0
You must install the latest version of Flashtool i.e. version 0.7.0.0 to work with this process. The official Flashtool site is currently not allowing to download the necessary file instead you can download it from mirror here. The zip package includes two files:
an update zip file.
Install Flashtool 0.6.9.1 to your system and move and replace all the content from update file to the C:\Flashtool. Once completed launch the launch Flashtool and verify the version by accessing Help>About. The version should be ‘Flashtool Version 0.7.0.0 built on 2012-04-14 11:34:01?.
4) Download the Generic Nordic ICS Xperia arc S firmware
Now we need Generic Nordic ICS Xperia arc S firmware which can be downloaded from here (377MB). This is firmware version 4.1.A.0.562 which will update your phone to Android 4.0.3.
A note of warning: Some browsers like Opera will rename the extension of this FTF file as a zip file when trying to download it. Make sure that the downloaded file has a .ftf extension rather than .zip.
Installing the official Android 4.0 ICS update to your Xperia arc:
1) Place firmware in correct location on your PC
Place the download Generic Nordic ICS Xperia Arc S firmware FTF file in the C:\Flashtool\firmwares folder.
2) Launch Flashtool
Launch the Flashtoll application on your system and click on the lightning bolt symbol and select the Flashmode.
3) Select firmware
Now select the correct firmware in the left column (LT18_4.1.A.0.562_NCB), choose “Wipe User Date, Wipe Cache and No Final Verification Check” as shown in below image.
4 ) Connect Xperia arc to PC
Turn your phone off. Press and hold the back key while plugging the USB cable into your Xperia arc.
5) Flashing process will start
The flashing process should now start. Once you see the “Flashing finished” message in Flashtool, remove your handset from the PC and wait until the phone reboots (this may take some time so don’t panic).
6) Your Xperia arc should now be running ICS
Congratulations, finally your Sony Xperia arc should now be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich!