HTC Desire Won’t Receive Gingerbread Due to Memory Constraints


Bad news bears for owners of the HTC Desire. Though the company has been working on shoehorning Android 2.3 onto the device that took the UK by storm last year, HTC has announced via their Facebook page that the handset won’t receive an update to Gingerbread. Between the latest version of Android and the implementation of HTC Sense, the Desire simply doesn’t provide enough memory to service both without “compromising” the overall user experience. Full quote:

“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. We’re sincerely sorry for the disappointment that this news may bring to some of you.”

Disappointment might not be the right word for it, HTC. We’re sure quite a few Desire owners have a few more colorful words to describe the feelings this news will conjure up. File this one under ‘F’ for ‘fail,’ just another strike for custom UIs.

[via Gizmodo]

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  1. custom UI stinks.
    I have a nexus one with the same amount of memory with gingerbread works like a charm
    sense ui is useless. it’s a memory hog and so do all the other android uis

    1. Yeah I agree. I think the Sense version is more than two times bigger than the stock version. Also I’m surprised that you haven’t gotten any HTC Sense fanboy replies yet. ^_^

    2. Blur cant be too much of a memory hog. The Droid X, Droid 2 are getting GB as we speak.

      This is what I was saying on droid-life. Blur is the closest to stock than any of the other custom UI’s. And yet so many ppl that love stock Android hate Blur so much….I dont understand it.

      1. I am all about stock Android also but I think it’s Motoblur that most people hate not Ninjablur. As long as I don’t find out that Ninjablur slows down a dual core like Motoblur then I don’t have a problem with it.

  2. So Sense is a resource hog.  Got it.

    1. In other news….the much maligned, hated on Motorola is getting GB on phones running the also much maligned, hated on Blur as we speak…

      Those Blur phones have LESS ram than the Desire…

  3. bullshit, i’m running gingerbread on mine, including sense ripped off the new desire handsets

    1. so, share where you got it from! :-)

      1. its called XDA ever heard of it?

        1. What if he hasn’t? You just sounded like a real big A-hole with your comment.

  4. On one hand doh! But thankfully I’m rooted and running LeeDroid and the dev has a Gingerbread version available so I *may* give that another crack :-) Funny how an “amateur” can do what HTC can’t…..

    1. No it’s not.. It’s quite simple, and it all comes down to adaptability. HTC needs to make sure that an update will install and work perfectly on any desire, whereas the creator of leedroid can rely on the user making ext-partitions on the sd-card and using this with an a2sd-script, which is very easy to make.

      So it’s not that htc cant make this run, it’s that htc wont be able to rely on the user doing things for them or rely a slow ext-partition.

  5. That is why am staying off HTC phones for now until they increase their memory.At this time an age why on earth will a smartphone have less than 1G memory? 
    I love HTC, but they need to improve in that area.Galaxy S2 here i come

  6. It’s easy to say “Hey, the modders can do it, why can’t HTC?!” but the modders can also cut a load of corners and do things that HTC can’t. HTC Can’t rely on a sneaky Apps2SD script or EXT partition to avoid you running out of space after installing 4 apps (which is what happened to me when I tried baadnewz’s ROM without a2sd). They can’t shove the dalvic cache onto the SD card to improve internal space. And, on top of it all, their bug testing needs to be very thorough – they can’t just release a rom and say “Yeah, the camera doesn’t work” or whatever. 

    I run baadnewz with a2sd, so I know it’s possible and my phone runs great – but I also know HTC can’t do the same things modders can. 

    1. OK, for me this means HTC lied to us, regular customers, for HTC it means they lost a customer. I will never buy a HTC phone anymore.

      1. Same here, Desire was my first android phone ,but seems it was last one also. Im dissapointed now really , and the only way to go for me now is Apple.

        Shame on HTC . . .

      2. I wouldn’t say it was a lie – that implies deception. It is a huge oversight on their part though. They must have for foreseen that that amount of memory would become a problem for future updates. Hell, it was a problem for the DEFAULT version it shipped with, with regards to the number of apps you could install on it (which turned out to not be very many).

  7. I love CM7

  8. Tell that to my phone, He’s running along just fine.

  9. well i’m running cyanogen mods gingerbread update…. works great…

  10. That’s certainly some bad news right there, would anyone know if maby the Desire Z will fail just like this? Been waiting a long time for updates that’s for sure -.-

    1. Probably not since it doesn’t use Sense as it’s UI.

      1. Actually the Desire Z does use Sense, but it also has a lot more ROM (1.5GB with 0.5 GB reserved, IIRC) than the Desire (512 MB), so it should be fine.

  11. I stopped using Sense UI since MIUI release so i’m not really worried, but a bunch of friends/people i know was waiting for this update, they didn’t want to experiment with custom roms. Well probably i’ll explain them how to root the device, on my Desire i gained a lot of free space for apps since i rooted, changed partition to cm7 layout and started using A2SD+ roms.

  12. Get rid of HTC sense that for me is useless and put 2.3 on the devices… :D

    1. Agree, Core Android version is 1000 times more important then custom ui’s. The desire is only getting 1 update in its life, and that one update is to software that was already available when it was released. Not good HTC, not good at all. 

  13. I’m like using custom roms. And they work just fine. HTC made their mistake in the first place to create a phone with so little internal memory. If they had made it bigger, I’m sure this phone wouldn’t be dumped thanks to no update. Luckily there’s such thing as rooting and custom roms.

  14. Really disappointed and pissed off with HTC.  Guess I’ll not be buying any more HTCs, even if their prototype HTC Blast which supposedly comes with 1GB RAM and 32 GB external, were to be released.  Once bitten, twice… Think I’ll shift to Asus instead.

    1. Asus? really? go with samsung dude.

  15. The lack of memory on the Desire is a major floor.  I don’t want to root and so am continuously restrained on what new apps I can install, as I’ve near run out of space.  I haven’t been able to update Google Maps and GMail, as updates take up too much room :(.  When I bought the Desire I was never told that all that memory would be consumed by the OS, leaving me with b’all for apps.  This news just highlights that!

  16. This is not a problem with the iPhone

    1. ya Apple updates their devices whether it makes them lag or not. Try having latest iOS on an iPhone 3G. so laggy you’ll have no choice to buy a new phone?

      1. not 100% true. They update max 2 generations. But we don’t care, we got XDA and CM7

    2. Neither is 4G, dual core processors, DLNA, NFC, wireless updates, widgets, 4 inch screens, personalized homescreens, live wallpaper, good notifications, turn by turn notification, voice transcription and commands….

  17. Just release a stock 2.3 update. Those who want sense can stick with 2.2 or look for a custom 2.3 ROM with Sense. Those who don’t care about sense but want 2.3 can use the stock ROM.

  18. It doesn’t make any sense.  HTC broke its promise on the GB update for the device.  Definitely will lose the loyalty of the existing customers!!!!

  19. Went from stock to sense.
    Stock if butt ass ugly and sense adds to the overall experience.
    Maybe google should focus on the UI so the phone manufacturers don’t have to bail google out.

    1. They did. It’s called “Gingerbread.”

  20. Very very very very sad and disappointing indeed #fail

  21. I guess that is bad news for those of us how have a Droid Incredible

    1. actually it’s not since they already released a test candidate of the gingersense rom for the Dinc.  Which seems to be working fine once put into a flashable file.

      1. But doesn’t the Droid Inc have more memory then the Desire?

        1. Nope. The Desire has a lil more memory than alot of phones from last year.

          EDTL Oh….is ram and rom the issue or is it just rom?

        2. Yes.  Desire has 512 MB (MEGAbytes).  Droid Inc. has 8 GB (GIGAbytes).

  22. Why did they ever make “high-end” phones with only 200 MB of free memory in the first place?? HTC is very cheap when it comes to internal storage. I hate it. That low memory is really starting to hurt me now with new apps, even if some apps have app2sd now. But some are so large you can’t even install them, especially if you already have a few installed.

    1. I’ve had no issues with my Desire HD, got over 500MB free right now on Internal Storage with loads of apps installed, so I don’t think this is a problem with newer phones.

      How long ago was the Desire designed? (I seem to recall the announcement being almost 2 years ago?)

      And I remember the day’s, before the iPhone was announced when I owned a HTC with a whopping 64MB of Internal Storage, I had no issues back in those days with apps, but now the phone is unusable because all modern apps need more space. (FYI, this was Windows Mobile)

      Guess its kinda like Windows 95 only needing 40MB and Windows XP (Released 6 years later) needing several GB!

  23. What an awful excuse, obviously they can’t fit sense 3.0 on there without an sd partition but they could at least keep the current sense or even add some stuff from 2.1

  24. F#ck SENSE!

  25. You don’t need to mess with a2sd or dalvik scripts, just need a different HBOOT that’s all. Can hTC not make sense fit a new HBOOT partition table? I’m on CM7 with CM7 HBOOT so don’t really care but still would have been nice to have a English sense option as opposed to the Asia one doing the XDA rounds. phones don’t last a year and contracts last two. Fail.

  26. Screw the HTC Sense experience, I’m sure most are sick of it anyways and would welcome the original UI.

  27. hey  what about Desire Z ?  

  28. Should have bought an iPhone.  iOS5 works great on my iPhone 3GS (3 years old).

    Platform fragmentation is such a bitch.

    1. Done any UI customization on that iPhone recently?
      Oh wait, I forgot, you don’t have widgets, your themes can barley be considered themes, and the closest you can get to a new layout is changing how your icon grid is arranged.

      Yep, me and my outdated Eris running 2.3.4 are so jealous right now.
      Not really. Go back to iFanboy land.

      1. Don’t need to waste my time tweaking my widgets and icons.  I have e-mail to read, the web to surf, apps to run, appointments to make.  

        The typical stuff, it’s called a life.  Get out of parents’ basement, phandroid.

        1. As to be expected from an iFanboy, all you little kids are predictable. 

          Face facts son, iPhone users are stuck up pretentious idiots who think they are better then everyone. You need to get out of your basement and see the world for what it is, nobody likes an angry stuck up kid.

          1. Who’s angry?  I’m not angry, I’m smug and self satisfied.

            You seem angry though.  Just come out of your Android closet and get an iPhone.  You’ll be happier.

          2. Again, such a predictable response from a predictable kid. 

            I don’t get angry at idiots like you, in fact I should be thanking you, your absurdly stupid
            responses provided me a few laughs. 
            One last thing, grow up. You don’t even seem old enough to pay for your own phone, let alone to have a mature discussion. 
            Good attempt though, maybe in five years when you’ve grown up a bit you’ll be able to come up with a half legitimate argument. 

        2. So sell your iphone and go get a dumb(er) phone and leave this discussion to the big boys and girls. 

          Oh, and you can console yourself with that AWESOME (not really) iOS5 that’s coming out… Whooo! Welcome to 2009, Apple!

          1. It all about the apps Rob.  Who cares about modding your phone with cheezy skins?  Android apps suck compared to iOS apps.  It’s common knowledge. It’s just that you Phandroids are in denial.

        3. You have no idea how useful some widgets are. Right now I can see my Facebook Updates and Twitter Updates on my phone without even touching it (Its in its Dock on my desk)
          That’s just one of a million examples.

          1. I prefer useful software: like a functional word processor, Netflix movies on all my devices, and a real mail app that unifies all of my inboxes.  Having to use one mail app for Gmail and another mail app for my other e-mail addresses is super lame.

        4. so you come over to Android land to scold people with the very name of the site you are reading? Get a life busy man.

        5. I also expect you have a games console and sit at home sometimes playing it. I could argue you need to get out and get a girlfriend (I assume you’re a guy).

          Does anyone here work for Google or Apple? No? Then all this fanboyism is retarded.

          On the subject of fragmentation: why is it that choice in every other area of consumerism is great, whereas suddenly it’s been deemed as bad when it comes to mobile handsets. Should camera manufacturers only ever make a single camera? Should Dell, HP, etc only ever make one type of desktop/laptop? Should Google or even Apple not churn out the latest and greatest when ever it’s ready?

          The people who complain about fragmentation haven’t really thought about it properly.

          1. Wow!  I am so burned! Actually my girlfriend likes to play games on our iOS devices.

            BTW, fragmentation is a problem in Android because it makes software development a nightmare for developers.  This is one reason why, in survey after survey, developers solidly prefer writing apps for iOS over Android.  It’s also why iOS developers actually make money doing it.

            To extend your analogy to SLR cameras, fragmentation would be like each model of camera having an incompatible lens mount, making life hell for lens suppliers.

    2. You should have bought a Nexus. You’d get the superior platform, and excellent support, straight from the source.

      P.S. If you think your iPhone 3GS is three years old, you can’t count.

    3. With how many removed features….even if its 1…

      Enough said.

      And didn’t Apple have to work out the kinks from iOS 4 to iOS 5 to get iOS 5 to run good on the 3GS?

      I’m asking but I could just pull up macrumors and do some reading about ppl with older iPhones and iOS 4..

  29. I’m already running Gingerbread on my Desire with HTC Sense 2.5 (2.1+ some stuff from 3.0). So, I don’t care!!

  30. That is piss poor. People will have bought it in the knowledge it will get an update – and now this. Really, really bad. I’m not sure if gingerbread would have added much, but that is not the point. Hacked off now, and not sure if I will go HTC again. Recommend everybody vent their spleen on the Facebook page so they know exactly how angry people are about this.

  31. Huge fail HTC.. another fan and customer lost.

  32. Simple answer, for those who want Gingerbread, eliminate the sense overlay which will give the phone plenty of room. For those who want to keep their sense overlay they stay with Froyo. For those who want both, root the damn thing and use apps 2 ext sd. It’s too bad HTC made such a great phone with no freaken memory. I have the Nexus One that has same problem and have mine with Gingerbread, rooted and apps to the ext. petition. I have over 75 apps with still 155 mb of unused memory. Thanks to apps 2 ext. petition. 

  33. GIVE US GINGERBREAD, We dun need HTC sense !! !!!!

  34. Lol and to think all those Samsung haters saying they are shit for updates.
    Htc are best??
    htc can’t even do what xda does for a HOBBY…

    Galaxy S which launched same as htc desire last june have now officially updated to. 2.3.4 – enough said

    IT’S OVER. FAIL will not be getting any HTC device if its lifespan is just short of 12 months.

    1. Except SGS users in Europe are forced to plug in to a windows box (and only a windows box) to use that abomination which is Kies in order to update the phone – no OTA. Linux/mac users? Need to find a friend with a win install. That’s just idiotic.

      Also, lag-fix for the SGS anyone? SGSII is the only real option tbh. But even then, there’s still the Kies issue.

  35. There is not 2.3 to Desire, because there is Desire S and all of us should go buy it… that’ why…

  36. My first and last htc phone…

  37. I love how people here don’t know what they are talking about half the damn time. Gingerbread UI is ugly. We all the most of use who are using a stock android have launcher pro or Go launcher because the stock is ugly. I have a Nexus S and I want to put Sense on it because look better and have the best keyboard. Tell what feature are you missing with Gingerbread?  

  38. Pretty ridiculous considering the number of GB Roms already available, some including Sense…

    But for anyone who cares enough to know what this means it shouldn’t matter anyway – Root, then flash Oxygen, or Redux or MIUI – Sense isn’t that great when you do whatever you like with these other roms.

  39. Too bad. Why can they just stick with the old sense and just update the Android verison. Huhuh.

  40. Writing is on the wall, HTC.  Dump Sense.

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