HTC has backed out of a promise to provide the Desire with an update to Gingerbread. According to a post on HTC UK's Facebook account, "there isn't enough memory to allow us both to bring Gingerbread and keep the HTC Sense experience." HTC is also "sincerely sorry" about not offering the latest version of Android for a phone that's just over a year old and an erstwhile flagship device for the company. While the apology is nice enough, what would be really nice is some detail on the bigger question of Android updates.
It's not clear if the "memory" in question refers to the Desire's 512MB of ROM, 576MB of RAM, or both - Gingerbread certainly runs fine on the similarly spec'd Nexus One with 512MB ROM / 512MB RAM. Either way, it’s hard not to worry that Sense has gotten too large too quickly if it can’t run alongside Gingerbread on the best hardware HTC was shipping until just a few months ago.
The larger issue is that we're a month out from the 18-month Android update promise announced at Google I/O and not any closer to knowing how Google and its partners are actually going to make good on these updates, especially in light of customizations like Sense. Andy Rubin told us on May 10th that details on how they'll make good on guaranteed updates should emerge "in the next few weeks," but we haven't heard a word since. Given how many partners, carriers, and technical issues are involved, it's not really a surprise that the picture isn't clearer yet. Just a disappointment.
Of course, HTC could help out in this instance by offering a stock Gingerbread update for Desire owners, which would be a beautiful follow up to HTC's about-face on locking bootloaders, but we're not holding our breath. It all makes one wish, yet again, for manufacturers and Google to get it together and find a way to offer consumers a choice between stock Android and their customized experiences.
Source: HTC UK on Facebook