Jul 29 AT 4:20 PM Nick Gray 48 Comments

HTC fesses up – Desire HD Android 4.0 update shelved since it would force a hard reset


When HTC made the official announcement that the Desire HD would not be updated to Android 4.0, their statement claimed that the current Android build “provides customers with the best experience on the HTC Desire HD.” Our interpretation of that comment was that there were performance issue which HTC has identified with their Ice Cream Sandwich build which could not be overcome. It turns out that we were wrong.

HTC has posted another statement on the topic, explaining that the update was scrapped because it would force a hard reset in order to re-partition the HTC Desire HD’s internal storage to make room for the much larger Android 4.0 code. While general consumers would probably freak out if the Android 4.0 update for the HTC Desire HD erased all the data on their device, we’re sure most advanced users would gladly accept it as a minor setback.

At this point, there’s no indication that Desire HD owners will ever be treated to Ice Cream Sandwich, but there’s always a chance that HTC will cave to the demands of the development community and release a stock Android 4.0 build for the handset as they did for the HTC Desire and its Gingerbread update.

We’ve heard your feedback on our decision not to update the HTC Desire HD to Android 4.0. We completely understand that this is a controversial decision.

For more background, 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. 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.

We believe an update should always improve the user experience and carefully evaluate each update based on this criteria. While we are very aware of the disappointment from this decision, we believe the impact to user experience was too great. We recognize this is a change from our previous statement and for that we’re truly sorry.


Via: HTC Source

Source: HTC Blog

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • SP

    I recently upgraded from a desire z to the galaxy nexus best decision ever. From now on nothing but nexus devices for me.

    • thel0nerang3r

      I made the mistake of going the other way. From a Nexus S to a OneX device.

    • bethany

      i bought an iphone and an ipad.
      couldnt be happier.

    • Nate B.

      And make sure it’s the GSM aka real Nexus

  • AnthonyRyan

    This is why I got rid of my HTC phone and bought the Nexus

    • Brian

      Funny, the Nexus One was made by HTC.

      • tottyrice

        how is that funny??? we’re talking about support/software not hardware!

  • jamal adam

    It’s a shame to see great phones not be able to receive the update to ICS. Apologizing does not cut it because there are plenty of people who bought this smartphone expecting an upgrade and they should rightly be furious and feel left out. HTC and all other manufacturers need to do a better job at update their phones because it’s just the same thing over and over again, the fact that they say that certain phones can’t be upgraded for this reason or another. Imagine if the Sense skin was a little less heavy and didn’t require so much storage space. Manufacturers need to cut back on the UI and make things work.

    • redraider133

      Sadly with most non nexus phones you have to buy it for how it works out of the box and not expect an update. Then if it does get updated you will be pleasantly surprised. No reason they couldn’t update this no matter what they say. How about make an optional update for those who want it so they can download it?

      • Dags -

        There obviously is a reason – the internal storage on this phone (1.5GB) is absolutely tiny. Sayign tghat ti woiuld req

        • Dags -

          As I was saying ;)

          Saying that it would require re-partitioning is totally legitimate considering the storage constraints of this phone.

          • redraider133

            That’s why if they made it an optional update that people had to go out and get like those who are ok with it re-partitioning I think it would ease some of the pain for some users. Or even better just drop sense and go stock ICS.

  • CTown

    I know this might require extra work but couldn’t HTC’s upgrade include a script that would back up all of the data and apps to the SD card, wipe and repartition the internal memory, restore the data, and then wipe that data off the SD card? HTC could say that 2GB of SD card space was needed or require that a temporary empty SD card for those who want the upgrade.

    • thel0nerang3r

      They could also make the update to require connecting to a PC to back it up, install and restore.

      • mooving

        there are zillions of backup apps on market/play that backup you data and apps to SD and cloud service, and yet HTC still fessus such comment.

        This is just their excuse for asking you to buy a new “one”

        • Terence G

          To be fair, the average Android user (read: none of us commenting here on this tech-oriented site) probably doesn’t even bother to use such apps and in the case of using such a script would need hand-holding beyond the scope of comprehension availabe to we more advanced users. I blame their tiny OS partitions and Sense’s bloat, but HTC has a good point here.

        • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

          Every once in a while, there are an app or two that refused to be backup and restored using Titanium Backup (and I imagined other backup software would have the same problems.)

  • rashad360

    I’m sure Android enthusiasts would appreciate an optional update. Don’t be lazy, HTC

  • jason

    wow…talk about no choice.

    this is why people hate android. now even the higher end phones arent getting updates4.

    you roll the dice with android…now it comes to 6 month lifecycles on high end phones because pf a ‘hard reset’


    • guest

      > this is why people hate android.

      Exactly which people “hate android”??? The more than 1 *MILLION* people that activate Android devices per *DAY*????

    • redraider133

      Actually most “normal consumers” have no clue what version they are even on or why they should be chomping at the bit to have the latest android version. If people hated it so much, android would not keep increasing market share and having more and more activation’s each and everyday

  • B

    Too bad, really. This is definitely something that continues to give our favorite platform bad press to the masses.
    I would think that HTC could just include a screen that comes up, prior to the update actually installing, with a giant warning saying that the update erases everything on the phone including contact, pictures, videos, etc., and then have a check box saying you agree to the update and understand the warning, then a continue button. Couldn’t this be a simple, cost-effective, solution to the possible backlash for a hard reset?

  • guest

    Sheezesss… Offer the update only to users that have just manually cleared off their device.

    Much better than “no one anywhere ever gets any update at all”.

    (Or better yet, hire a programmer that *CAN* figure out how to re-size an existing partition. I’m sure someone in the world can do it.)

  • Nathan D.

    This is sad to hear, they should make it optional through their web base services for those who want it, their should be no excuse for a phone not be updated because of something like this.

  • Aaron Z

    Because of this, I am through with HTC!!!! Their One X for US SUCKS BALLS! There is no way to expand on a 10GB storage….HUH? I cant wait to get my Samsung Galaxy S3.

  • NamelessTed

    It is shit like this that makes me glad I convinced my brother to get the Galaxy Nexus.

  • Terence G

    Precisely the reason I won’t go back to an HTC device. They have this ridiculous habit of making the OS partition tiny as all hell can allow, and then using that as an excuse not to update their devices. And it doesn’t help that Sense 3.x is so damned bloated as it is… For the best hackability I’m going Samsung from here on out… except on Verizon.

  • wirpo032

    They could at least make it available online, so that advanced user can download it by themselves with a note “This update is only for advanced users, please do not install it, everthing will be deleted”, so that users like me could, who are really interested have at least the possibility to install it….

  • http://www.ganymede.tv WeakLemonDrink

    This is a big shame. I love HTC phones from a hardware perspective (seriously, how sexy are Desire HDs? Very is the answer) but this is seriously disappointing. That said, if they do release it as a developer build like they did with the Desire and GB, then that will go a long way to redeeming the situation. And, to be fair, you *can* understand why they wouldn’t want to put their regular users through the hassle of a factory reset, because no matter how well they do it, it would introduce a huge amount of complications, and that would come with even more bad press.

    So, what does this mean for other slightly older devices like the Desire S? Doesn’t that have a very similar sized internal storage?

  • Paul

    Jesus, just make it available on the HTC website (with clear instructions and warnings about what it’ll do to your phone) instead of pushing it out via an auto-update path. Problem solved.

    I think what HTC is really saying here is ‘a small subset of people will use this update, therefore it’s not financially viable for us to pursue it’. Why can’t companies just say that instead of this ‘we’re doing it to protect the consumer’ BS?

  • Gregasus

    The Desire HD was (and still is) my first smartphone.
    Sence provided it with an advanced interface which the basic android lacked at the time.
    But now that android has matured I’ll go for the next nexus phone.

  • jayant25

    When did HTC Desire got an update to stock Gingerbread 2.3 ??! :O

    As Nick has said in the post “as they did for the HTC Desire and its Gingerbread update.”

  • spazby

    thinking of getting s3 but then again, I am second guessing myself as I want future upgrades, maybe i should wait for next nexus

  • pjamies

    The choice should be left up to the User, if they want to upgrade their phone
    or not! HTC should not be making decisions for the users!
    Put the upgrade on to the HTC website for users to download if they feel that
    they want to … Let the Users Decide!

  • Mike

    they should have released unofficially and let devs take a look im sure someone could have worked some magic

    sounds like HTC got lazy

    now they have JB and works just fine on hardware

  • Kansas City

    I have an iphone 4S which updates automatically.
    I made the right choice, Apple has the best technology thats why they are world leading company.
    You cant trust koreans, buy american.

    • Mike

      you’re an idiot

    • Mike

      and not becasue you have an iphone

  • Matt

    Normal customers dont give a crap about all this as long as their phone works..

    Those of you complaining on here know better and should of bought a Nexus device..Its not like there isn’t an option available to get the latest Android updates but for whatever reason you choose to sign a lame contract and get a discount on a phone.

  • Jill T.

    HTC can’t figure out how to do the upgrade… but a hacker can?

  • CoÅŸkun

    Htc made a big mistake and htc die for me. i sold my desire hd and buy nexus.goodbye htc

  • R

    Well folks, its time to ROOT!

  • salman shaikh

    It has been only 1 year buying my desire hd and its cant b updated feeling really bad .. htc should know to meets it customer expectations ,was waitin 4 ics update 4m when now its jst a dream :-/

  • paoman

    Very big mistake HTC. I look for an other manufacturer to satisfying my needs. It’s time to look for something better from your lyings about the abilities to cover my needs. Goodbye HTC lying company. Whatever was that we had between us seems that it ended. Bye HTC veeeeeery big lying manufacture company. You will be the one that loose from this situation not me or us.

  • Sven

    If the update forces a hard reset then let the custumors decide if they want it… But in think that is just a lame excuse… They want us to buy a new htc, But that will never happen unless they Give aan discount to People who are left out… Dont think they will do that, of to Samsung :-) what a company policy… If i knew this in would have never bought my desire hd… I will recommend all my friends not to buy a htc and so Should all of you… Goodbye htc… Forever…

  • peter

    Let s wait n see