back to article No Gingerbread snack for Desire owners, says HTC

HTC today told Desire smartphone users they won't be getting a Gingerbread update after all because it didn't put enough memory in its handsets. Oops. The company made the announcement on its Facecrack page, claiming the handset lacks memory for both Gingerbread and the Sense UI. Solution: give users the choice to upgrade to …


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  1. NoneSuch Silver badge

    I wonder... long it will take someone to root a Desire and apply a 2.3 build to it just to prove it can be done?

    1. T-Unit

      Not long

      Since it already happened a couple of months ago!

      CM7 runs on Desire just fine.

  2. Mage Silver badge

    Engineers or Beancounters?

    Maybe the original design had enough RAM and someone cost reduced it?

  3. AdamSweetman
    Thumb Up

    Change ROMs

    Load something else on your phone if you want Gingerbread, I can't say I miss the Sense UI. Since i loaded Oxygen ROM and flashed the radio i get considerably more battery life, much improved responsiveness and a generally better functioning phone.

    Yes its a somewhat hassle process but nothing the average user couldn't do easily. If you want Gingerbread and Sense, buy a more recent phone.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    No great surprise, they're all dirty gits!

    These companies need us to keep buying the handsets, it's their bread and butter, you can't tell me this was entirely an accident. No different to Apple shafting iPhone 3G owners still stuck on O/S 4.2.1 while everyone else moves on.

    Drain the world of resource while flogging the latest shiny "must have" to the clamoring masses, myself included sometimes I might add.

    1. Volker Hett


      but the iPhone 3G is older than my HTC Desire. Apples track record might not be the best, but HTCs is worse :(

  5. James Hughes 1

    I thought most smartphone users...

    Just bought the next greatest thing to come along....or am I thinking of Apple?

    (Cue angry fanboy downvoting. Don't worry, got my tin foil hat on)

  6. GettinSadda

    Free upgrade time...

    If you were told at the time of purchase, or beforehand in any official ad or literature, that a Gingerbread update would happen then surely (IANAL!) a contract was formed that has just been broken.

    If I had one of these phones (and now I will make sure to avoid HTC) then I would be requiring a free upgrade to a Gingerbread enabled model. I would not be afraid to sue for such!

  7. tmTM

    All the more reason....

    To root it and install whatever version of android you jolly well please.

  8. countd

    obsolence [sic]

    Gotta say that the comment about obsolescence sounds about right. Hell there's even people running Gingerbread on the original Wildfire (albeit sans Sense). Somewhat disappointing after their recent announcement that they would cease to lock their bootloaders.

  9. thechanklybore

    Cyanogen Mod

    If it's really an issue, then people can easily install Cyanogen mod. It's really just a case of buying Rom Manager Premium, and choosing to install. Not as clean as a real operator upgrade maybe, but I've used it on all my Android devices so far and the stable releases pretty much just work.

  10. Anonymous John

    I'm not that bothered.

    There doesn't seem to be anything in Gingerbread that I really need.

  11. Daniel 43

    Some truth?

    My Desire is pretty much filled, and i cant say that i have that much on it to be honest - and yes i have moved as many apps as i can onto my SD card

    When i install any new ones, i get he very annoying low on disk space message

    All in all, i should have waited for the HD......

  12. Ian Yates


    My rooted Gingerbread-running Desire (with Sense 2.1) says otherwise... runs flawlessly.

  13. Matt Bucknall
    Thumb Down

    Says more...

    ...about the operating system than the hardware.

    1. T-Unit

      Not really

      If anything it just shows what a bloaty piece of crap Sense is.

      1. m0th


        It's Sense - seeing as how the Desire is basically a Nexus One with extra RAM (576 vs 512), and the Nexus runs Gingerbread fine

  14. David Dawson

    Been holding off, but now...

    I think its time to try cyanogen mod 7 for the desire. android 2.3 and other goodies.

    I liked sense at the start, but now I'm finding that other apps are slotting into where it fits (a few advertised/ reviewied here on the reg)

    I'm now of the opinion that its overrated, at least the version I've got. Since I can't get the upgrade, time to leave!

    1. Sbudge

      Desire is great with Gingerbread...

      ...just not HTC's flavour. Been running Oxygen and it's great. Fast, smooth with much better battery life. Current version is 2.3.4 and runs like a charm. There are plenty of others CM7 being another favourite.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Yeah, this is nonsense. HTC Desire + CM7 (that is, Gingerbread, but not HTC's version) is fine.

    2. Swedish Chef
      Thumb Up

      Reluctantly upgraded to CM7 yesterday...

      ...and am still wondering what took me so long.

      Stuff looks much nicer, there's a ton of free memory, Google spyware is only there if you choose to install it separately, and (subjectively speaking) stuff is much faster, too. Took me about three hours to install CM7, restore my data and reinstall the most important apps.

      If you're planning to upgrade too:

      * I've found it much easier to install ClockworkMod via Unrevoked (google it) than following the instructions on how to build a gold card though. It goes like this: Download Unrevoked, wait till it has automatically rooted your HTC, copy CM7 .zip file to SD card, reboot into recovery, reset to factory settings, click Apply Update, reboot.

      * Check out MyPhoneExplorer if you want to back-up your data. It does everything HTC Sync does, except suck. (Not associated with it, just a very happy customer).

      * The Google apps (Market, Gmail, ...) will need to be installed via recovery mode as well. It's on the CM7 download page, just remember to scroll down a bit.

      Also, screw you, HTC.

  15. Greg J Preece

    Why is everything the worst thing ever?

    Overreact much?

    This is a bitch though, because if there's one thing the Desire needs, with its crap battery life, it's Gingerbread. I guess now it comes down to which is more important: Sense UI or better battery life. I have the feeling my Desire users will go with battery life.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not going anywhere

    I would have been pissed off if they hadn't upgraded my 2.1 handset to 2.2 but they did. Getting 2.3 was always optimistic in my opinion. My next upgrade is planned for when 3.1 hits the phones and if I really can't put up with 2.2 until then, I'll finally get around to rooting the thing.

    I don't like it when my gear becomes obsolete any more than anyone else does but that's the reality of tech. Especially when it's based on non-upgradeable hardware.

    I've never had a phone that was still state-of-the-art more than a year after I bought it and I expecting Android to be some sort of magic bullet that fixed that situation just seems naive. Now if HTC released some tools to simplify the rooting process once they stopped providing updates, THAT would be a nice touch.

  17. jason 7

    Dont see the issue here.

    All the folks I know that get these smart phones change them every 6 months or so so wouldnt they be getting rid of their Desires by now?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Moving to Samsung

    I think they are really going to love Samsung Kies software as it is likely to remind you about Green Grass (or at least the saying about Grass being greener over side of the Fence)

    i.e. have a Samsung I am not sure I'd jump ship to them (happy with the phone though)

  19. Handle, I've heard of it.

    Title, I've heard of it.

    I'm sure most owners want the upgrade for vanity reasons but I'm more concerned about falling behind in the security stakes - and, as an Orange customer, that's already a very serious concern since they simply don't seem to issue any.

    If I'm going to Samsung, it's because HTC and Orange are leaving their customers exposed.

  20. Gangsta

    There's always XDA-Developers.

    I know this doesn't excuse HTC, but, there is always the considerably active XDA-Developers community. Gingerbread is available. Warranty is probably over now for most owner (barring new ones of course) and it is relatively simple to root. There is now no reason not to root. Warranty (on newer devices) withstading.

    Xda-Developers being the divine being.

    However HTC could issue a software update which roots and S-Off's the phone, but this will no doubt invoke a negative reaction from the press. - handing over to the developers community, abandoning the device. Although giving control to the community abandonment is better than straight off abandonment.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Right, so....

    ...this is all about the provision of an extra 192MB of RAM, the difference between the Desire's 576MB and the Sensation/Desire S/Desire HD with 768MB.

    Personally I can live with my Desire for a while longer, because I will be waiting to upgrade until I see something with Android 3.1 (Ice Cream) since to buy any phone with a 2.x version is buying into obsolescence.

    It would be nice to get an upgrade to my existing hardware, but I'm realistic enough to realise that the rate of development of Android has been so rapid, both in hardware and software terms, that to expect a platform to stretch more than one release ahead is asking a lot.

    1. MrT

      oddly enough...

      ...the SenseUI grabs about 200MB of RAM for itself, but never seems to use it all. Without it, a stock Android installation takes much less memory. So maybe HTC added enough to run the UI and still leave plenty for the user.

    2. dotdavid


      A bit pedantic, but 3.1 isn't Ice Cream it is Honeycomb. I suspect (although I'm not an insider) that Ice Cream will be at least 3.5, more likely 4.0. Anyway it's due by the end of the year so not long to wait, and you can bet your bottom dollar CyanogenMod will have a version based on it shortly after.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I can bet that there will be a CFW with both Gingerbread and Sense working fairly soon.

    And I will be enjoying the show.

  23. Ru

    "upgrade to Android 2.3 at the cost of Sense."

    Cost of sense? Judging by that commentary, they've spent that long ago.

    Man up and install Cyanogen.

  24. Craig 31

    re: HTC Desire HD

    I've had the htc desire hd for 2 months now and have rooted it and loaded leedroid and tried several other mods and i have to say it's awesome, except for the fact that I can't access the internet through a secured proxy and this bug has been oustanding for over 2 years. Are the advantages of gingerbread over froyo significant? has gingerbread been tried? If there isn't enough memory in the phone can we ship it back for an update? are they going to fix the afformentioned proxy bug because if not i'm soon switching.

    questions questions questions and they will need to be answered.

  25. Santonia

    Not enough memory?

    Basic cynical built-in obsolesence by htc, or just a simple shift of development priorities to focus on their current crop of handsets? Surely most users bothered enough to follow HTC on Facebook, and to be that concerned about Android 2.3 could probably cope with the hardly arduous process of installing a custom rom on their Desire? Gingerbread builds from Cyanogenmod and the rest have been available for months and run just fine on a Desire.

  26. Stuart Henderson

    576 MB RAM

    I'm using a Motorola Milestone with 256 MB of ram. After Motorola completely screwed up the update to 2.2 and then wrote it off as a supported product, I went to xda-developers who had Gingerbread (2.3) running nice and smoothly on the Milestone. that's with 256MB of RAM.

    how much of a pig is this Sense thing?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does anyone actually have loyalty to HTC? I expect most customers feel loyalty towards Android more than the hardware manufacturer.

    As long as they don't screw with the desire-s, I'll be happy :)

  28. buggane

    oh for the days

    Oh for the days when you just bought a phone and then broke it after a year. No updating firmware, o/s nor anything else...

    I have an original Desire since launch. It is not yet broken.

  29. Sachamo

    HTC Give Us Vanilla Gingerbread

    I would be glad to receive a vanilla upgrade to gingerbread on my HTC Desire without Sense..

  30. David Given

    No Sense

    Back in the Froyo days, a cow orker got fed up with his HTC Desire and replaced the ROM with a generic non-Sense one. He got 30% more battery life, and more free space due to not having any shovelware on it.

    Cyanogen has a Gingerbread mod that supports the HTC Desire. See here:

  31. Rich Hunt

    How to annoy early adopters.

    Given that the original HTC Desire came out in around Feb 2010, and given that contracts are often 18 months long, that would suggest many of the most keen desire owners are likely to be upgrading their phones in the next couple of months. Surely HTC are ill-advised to upset their early adopters just before they are due to upgrade?

    1. annodomini2

      Title required

      April 2010 for the UK

  32. SplitBrain

    You expect anything less.....

    This is always the problem with HTC/Motorola/Samsung and their like, there is no incentive for them to offer any upgrade whatsoever with the android business model as it is. Of course it won't stop the techies from rooting/rom'ing etc but 99% of people won't do that, and HTC has screwed those people over.

    Say what you like about Apple, but 3GS owners will have a 3 year support life with IOS5 being supported, that's value for money! These commodity phone vendors (lets face it thats all they are) could learn a thing or two.

  33. Graham Jordan

    A smell the shits

    A friend of mine has a custom ROM on his, it's been stable for a month or so. I've put off flashing mine because I've been content with 2.2.

    With this news however, looks like I'll be flashing mine this weekend. Well done HTC. Because of your laziness Rovio will get zero revenue from me as I remove the Ad bollox.

    PS. I'll be moving to Samsung once my contract is up. Love and hugs.

  34. Hamstar


    I upgraded to a custom gingerbread rom months ago with no problems. Sense UI is nice, but for a couple of quid you can get replacements.

    Don't think HTC are any better or worse than the others.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    HTC sucks

    been saying this all along the desire doesnt have enough memory. im always geting message not enough memory. truely this is a absolute joke and a total screw up from HTC in the first place for only fitting 512 internal memory.

    So now im stuck with was supposed to be a good phone, that wont be getting an update and as soon as you install more than 5 apps runs out of steam.

    HTC should give all desire owners a free upgrade to desire S for this total and utter farce and balls up as a way of apology.

    simple solution, upgrade to 3.23 and drop sense UI and let us have the vanilla Gingerbread.

    truely pissed off with HTC over this, got this phone on contract 4 months ago in good faith thinking i was getting a quality phone that was promised the gingerbread update.

    In my view this should qualify the phone as not fit for purpose and i will be complaining to consumer rights on this as a product not fit for purpose can be returned anytime within a year or more.

    the official guide states

    That’s a legitimate claim as long as you are using the item for the purpose for which it was intended. This is the principle of fitness for purpose. There is no point claiming that paint thinner has had adverse effects if it is not being used as paint thinner! Similarly, if you are commissioning the manufacture of a product and do not specify the purposes for which it will be used you will have no recourse if it fails to live up to your expectations.

    Fact of the matter is the HTC desire is NOT fit for purpose as you are unable to run apps due to insufficient internal memory.

    i will be putting this to both HTC and Virgin media who supplied the phone and if i have joy then taking it further.

    The whole point of an android phone is to work as it should not just to make calls but for calendar appointments, emails, texts etc. as the memory usage in this phone on several occasions has stopped incoming mail due to insufficeint memory then the phone fails in what could be classed as normal usage.

    HTC lets see your response on this.

    1. BorkedAgain

      Don't hold your breath...

      Um. Don't quite know how to break this to you, Mr Anonymous, but I rather suspect you won't be seeing a response from HTC on this random comment post on a fairly obscure article in a relatively far-flung corner of the intarwebs. If you really, truly want a reply, you could try contacting them directly.

      Let us know how you get on. I'm sure we're all rooting for you.

      For myself, I've been enjoying my original Desire for simply ages; okay, there are newer models and funkier versions, but it's still a joy to use. Those actual physical buttons are a delight, too. At some point in the future I may have a go at rooting the old chap, but no hurry...

  36. Marvin the Martian

    What loyalty?

    It's not a loyalty if you can switch it so easily. It's just a customer, not a groupie...

    Brand managers think too much about themselves, and ignore the customer --- here, they may have consciously bought a well-reviewed OK looking Android branded phone, by chance an HTC.

  37. Adam-the-Kiwi


    Users who care that much will probably root - I'm being pushed to it not by this but by the veritable tsunami of crap that comes with Sense. Shame - I quite like Sense as a UI.

    It is the only major design fault of the Desire, and probably the main reason I'll look to upgrade soon. Shame - I really like this phone, even after over a year.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So how come the good folks at XDA have had Gingerbread + Sense running amicably together for quite some time now?

    I think it's more to do with the shiny shiny new stuff HTC wants to sell, with Desire S replacing the original, HTC is dropping support for the recently discontinued model.

    It must be stressed these devices are not simply phones anymore. So "it still does what it did when you got it from the store" argument is weak.

  39. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    So what?

    I got the Desire because it wasn't the iPhone, so I don't really give a crap about upgrading every six months to get the new 'ooh shiny'. It does a perfectly adequate job with Android 2.2 on it. When the time comes to upgrade to renew the contract in 14 months time, I'll get a new phone, with whatever's around then.

  40. Ilsa Loving

    Don't bet on manufacturer updates

    I learned this lesson when I got a Dell Axim x51v. They had promised a free update to Windows Mobile 5 "as soon as it's available". It took them over a year to release that update, and it was so buggy and unstable that it wasn't even worth the upgrade.

    Now I buy a device based on what it does out of the box, not any hand wavy promises for the future.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      That's all well and good but these days people are on 18-24 month contracts and the smartphone and Internet market is developing really fast. That's a long time to wait.

      The hardware is really capable on phones now and the software can be made to work on older phones. But handset makers made their money on the hardware.

  41. g e

    Not fussed

    My Desire HD is a great phone. I bought it because of the spec at the time, not for some mythical upgrade it might one day receive.

    An upgrade to Gbread might have been nice but it certainly doesn't ruin the device for me by any stretch of the imagination.

  42. Jeff Clarke

    not because of this, but because of that

    I have just ordered a free upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S2 for the bigger screen and dual core goodness, and as a side effect, I am getting gingerbread too. No amount of support is going to rectify those hardware issues, so the lack of RAM to run GB (another hardware issue) is kind irrelevant.

    But then, I am a bit of a tech junkie, with a large hand me down queue behind me, so there is no wasting of the still rather good Desire.

    I am sure others will do similar, and HTC knows that. I might be starting a so called flame war (or whatever), but I am not sure how many will really care about being able to upgrade the Desire to GB. Many will want a new phone with new HW features anyway, and many will not give a jot and be happy with what it already does – as many have said, if you are not happy with the phone when you buy it (wrt firmwares, etc) don’t buy it (and I think may do do that nowadays).

    Also, you have all seen this before with the original good Android phone (Hero?) - Don’t expect to run the latest and greatest SW on the previous gen of hardware.

    I do believe they are hamstrung by the Ram limit, and it is not just an excuse to force upgrades – the Desire was only £400 sim-free, and at that price, something has to give.

    The bigger issue, perhaps, for all Android phones (or just some… if you know more, please enlighten me) is that the phone runs out of memory fairly quickly as you add apps – because a little bit of each goes into the limited RAM and then you cannot add any more. I know you can root the thing, but that is complex - does anyone know if the Samsung G2/GB gets over this problem?

    This is one thing the reviews did not mention, and I only found out about it a while after getting the Desire – it did not matter too much in the end as the app store for the android is rather lame/dangerous, and I have the IPad2 for apps anyway. I just like having fast internet access whilst commuting, for which the desire was just fine, and a bigger screened newer android will do even better.

    In light of the above, please bombard me with your thoughts! – especially as the Samsung G2 is cancellable, in favour of the Atrix (it has bigger Ram, so might be better for apps?) or something else entirely….

  43. Anonymous Coward

    Yeah right.

    lol not enough memory HTC? How is it that XDA-developers has had excellent Gingerbread Sense builds for some time now? Pathetic excuse. They just don't want to have to pour resources into building and testing a new firmware and then having to support it.

    Not a Desire owner myself, but enjoying an insanely fast Gingerbread 2.3.4 build on my HTC HD2. Amazing considering its was originally Windows Mobile.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Not sure I agree

    I bought the Desire HD not so many months ago. I have to be honest, I bought it on the strength of the features it had at the time, not what features I thought it might gain later on.

    I realise the fasion these days is to constantly upgrade the firmware of a phone to get extra features from the OS, but lets be honest, it wasn't so long ago that you bought a phone, and that was pretty much it. Aside from the odd game, your phone was sold with a list of features and capabilities and you lived with that until you bought another one.

    As far as I am concerned, HTC are no more required to install a new OS on your device for you than Microsoft are required to provide all who bought Windows XP with free copies of windows 7.

    And lets face it, if you really desperately have to have 2.3 on your desire, and you care enough to get that upset about it, there's a fairly good chance you'll be able to follow the online instructions, root your phone, install 2.3 and download a fancy looking overlay from the market for it.

    Just my 2 pence anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If HTC were advertising this phone as upgradeable to the latest shiny version of the OS when you bought it, then they are most *definitely* required to produce the upgrade.

      It doesn't matter to you. Good for you.

      But for all the other customers who were *lied* to, a contract has been broken.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Which is fine, except...

        Did HTC advertise that the phone would be constantly upgraded forever more? I somehow doubt it. The Desire had an OS upgrade last year to 2.2 and since then HTC never promised another upgrade. The most firm commitment they made that I can find was that they would investigate the possibility.

        If you bought your Desire say, 3 months ago direct from HTC, then I agree there is a case to be answered. If you bought it 18 months ago direct from HTC then there isn't, its already been upgraded.

        If however you bought your Desire 3 months ago from a carrier and they promised an upgrade, then thats NOT HTC's fault, thats the carriers fault.

        As has already been said, there are enough instructions floating around the web if you want the update. Having said that, all I can see that 2.3 adds is an updated keyboard with numbers available via long press on the top row (already a feature of HTC Sence), text copying in a similar fashion to the iPhone (already a feature of HTC sence) and better task management, although if there are more points I missed, I'm happy to be educated.

  45. Gizzit101

    each to their own

    Personally I prefer the heft and quality of HTC phones - the Samsung Galaxy phones feel like flimsy tat by comparison.

    The Desire can be rooted and Cyanogen Mod 7 installed - hey presto - Gingerbread

    HTC make good phones, and they have committed to having unlockable bootloaders. I'll take one of theirs over Motorola, Samsung, LG or Sony Ericsson - but that's just my opinion.

  46. Danny 14


    what a load of tosh. Im sure that there will be a rom out there for them sooner or later.

  47. dotslash


    I don't much care for sense anymore - happily running gingerbread with the latest oxygen ROM on my Desire.

    I was already looking at other manufacturers anyway since HTC aren't really doing anything special anymore.

  48. John Robson Silver badge

    For Android 2.3.3 install cyanogenmod...

    Other after market firmware versions are available...

    It's not nearly as hard as I thought it would be (although I did get into a reboot loop once, it wasn't terminal)

  49. Anonymous Coward

    Absolute and utter *crap*

    I've been running cyanogen mod on my desire for over a month.

    It's now got a *standard* gingerbread interface with sense and is massively faster than the crap HTC interface.

    So the reality here is, I guess, that HTC can't get their collective arses in gear to release a Gingerbread version, but the Cyanogen mod team can?


    So, those of you with HTC Desires and the technical know how (it's not that difficult), do yourselves a favour, search for Cyanogen, root your phone and enjoy a *very* stable and fast gingerbread experience - stock standard Android interface - it's *brilliant* - heaps better than the HTC interface.

  50. relpy

    iPhone 3G

    Something very similar is why I was about to switch my iPhone 3G for...

    ... an HTC Sensation.


    1. cloudgazer

      your choice is

      The original iPhone received OS updated for around 30months, the 3G received OS updates for 3 years, it seems the 3GS will likely have support for 3 years, assuming iOS 6 doesn't hit before late 2012.

      The HTC desire was released Feb 2010, and Gingerbread was released in December 2010. So HTC apparently couldn't manage to keep a popular phone model updated even for a solid year.

      Given that the average contract is 18 months that actually makes an iPhone start to look like better value for money than an HTC phone - so you should be very happy you bought that iphone 3G.

  51. Piro Silver badge

    Pure Garbage

    There are other devices with 512MB running Gingerbread. Shit, you can get Gingerbread ROMs on xda-dev, and I have no doubt they work perfectly.

    Very poor show, HTC.

  52. Jack Garnham

    Leaving HTC for other reasons.

    Funny, my Desire is running Gingerbread 2.3.3 with Sense on top just fine. Suspect this is more about not extending the life of this handset any further than it already has been. Fair enough, it is a capitalist society we all like to perpetuate by buying shiny new toys.

    I won't be buying another HTC handset for other reasons though, mainly down to the 6 weeks it took them to replace my handset after it went faulty for the 4th time. Also their most recent line up of handsets is sub par when compared to the likes of the SGSII and Moto Atrix.

  53. Kyoraki

    God damnit HTC

    I bought the Desire mainly because I wanted to avoid this 'lol not enough memory' nonsense in the first place. I wouldn't be surprised if XDA have a working gingersense rom out by the end of the week anyway. If not, I'm sure CyanogenMOD will fill my needs when froyo comes to the end of it's life.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Cyanogenmod 7 runs on the desire. Ok, there's no Sense, but it's no great loss.

    For thosethat don't know, CM is based on the Android open source project and currently runs 2.3.4, the latest Gingerbread.

  55. gautam


    Reminds me of Sony Ericsson Satio. Touted as the best of the offerings at time of launch, punters were left truly high and dry without any firmware updates whatsoever (barring one, just to overcome some serious bugs). No kinetic scrolling, either.

    Once units sold, couldnt care less and am still stuck with an unused handset (with SYmbian S60 v5).

    So, Samsung, here I come.

    Planned obsolesence ? I've heard that before.

  56. Michael Jennings

    It doesn't really matter

    >Solution: give users the choice to upgrade to Android 2.3 at the cost of Sense.

    To be fair, we have this option already. I am running the Cyanogenmod version of Android 2.3 on my Desire now. It isn't officially supported, but it is perfectly legal, and it works just fine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Yes, but if you had bricked your phone, or wanted to return it then your warranty would be void.

  57. Anonymous Coward


    funny really that HTC says not enough ram.... but if you do a quick google and find the right website for the htc desire, there are several custom ROMs for a rooted Desire, several of which are gingerbread flavoured.

    plus plenty of roms that fix t lack of ram available for apps by using the SD card !!!

    the HTC desire is a excellent phone, but once rooted, and a custom rom added you then have a awesome phone !

    mines the one with the ...... Oi, who robbed my phone !!!!

  58. sproot
    Thumb Up


    Custom ROM, FTW!

  59. Anonymous Coward

    Storage or RAM?

    I can't tell if they mean not enough RAM, which I find hard to believe is really the case, or not enough internal storage, which as a long-time desire owner I have moaned about many, many times - it's pitiful for what was a "flagship" phone.

    Anyway, whatever the actual reason, no more HTC phones for me - a little too much of the old mushroom treatment from them.

  60. shooi

    Glad they're going to Samsung...

    ...cos the last thing we need is more people venting this kind of frustration on Sony Ericsson forums...

    [still patiently waiting for Gingerbread update for X10]

  61. stonedyak

    Just upgraded my Desire to Gingerbread yesterday

    I got fed up of my Desire constantly running out of internal disk space so I rooted it and installed Cyanogenmod 7. Result? My phone runs faster, the interface is smoother and the battery lasts longer. I do miss a few things from Sense, but nothing that can't be fixed with replacement apps from the Market (e.g. Dialer One) Even if HTC had released an update to 2.3, I doubt it would have been worth the wait.

  62. Steve 16

    Don't hold your breath

    A little confused at the Desire has 512MB ROM/576MB RAM and the Desire S, which runs Android 2.3 has 512MB ROM/512MB RAM.

    I wouldn’t hold your breath for a resolution on this one though.

    HTC don’t have a great track record of listening to customers. There was a huge outcry when it was discovered that the graphics on the TyTN II Windows Mobile phone grossly underperformed as they’d not bothered implementing hardware graphics acceleration available on the chipset and HTC basically told their customers to sod off. This was not an insurmountable issue, just one that HTC couldn’t be bothered to commit the necessary resource (and of course the associated cost) to resolve.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Er, no, actually...

      ...the Desire S has 768MB RAM, not 512MB.

      1. Paul Shirley

        even a G1 can run Gingerbread well

        ...for more perspective, my ancient G1 with 256M ROM and only 192MB RAM is quite happily running 2.3.4 right now, albeit a heavily tweaked version to cope with the low RAM. But it's pretty complete and fast. Not bad for a phone even CyanogenMod have abandoned.

        It's even stable after I removed Google Maps 5.5 (AKA intrusive memory hogging malware).

        Sense may be fat but its not *that* fat! HTC are telling porkies...

  63. farizzle

    Meanwhile, back at 1 Infinite Loop..

    Apple has already confirmed the INCLUSION of iPhone 3GS owners in it's efficiently-coded multi-generation-handset-supporting iOS 5 update - happy days!

  64. Chad H.


    Sounds like a play from the Jobsian Handbook... The HTC Desire is the New Apple III.....

  65. Johan Bastiaansen

    Why fire the engineers?

    I'm an engineer. I'm sure my colleagues knew what they were doing and gave the correct specifications. But probably some marketing chick or bean-counter type knew better.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    No shortage of custom ROMs

    My count has 15 custom ROMs for HTC Desire since 01 May of this year along. Check out Android Candy: HTC Custom ROM page and enjoy. This is why you got an open sourced android phone after all, Right?

  67. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    My Desire is working as well as it did when I bought it. Slightly better in fact thanks to a couple of apps I installed. I didn't buy it in order to get a firmware update so update..meh. No update..meh.

    It's still a bloody good phone and will be for many years yet.

  68. Anonymous Coward

    Now be fair

    The Desire has been out well over a year and has already had one update from 2.1 to 2.2.

    I bought a Desire HD and I've had one update, from 2.2 to 2,3. Do I expect the next update to be pushed to my handset. No.

    Did HTC promise to update the Desire to 2.2? If they did they most certainly did not promise updates beyond that.

    Android users are in danger of becoming a moaning bunch of girls about system updates. Granted if promised by a phone maker they should be delivered, but buyers shouldn't assume they are due them eighteen-odd months down the line.

    1. Mr Brush

      ^ This ^

      My HTC Hero eventually got upgraded from 1.5 to 2.1, I didn't expect 2.2, and I didn't go gurning to all and sundry that I wasn't getting it.

      The mobile ecosystem is a fast moving beast and trying to design a handset for things that may or may not be needed 12 - 18 months after it release is not economical.

      Every one wants a free (or very cheap) phone with their contract, for that price, you're going to get a handset that meets the current requirements and should meet the proposed spec for new stuff that's just around the corner. After that you'll be upgrading anyway.

      Fanboi icon, because I'll be sticking with Android and it'll probably be HTC flavoured.

  69. billbonza


    ive been running cyanocen 7 for the last couple of months, and while it eliminates the bloat, its no more stable than the original build. the battery life improves if you dump sense and use launcherpro etc. the real problem with the desire is over heating. boot loops arent uncommon on my particular phone, and removing the battery and letting it cool for ten minutes is the only solution. as for the gingerbread build, i cant really notice any performance improvement and it still crashes when playing a flash video after three minutes. the desire, to my mind is a terrible terrible phone. lets face it, who had heard of HTC 18 months ago? they have no track record as far as im concerned, and will never buy HTC again. dont worry about not getting updated because you aint missing a thing..apart from easier access to bluetooth services. also, and a very important point - adfree wont work on cyanogen 7 unless you piss about with ADB would it work on the standard gingerbread build? that alone is enough to revert me to 2.2

  70. Rob Davis

    Will upgrade once 4G faster mobile internet widely available - much more difference than OS upgrade

    Smartphone-based apps and services are highly network dependent (youtube streaming video, internet radio, email, downloads, video calling, online maps, dropbox, cloud services..).

    Dual core phones, Android 2.3, 3.1 etc aren't going to improve all those things that much, as they depend on the speed of the network itself.

    So my next upgrade will be a 4G-capable phone when 4G services are available in the UK.

    4G is about two years away I think. I think I'll cope until then.

    Custom-ROM upgrade is getting easier and easier. I'm a novice but managed this without problems on an Orange San Francisco (ZTE Blade) to replace Orange-branded 2.1 Android with plain generic 2.2 Android.

  71. Ralthor


    Re: The comments regarding rooting and voiding warranties... I got sick of waitiing for 2.2 on my desire via OTA so rooted and installed a ROM I grabbed from XDA.. 4 months later the screen died so I sent it back to HTC who repaired the screen under warranty. Only cost to me was the petrol to drive into where I bought it. It came back to me with 2.2 factory with sense UI installed. I rooted it again so I can run titanium backup but after looking over 2.3 havent bothered upgrading. What does it have that people really need? Thats not a slap at others, just wondering.

    Pirate icon because the ninjas are busy.

  72. potatohead

    Yeah Right

    The HTC Wildfire S has less RAM (512Mb) and runs 2.3 with sense out of the box. Am I missing something?

    1. PartTimeLegend


      Your ext3/4 partition is what you're missing. Try using it without your memory card to hold ALL your apps.

      Also S-OFF your Desire and you can change the partition tables.

  73. Iain Purdie

    Hardly news

    Anyone who's tried to shoehorn more than a dozen apps onto a non-rooted Desire knows that HTC didn't put enough RAM into the handset.

  74. Putonghua73

    Planned obsolescence

    Agree with the comment that this feels more like planned obsolescence then anything else. Mobiles [handets] are commoditised - it's the apps that of primary importance (give or take certain features). Hence, like a lot of other commoditised products, there is zero incentive for either the handset maker or the telcos (or other companies) who sell subsidised handsets, for a handset to go on, and on, and on. Just ask Nokia about the 6310i.

    After buying the HTC Desire after I came back from China last year, I decided to jump off the upgrade gravy train because I don't need the latest and greatest, provided my current device (be it smartphone, netbook [Samsung NC10], Pc, etc) still does what I need on a daily basis.

    If I do need a change, I'll simply install a custom ROM (one of many which the gracious El Reg commenters, have noted).

    The only consideration that I would be prepared to upgrade, if there was a major breakthrough in battery life.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    We will unite and go buy only Samsung phones from now on.

    Sounds like cutting off their noses to spite their faces to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      No, it's telling the manufacturer that they can't do this type of thing without repurcussions.

      If enough people do vote with their wallets, then HTC will get the message.

  76. paddy carroll 1


    It will run out of memory

    you can hack it with Cyanogen and Darktremor a2sd, a decent class 6+ sdcard with a large swap and it's ok really.

    but, fundamentally it is not a contemporary device anymore for a vanilla user with a 18+ month contract - whats the price of 1/2 a gig these days anyway?

  77. Andrew Jones 2

    Where did the Reg Commenters go?

    I am so confused - where did all the usual Reg Commenters with the common sense disappear to??

    1) So far all I have heard is people winging that HTC PROMISED a Gingerbread Update - which to my knowledge they have not - they gave vague indications as to which phones they intended to release Gingerbread for. HTC have never specifically said "WE WILL UPGRADE THE HTC DESIRE TO GINGERBREAD IN JUNE" - so all those idiots who think they can sue and get some sort of free upgrade - have fun with that.

    2) The HTC Desire was launched with Android 2.1 - we got a FREE upgrade to Android 2.2 last Summer. We were told at the time that it was likely to be the last major update the phone received.

    3) As to the people who have "just got" the phone on contract - what on earth are you complaining about? The phone is over a year old - at the point you took out your contract there were better and more powerful phones available - if you got a HTC Desire on contract THIS YEAR it was because you wanted a cheap contract phone - if you wanted a newer phone you should have gone for the Desire HD.

    4) As the prats who have HTC Desire HD's - can you learn to read please - it is ONLY the Original Desire that is not getting Gingerbread. The Desire HD has already had an upgrade to Gingerbread on Vodafone at least - I am not sure about the rest of the networks - but if you haven't had the update yet - you will.

    Does the news surprise me? Nope - HTC warned us that they would probably have to drop a lot of newer stuff from Sense due to space issues. Googling will find many forums that say that the leaked versions of Gingerbread + Sense would cause even more issues due to the extra space it takes up.

    As for custom ROMs - I am under the impression that the way devs have managed it is by moving more stuff to the SD card from the internal memory. Obviously this is not something Google would support as removing the SD card under normal circumstances doesn't affect operation of the phone too much - but on a modified ROM could well cause the phone to crash. Can you imagine the support calls they would be flooded with - especially from people with rubbish SD cards (the one that came with my Desire was so bad that while the phone would run fine - it would never shut down. Having done a bit of research I discovered this to be a common problem with crap SD cards - and having replaced it with a SanDisk the problems went away)

  78. John P
    Paris Hilton

    I don't want to put a title!

    My Desire has been getting slower with every Android update it receives, I think the move to Gingerbread would finally kill it off - Sense or no Sense.

    There's nothing in Gingerbread that I'm overly fussed about, I'd rather have a responsive 2.2 than a brick 2.3.

    Where's the meh icon? Ah well, when in doubt, Paris.

  79. phils11


    Really? I can't believe people care that much that about this! From experience I can tell you even if HTC decided to release an update to Gingerbread the only people to benefit would be those with off-network unlocked phones as the networks would have dragged their collective heals for so long "testing" the update before rolling it out people would probably have forgotten all about it and changed phones months before.

    Having had my Desire from near release and having rooted a long time ago I can tell you that Gingerbread really doesn't make that much of a difference. Maybe the battery life is a bit better but to be honest when I run through more than half of the battery everyday I have to charge it every night anyway, which is exactly what I did when on Froyo. I don't have Sense any more and to be honest I don't miss it, there are plenty of alternatives and at the moment I'm favoring the "GO" suite of apps which are damn good.

    If people want Gingerbread that much go and learn how to put it on yourself, there are plenty of custom ROMs, tools, forums, and IRC rooms that are there to help.

  80. RobinHunter

    Wildfire s 512 MB ram and 2.3??

    How does that work then?

  81. This post has been deleted by its author

  82. Kubi

    Simple maths

    Contract Length: 18 months

    Phone obsolete after: 12 months

    Even Apple don't have that sort of cheek. Really, I see no reason to even consider buying HTC again.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Since when...

      ....did HTC have any control over the length of contract you and your network operator negotiate?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      "Simple" is right...

      Yes, because it's HTC's fault that people sign long contracts with 3rd party carriers...

      1. Kubi

        Oh right, sorry, it's my fault!

        So, wait... you two are saying that HTC have no idea that the majority of their customers are contracted through network operators? Or that they know, but don't care? Or that it is unreasonable to expect a £450 device to last more than 12 months? Do you seriously think that they did this on purpose, that they want people to find their handsets unusable after 12 months, that they believe that to be a sustainable business model? Either you are utterly deluded, or incorrigibly stupid.

        It is HTC's fault that they made a substandard phone, which has insufficient memory to meet its advertised potential. Were I not under contract I would still consider this a total rip-off, and I would avoid the company in the future. HTC's ideal scenario is that their customers remain happy with their devices throughout their contract, and then are subsequently enticed into upgrading towards the end of their contract. With the first incarnation of the Desire, they have totally failed in this respect. If you don't agree, at least present some sort of counter argument, instead of claiming, in the face of all evidence, that the length of contract is the problem here.

  83. Dyason

    Do It Yourself

    As many have said, when the desire came out it was fantastic. They've already done one major update for it and it's been known about the hardware limitations for a while. You don't buy a PC and then 1 year later when a new OS comes out expect it to be perfectly up to scratch.

    On the other hand Android has a fantastic community who have fixed all of the problems mentioned here. All of the latest and greatest releases of Android have been ported to the Desire, with and without SenseUI. Having space issues? Sort yourself out with Data2Ext and use your sd card as extra internal space.

    The one thing HTC can do to help us even more is by making sure the source code is available in the future so that we can continue to do these things ourselves.

    1. Saucerhead Tharpe

      Umm Yes I do

      "You don't buy a PC and then 1 year later when a new OS comes out expect it to be perfectly up to scratch."

      Why wouldn't I?

      1. Danny 14


        "You don't buy a PC and then 1 year later when a new OS comes out expect it to be perfectly up to scratch."

        Actually yes I do. I'd be pissed if my PC wouldnt *install* in 3 years time. HTC arent even letting you install it sans sense but they will sell you a new phone of course.

  84. simm0

    That's funny

    My Desire runs better than ever since rooting and flashing with T-mod.orgs Gingerbread ROM.

    A2SD+ makes the (lack of) memory problem go away, better battery life and no carrier junk mucking up the interface....

    Methinks it's more a case of "We won't" than "We can't" on HTC's part.

  85. Drefsab


    A quick hope over to the desire development section of XDA forums on the first page alone I foud

    RCMix S v2.0 / Gingerbread sense2.1+3 Combo

    LeeDrOiD V3.0.7 / Gingerbread + Sense

    SuperNova GingerBread Sense

    Cool Kingdom v6a / Gingerbread + Sense 3

    At that point I stopped, so gingerbread and sense cant work funny how many roms there are doing just that with MANY happy users of them, personally im using MIUI but come on HTC, don't lie to your customers.

  86. PartTimeLegend

    Sense 2.1 and Gingerbread

    For those who are saying they are running Gingerbread with Sense 2.1 witch such ROMs as RCMix.

    Remember you have to have an EXT3/4 partition on your memory card. Without this it would be unusable.

  87. Killajoules

    HTC desire upgrade

    All I can say is they should have bought the Desire HD, my HD upgraded to Android 2.3.3 yesterday just before the article was published.

  88. This post has been deleted by its author

  89. AC Seven


    My phone just got replace by Vodafone and it running the following without being rooted

    Andriod 2.3.3

    Sense 2.1


    So I am wondering what is going on, as this was a brand new replacement from Vodafone

  90. Wize


    ...having just escaped a 2 year contract with a Nokia N97 and recently got a Desire Z (hey, I like buttons) I am not yet entirely familiar with the differences. What exactly am I missing out not getting Gingerbread?

    1. Danny 14

      the biggie

      is exchange 2010 if you use that sort of thing. Without a fair chunk of server changes exchange 2010 is almost dead on < gingerbread.

      1. Wize


        since most of us don't have an exchange server of our own (and I'm lucky enough to be stuck with Lotus fucking Notes at work) then its not really a biggie?

  91. marksi

    u-turn ahoy...

    "Contrary to what we said earlier, we are going to bring Gingerbread to HTC Desire."

  92. itmonkey

    HTC Backtrack

    They will be releasing 2.3 - on HTC UK facebook page.

    Still will think twice, though before choosing HTC again

  93. DaveBindy

    bloody fast

    Im quite impressed with the speed at which the software engineers managed to get gingerbread onto the desire. After saying that they spent months trying and failed to get GB to work, they managed forget it to work over the course of one night. Very suspicious indeed!

  94. tonyoung
    Thumb Up

    I'm glad I waited ....

    ..... and although I'm well and truly in the "It's a phone, stupid, just use it" camp; when I ran over my original Desire a while back (ouch)! I'm really glad I waited (and used a horrible Samsung) until Orange could supply me with a Desire S before I claimed a replacement.

    Both versions are good and the S is only slightly better in terms of what it will do (and a leap ahead in appearance, but that's my personal view) so I don't really see what all the fuss is about. Anyway, I hear that HTC are doing a U Turn, so maybe Anonymous Coward has got his way without the battle.

  95. Steve Evans

    Memory or RAM?

    Your tag line says "RAM" which != memory.

    Hopefully they are talking about the storage space for the ROM, the Eeprom. If they really are talking about RAM, then there are going to be some very unhappy Desire Z owners (myself included). The Desire has 576meg of RAM, the Desire Z (which is promised gingerbread within the next month) only has 512meg.

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