Sony has provided an update on where it stands on providing Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) updates for its Xperia family of devices, reiterating that most of the smartphones will be upgraded within the first few months of next year.

The company has confirmed that upgrades for the Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia V remain slated to land in February and March 2013, as announced in October. Beyond that, it has provided dates for other upgrades: the Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia, which will get Jelly Bean from the end of March. Lastly, it says the Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion and Xperia acro S will be upgraded “in the subsequent weeks” that follow.

That doesn’t quite cover all of its devices and owners however. As it said in October, Sony has reaffirmed that its 2011 devices — the Xperia U, Xperia miro, Xperia tipo, and Xperia sola — will not be able to advance beyond Android 4.0, without providing specific details beyond its announcement in October.

Responding to comments from users, Sony’s rep ‘Anthony’ shed a little more light on exactly why the Jelly Bean update is taking time to arrive:

The quality of Xperia’s software experience is dependent on a number of factors including: screen resolution, hardware platform and RAM. In the case of Xperia go, this combination came together in a way that meant the user experience running JB was not adversely affected.

Unfortunately, in the case of Xperia tipo, Xperia miro , Xperia U and Xperia sola this wasn’t the case – so we made the decision to keep them on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Responding to discontent users, he further explained that concerns around how Sony’s 2011 devices — such as the sola — will handle Jelly Bean is a key reason why the four devices will not be upgraded:

User experience is at the heart of our product development and support; after thorough evaluation, we concluded that the user experience for our 2011 Xperia smartphones will be superior if they remain on Ice Cream Sandwich versus being upgraded to Jelly Bean.

Fragmentation is often cited as a key weakness of Android and this here is a prime example of how owners of older devices can be stuck waiting for updates, or else missed out entirely. Jelly Bean was first made available to Android devices in July and already Google is said to be readying Android 4.2 (formerly codenamed Key Lime Pie), yet Sony is scheduling updates for as late as March 2013.

The Japanese-headquartered firm only began introducing Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) to its phones in June.

Latest Android stats: Android Jelly Bean hits 6.7% adoption, ICS 27.5%, but Gingerbread still on over half of devices

Headline image via jamiemc / Flickr