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HTC users denied Ice Cream Sandwich in summer

HTC Desire HD users are getting used to feeling like the iPad’s poor cousins, especially now it seems that they won’t get access to Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich. KitGuru licks around the edge of the story to prevent dribbles.

While there are, no doubt, benefits to Microsoft’s ‘pay big or do not touch’ and Apple’s ‘Sell it, but let’s share the profit’ models, Android’s killer advantage has been the huge army of developers contributing to the Open Source programme.

But what happens when a highly desired/anticipated set of products launch without the latest set of O/S goodies?

HTC users are about to discover.

The problem for HTC seems to centre on some classic ‘knee-jerk’ PR. Here’s an oversimplification of the timeline:-

1) HTC announces the Desire HD in 2010 and claims Ice Cream Sandwich goodness will be allowed

2) The company’s engineers realise that there are some huge challenges and decide to update the carriers (people the us normal folks actually get phones from) and tell them, “No luck with that update – we’ll be living without it”

3) The news immediately leaks to the press with mobile/Android sites across the world springing into action/defense of the poor HTC Desire HD owners

4) Understanding that it looks bad, HTC quickly back tracks – claiming everything is fine and all phones will update to every O/S etc – BEFORE checking with engineering

5) Internal memo from engineering is received by (a) the board and (b) the hair-trigger PR team, saying “Er…”

6) HTC is forced into a back-track

Right now, HTC probably isn’t sure how much resource it should commit to the update – given that there clearly seem to be technical issues.

HTC owners that won’t get the update are probably, for the most part, not sure what they are missing – but probably are feeling like they’ve been cheated out of something special.

KitGuru says: Where possible, you should choose a phone for its suitability ‘straight out of the box’. Open Source software will, by its very nature, be a free/liberated/innovative beast – and that innovation might sidestep some minor hardware updates from one or two vendors – on its way to creating a better tomorrow. Caveat emptor, as they say in China.

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