HTC Gingerbread farce is undermining Android

HTC has to re-think its Android update strategy
HTC has to re-think its Android update strategy

Some customers must be thinking HTC's engineers were schooled at Hogwarts - after all, they've witnessed the phone manufacturer managing to create a secret stash of memory on every HTC Desire in the world in less than 24 hours.

That's the only explanation I can come to after watching the Android 2.3 car crash on HTC's Facebook page.

Yesterday's news that the HTC Desire, one of its most popular phones and the handset that propelled it (and Android) to the forefront of the smartphone game, wouldn't be getting Android 2.3 was devastating to many that were waiting for all the goodies the new version would bring.

But I was willing to accept the explanation: HTC discovered there wasn't enough memory on board, and it would be the stupidest move conceivable to tout an update that it knew couldn't ever be delivered, so it made sense to own up sooner rather than later.

Of course, it IS possible to get Android 2.3 on a Desire... just ask the thousands of custom ROM users that have been rocking the upgrade for months. It's the Sense overlay that sucks the additional power, so I assumed that in a bid to make sure it didn't offer any kind of poorer experience, HTC took the safe option.

Then today, hours after the first Gingerbread admission, we get the news : 'Oh, sorry, it turns out we CAN bring Android 2.3 to the Desire. Our mistake'.

Did an engineer hold a Flyer upside down when reading the results of a test? Was this the biggest Frape of recent times? Or is HTC just so naive that it thinks it can upset a whole boatload of consumers and then happily show it was bluffing at the merest hint of unrest?

HTC needs some more Sense

Usually, I'd label this a climb down - a manufacturer making a decision and then reneging due to the unexpected backlash. But there's no way that HTC could have thought that consumers weren't going to care about the lack of an upgrade, so I am totally and utterly baffled by this decision.

HTC MUST have seen the pain networks went through last year with the delayed Android updates - consumers getting increasingly irate on forums at perceived idiocy and apathy and in extreme cases leaving the network altogether, so I assumed it was a lesson learnt and brands would know not to mess around with mixed Android messages again.

And what's worse is that the upgrade isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. Sure, there are some fancy new tricks for your phone with the Android 2.3, but most users won't even be aware there's an upgrade in the ether, let alone be able to appreciate any benefit it may bring.

So HTC, for the sake of Android's advancement and to stop consumer outrage at the Google mobile platform, please work out whether one of the phones YOU designed for an OS YOU were instrumental in creating is capable of running an update before you decide to make a big announcement about it.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.