Transformer Prime and Ice Cream Sandwich to collide on 1/12


— 4:22 PM on January 3, 2012

No, this isn't about a little kid's Saturday morning routine. It's a deadly serious bit of tech news—and something that ought to please early adopters of Asus' Eee Pad Transformer Prime. According to a post on the company's Facebook wall, Asus will roll out Android 4.0 as a free, worldwide, over-the-air update to the Transformer Prime on January 12.

Yes, the tablet still ships with Android 3.2, even though it technically hit stores after Google announced version 4.0 of the dessert-themed operating system. Come Thursday after next, that little oversight will be rectified. Users can expect another over-the-air update (numbered 8.8.3.33) in the meantime. That patch will "improve the focus of the camera, the fluidity of the touch experience, and the APK capabilities in Android Market."

In related news, Asus' Facebook post addresses the ire over the Prime's locked bootloader with an encouraging promise:

Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers' requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely. However, we know there is demand in the modding community to have an unlocked bootloader. Therefore, ASUS is developing an unlock tool for that community. Please do note that if you choose to unlock your device, the ASUS warranty will be void, and Google video rental will also be unavailable because the device will be no longer protected by security mechanism.

Now, all that remains is for Asus to help replenish e-tail stocks. Newegg appears to be all out of Transformer Primes right now. Amazon carries the 64GB "champagne" model for $599, but you have to venture into the Amazon Marketplace and pay a hefty premium for the other variants.

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