Sense UI too big for HTC Desire to go 2.3

A number of reader and Twitter followers have been asking when the HTC Desire will get the long-overdue Android 2.3 Gingerbread update. Earlier today, HTC made the official (and sad) news that Gingerbread isn’t coming to the Desire.

Update: HTC retracts and now says the Desire will get Gingerbread after all. Must have been due to all that noise from developers and users.

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The word came out from the HTC UK team and goes like:

“Our engineering teams have been working hard for the past few months to find a way to bring Gingerbread to the HTC Desire without compromising the HTC Sense experience you’ve come to expect from our phones. However, we’re sorry to announce that we’ve been forced to accept there isn’t enough memory to allow us both to bring Gingerbread and keep the HTC Sense experience on the HTC Desire.”

Their reason does not make sense considering a number of other HTC smartphones that recently came out (see Wildfire S) even has lower memory specs than the Desire and yet it comes pre-installed with Android 2.3.

There are also a number of custom ROMs available on the web that includes Gingerbread ported to the Desire, and most of them seemed to be running well and fine (rooting it is, then!).

HTC’s announcement has sparked a lot of outrage from the developer community and greater disappointment from a lot of Desire users like me.

The only logical reason for this move (or in-action) is that HTC wants to retire the Desire this early. Pretty obvious considering the retail price of the HTC Desire has gone down considerably that it becomes a hindrance for HTC to sell more of their newer mid-range handsets (people on a budget might still go with the Desire for a couple thousand bucks more than get the newer Wildfire S).

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Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech with over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He is one of the pioneers of blogging in the country and considered by many as the Father of Tech Blogging in the Philippines. He is also a technology consultant, a tech columnist with several national publications, resource speaker and mentor/advisor to several start-up companies.

24 Responses

  1. Avatar for noel noel says:

    Latest post by HTC says-
    To resolve Desire’s memory issue and enable the upgrade to Gingerbread, we will cut select apps from the release.
    Look for status updates starting next week. We apologize for any confusion.

  2. Avatar for Grover Grover says:

    LOL i read the comments of their previous announcement and saw super irate comments

    then i read their latest one, wow 360 degree turn in terms of comments. LMAO now they are praising HTC

    good for htc users, SE should follow them

  3. Avatar for Andy Andy says:

    Looks like HTC changes their mind in an instant…

    • Avatar for razorous razorous says:

      Yup! And another post from GSMArena:

      HTC takes its words back, Gingerbread for the Desire is a go – GSMArena.com news | http://bit.ly/jJdhpK

  4. Avatar for Pepito Pepito says:


    here check this out. HTC and Sony Ericsson have the same marketing strategy

  5. Avatar for Kevin Kevin says:

    oooops I meant the HTC Sensation the new Gingerbread phone

  6. Avatar for Kevin Kevin says:

    Obviously a business decision that is also a dealbreaker for me to purchase an HTC smartphone in the future. Who’s to say that they are going to upgrade their current Gingerbread phone HTC Desire S with the upcoming Android OS Ice Cream Sandwich later this year? They will surely come up with another dumb excuse. So long, HTC. Steep pricing + user unfriendly business decisions = hara kiri

  7. Avatar for friend.com.ph friend.com.ph says:

    mas ok pa talaga ang samsung kesa htc…

  8. Avatar for Marvin Marvin says:

    marketing strategy lang ng htc yan… syempre may HTC desire S na… they want to sell their new products.. if ever na bibigyan nila ng 2.3 gingerbread ang desire then it would compete directly with the desire S.

    sabi nga nila pag ayaw palaging may dahilan, pag gusto palaging may paraan.

  9. Avatar for Paul Paul says:

    Its a lame excuse. Sony Ericsson started this type of marketing strategy. Pegging the X10 Mini/Pro and X8 to Android 2.1

    Their excuse is that the user experience will not change that great from 2.1 to 2.2
    They said that 2.1 is best for those units.

    SO how lame is that compared to HTC’s excuse? ahahaha

    The bottom line is SE wants to sell their new phones with Android 2.3 already. The users stuck at 2.1 will be foreced to buy newer handsets.

    Maybe HTC is trying the same strategy, leaving the Desire to 2.2 so their newer phones with 2.3 can sell better.

  10. Avatar for marx marx says:

    yup. business yung reason. kahit na xperia x8 ko pedeng magrun yung gingerbread 170 mb lang internal mem and wala pang 200mb ram.. :D

    ito plan kong bilhin na next cp pero since walang official update stick na lang ako sa x10… rrelease pa official gingerbrea and mas mura. 16k lang sa cmk compared sa htc desire na 17… everyting is much better in xperia x10. ram lang lamang htc.

  11. Avatar for wildfire wildfire says:

    does the same go with Wildfire?

    • Avatar for sylv3rblade sylv3rblade says:

      The Wildfire S is around the corner, probably so HTC would probably want you to upgrade to that.

    • Avatar for Mikhail Mikhail says:

      I still have Wildfire with me, as a sidekick to my N1. Yup, it’s stuck with 2.2 due to OTA update and locked bootloader!! Maybe you should consider buying Wildfire S intead, it comes with a decent spec for its price range. Sounds like a plan huh, HTC?

  12. Avatar for intersectRaven intersectRaven says:

    It is quite unfortunate that just because HTC is unwilling to part with it’s Sense UI that the Desire won’t be upgraded to the next version of Android. Anyways, it is their business decision and usual consumers really won’t be bothered by it. :)

  13. Avatar for Fleeb Fleeb says:

    I agree with the reasoning here. Retiring the Desire is a business decision. The beating around the bush part is called PR.

  14. Avatar for Mikhail Mikhail says:

    One of the reasons why i chose N1 instead of this phone, despite being identical. But i agree with those comments above me, who cares? Simply root the phone and flash custom roms. Desire is still one of the top notch android phones.

  15. Avatar for Kuplet Kuplet says:

    Does this include the Desire Z?

  16. Avatar for jammic jammic says:

    excuses lang ng HTC yan. Sinasabi ng Htc dahil daw mababa ang memory at mabigat ang Sense. Pero bakit ang Wildfire S eh naka Gingerbread. Mas malaki pa nga ang Ram at Processor ng Desire kesa sa Wildfire S eh tapos pareho sila ng rom. Buti pa ang Galaxy S at Xperia X10, may inaasahang gingerbread

  17. Avatar for Jon Jon says:

    As expected. This is just a lame excuse and a business strategy at the same time. Why spend money developing an upgrade for an old phone when they could spend that money to promote new phones?

    This should not be a surprise to anybody now. There is no need to he sad. The Desire is still a fairly capable phone and rooting + flashing a custom Gingerbread ROM is easy. Plus, it is usually better than official ones, depending on the chef who made the ROM.

  18. Avatar for Gamedok Gamedok says:

    LoL. There’s always MIUI. Screw HTC Sense.

    • Avatar for Jon Jon says:

      There are still some people who love/use SenseUI. Plus, there are also a lot of custom roms that have senseui. Personally, I love it. Only just a bit of a resource hog. MIUI is snappy and feature rich, but some people including myself find the lack of an app drawer annoying, especially when you have hundreds of apps. Placing them in folders is both tedious and time consuming.

      But yeah, screw official roms. Custom roms ftw!!

    • Avatar for Gamedok Gamedok says:

      Actually, I don’t use the MIUI interface. I am using Launcher Pro Plus which has an app drawer and very snappy interface with customizable widgets. I hated sense when I felt my Desire being a little sluggish and sometimes frame skipping. But HTC Sense has its merits but MIUI is really an eyeopener for me. XD

      Custom ROM FTW! :D

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