HTC Scraps Android Ice Cream Sandwich Update for Desire HD

Posted on August 1, 2012


July 30, 2012 | By Jason Ankeny

HTC has halted plans to upgrade its Desire HD smartphone to run Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0, nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich.

“HTC knows their phones better than anyone, and it seems as though they believe that the new operating system update will hinder the Desire’s ability to function at a high level. The newest operating systems are becoming very large in file size and command a high level of cpu usage. If they believe that the Desire will work better for their customers by avoiding g the new os, then by all means; provide your customers with the optimum user experience”, said Aaron Zeanah, Account Manager of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

HTC previously indicated it would transition the Desire HD to Ice Cream Sandwich by the end of August. The manufacturer said it canceled the upgrade after extensive internal testing determined that the device delivers a better customer experience in its current incarnation, which runs Android 2.3 (nicknamed Gingerbread) along with the HTC Sense graphical user interface.

“Due to how storage on the HTC Desire HD is partitioned–and the larger size of Android 4.0–it would require re-partitioning device storage and overwriting user data in order to install this update,” HTC said. “While technically advanced users might find this solution acceptable, the majority of customers would not. We also considered ways to reduce the overall size of the software package, but this would impact features and functionality that customers are currently using. Even after installing the update, there were other technical limitations which we felt negatively impacted the user experience… While we are very aware of the disappointment from this decision, we believe the impact to user experience was too great.”

How much do you really understand about what’s happening inside your consumers’ smartphones? The average smartphone today contains 300MB of software and, according to Nielsen, 41 downloaded applications. But how many of those apps do consumers regularly use, and when?

HTC said it remains on track to roll out Android Ice Cream Sandwich to Sensation and Sensation XE devices over the next few weeks, followed by updates for the Sensation 4G and Sensation XL. HTC previously announced it also will migrate the Droid Incredible 2 and Thunderbolt to Android 4.0 in the weeks ahead.

HTC Desire HD

HTC previously said it will not overhaul all of its Android devices to run Ice Cream Sandwich, stating that phones with 512MB of ROM or less will not make the switch. Devices that will not upgrade include the HTC ChaCha, Salsa, Wildfire S and Explorer. In addition, tablets like the HTC Flyer, Evo View 4G and Jetstream will continue to run Android 3.0, a.k.a. Honeycomb.

“Upgrades are not the same thing as ongoing support,” HTC said. “Devices not being upgraded to Android 4.0 will still get software improvements, security fixes and technical support as needed.”

Google’s Android Developers dashboard reveals that only 11.1 percent of all Android-based devices are currently running a version of Ice Cream Sandwich. Android devices make up 50.8 percent of the U.S. smartphone market according to comScore data issued earlier this month.