Last Updated: June 16th, 2011

Update: HTC backpedaled on this issue quicker than ever before and announced plans to follow through with the Gingerbread upgrade after all.

Are you ready for some Tuesday morning bad news? If you own an HTC Desire, brace yourself -- it looks like your dreams of ever seeing Gingerbread officially hit your device have been crushed. I know it stings, but here is the official word from the HTC UK Facebook page:

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.

Of course, by "memory" I will assume they mean ROM, because the phone has more than enough RAM to run Gingerbread and Sense successfully. Sounds like just another point against manufacturer UIs.

Any chance of an official Android 2.3 update may be lost, but there's still hope. Root that thing, grab one of the many custom ROMs out there, and enjoy all the Gingerbread you can handle. If you've never used a custom ROM before, CyanogenMod is a good place to start. It's stable, supported, and... awesome.


Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Munszu

    Epic Fail HTC...

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/MindStrider MindStrider

    Odd that. I've used several Gingerbread/Sense ROMs. With features from newer Sense versions. Disappointing, but not wholly surprising. Doesn't really matter to me, as I rooted long ago!

  • Joe Simpson

    But my HTC wildfire handles it perfectly!

    • sansenoy

      But it doesn't have live wallpapers and hi-res interface... Still a major blow to their reputation, hope they react accordingly and finally lose some dead weight

  • Mememee

    Their engineers suck.

    • Victor

      I agree with you!

      • sansenoy

        HTC engineers? Really??? Is it their fault Google designed the Nexus One with a criminally low 512MB of ROM, and then being stuck fiddling with the most overweight UI on market today? It's HTC's fault in general, not their best and brightest, come on

        • b1ll

          What does the N1 have to do with the Desire in this case?

  • http://www.episode-alert.com/ Staba

    Wish they would start making phones without Sense.

    I hate how Sense makes my phone so slow, but love the buildquality of their products.

    • Xavier

      if you're sick of it then root it, then bam problem over.. no need to complain over something we can change

    • Trolldroid

      But that makes no Sense! ;)

      • Ben

        Stop making sense!

    • Eggcake

      Sense is by no means slow. The Sense Launcher is choppy on the desire, but this has nothing to do with Sense itself. I changed from Oxygen to InsertCoin and I couldn't find any performance difference.

  • CFG9000

    This is purely a hit on Sense, and shows how even the custom UIs considered to be the best are damaging and counterproductive to Android. The Nexus One has almost the EXACT same internal hardware, including memory, as the Desire. It has had stock Gingerbread for a few months now.

    Good job breaking it, HTC.

  • ant

    HTC Desire has the same ROM amount as the Wildfire S. And Wildfire S runs Gingerbread and Sense...

  • edhe

    Time to root, finally.

    Bad pr for htc though.

  • Vangelis

    Well, I tried loading Cool Kingdom v4 on my newly rooted Desire (ok, it was "wearing" just a class 2 4GB microSD card that came with it) and the result was disappointing. I am so guessing they wanted to bring us the "new" sense, which was kind of nice but nothing extraordinary (yes I am a sense friend, I like how easy it makes things come together, that's why I rejected cyanogenmod 7, it was too "full" of stuff even an averagely advanced user as myself could find ...overdosing), and the phone was sloooooow. When I switched to superduperawesomerom 0.4 (Android 2.3.3 with the original Desire sense) everything came into place. I think they just didn't want to promote an "old" product like the old sense. Bad for them, I think they are gonna lose more than they think from that (well, at least among non-rooted users).

  • Wam

    This is rather disappointing from htc, seems I've been using gingerbread (CM7 Android 2.3.4) for what seems to be ages now...
    I guess this news is just teaching us that htc engineers suck...

  • jmk

    Well, instead of giving up, they could do several things:
    1. Leave sense out and release the "pure Google Experience" to folks. We all know it works perfectly.
    2. Support Cyanogenmod! Those guys (Kali) are doing the work for them and make the phone still desirable (pun intended).

    • sansenoy

      They will never give up Sense people, the fault lies with Google, they are the worst possible partners in this trade, not caring for anything grounded beneath their cloud fortresses... These stupid UI overlays all result from Google not having any solid partnerships in this cutthroat industry. Build quality and other variables are not enough of a bet for HTC...

      • NolF

        How is it Google's fault that HTC desires to put their own UI overlay and other "improvements" over android to make all HTC phones distinct form other manufacturers and in the process slow down the OS and phone?

  • Nabeel

    What a stupid explanation when phone is already running the custom ROM's with gingersense 3.0 and CM7 perfectly.... their engineers seriously need their heads examined....

  • IAmTheK

    This what I think will happen. HTC will change their tune due to the massive backlash. They'll come out and say fine we'll bring it after all but later than the Q2 estimate we first gave.
    In my opinion they are struggling to meet their own time scale hence this nonsense. This cud really blow up in their face. - this is me being super optimistic and hoping this is all a hoax.

    Here's an idea HTC, remove all ur bloatware that I've neva once used and there will be lots of space. Eg peep, news, footprints, Facebook for sense, friend stream and stocks. No offence to those who use it.

    Oh and Google since Android is open allow us to remove the mediocre apps like news, music.

    I'm so disappointed, no more singing HTC praises to friends and family. Samsung phones are a bit too plastic, MOTO to 'blur'-y. I dread the thought of me using an iThing

  • Anon

    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 dalvick 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.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/MindStrider MindStrider

      Good point. I never really thought of that, but not everyone will have the know-how or the willing to buy and partition a large SD card - as a lot of people who've rooted and modded their phones will.
      Of course, HTC could always have put a bit more internal storage in to begin with!

  • flipside

    Come on HTC give us an offiical GB release i for one am happy without sense and teh HTC GB build would also help the modders by supplying proper drivers etc :)

  • vega

    I wonder what this means for Inspire 4G users.

    • Ben

      It means absolutely nothing since its twin phone, the Desire HD, is already running official GB with Sense.

  • Prav

    Well it was their fault to limit internal memory to such a small size. Now users who paid to get the device are getting such a lame reason from HTC...

  • Teo Nesterov

    Oh this is bogus. It handles everything fine. What tey need to work on is the laggy Sense. Or just lose it. That would be beautiful. For Linus' sake, crappy Android phones run 2.3 no problem.
    I am never getting a high-end HTC again.

  • dward2828

    Erm... Desire hardware = Nexus One hardware. The only thing it can't handle is bloat. HTC should release a final optional ruu for the desire, giving s-off and a better partitioned hboot. Would be a great way to kickstart their policy of openness and maintain brand loyalty.

  • Fleeing

    Perhaps HTC are more nervous about emptying their warehouses of all the newer models, which to be honest are no real great improvement on the Desire. So they announce that they 'cannot' release Gingerbread, and Joe Public says 'well I better buy the Desire S then'.
    Thankfully we have CyanogenMod and others to keep our Desires up to date.

  • L boogie

    For future reference HTC, how about adding 1gb+ to the internal memory to present/ future devices that way, lame reasons such as these would never come to fruition and while you're at it, give users the option to switch between Sense or vanilla android

  • http://lastnu.com camaleo

    a good reason to consider to boycott htc in the future, maybe the only real good choice is to get a nexus, sorry htc :(

  • chris_in_HD

    This sucks for Desire owners. When I first read this I felt really bad because I'd only just shown my friend, who owns a Desire, Gingerbread and Sense 2.1 on my DHD. I really thought HTC would make this happen.

    Just one more reason for a GS2 to be my next phone.

  • Pip

    So annoyed about this. Just do a streamlined version of Sense for the upgrade - don't need all the bells and whistles of the latest version. Really bad to break a promise like this - especially as there are other options out there.

  • http://Www.droidapp.co.uk Tony

    HTC are morons, ditch sense if you can't fit both...don't ditch your users and leave then on 2.2 . Luckily my desire is rooted and has been ruining gb for months.

    As somebody has already said the desire is almost identical to the nexus one and look, that runs gb just fine.

  • Djkoz78

    Wonder where this leaves Incredible owners bcoz I thought they're pretty similar in specs & integral memory if I'm not mistaken. Plus they promised it would be out for us as well & every phone had gotten that could except apparently the desire & the Dinc. No word in when it's coming for Incredible owners either I'm thinking we'll get the same news.

    • L boogie

      get rooted because I'm running cm7 2.3.4 on my rooted Incredible but if you feel the need to wait for HTC, then engage in lots of patience

  • AC

    LMAO. CyanogenMod users would beg to differ.

    I don't own the Desire, but dang. Why would anyone be waiting for this anyway if you have on the official CMod support list? That's like being eligible for free healthcare and saying "no thanks".

  • eTiMaGo

    They probably want to put in Sense 3.0? I don't see how they could not go to 2.3 yet keep the older Sense, probably purely marketing reasons...

    • Ben

      They most definitely had no intention of including Sense 3.0 with the update. Desire HD and Incredible S are both on Sense 2.1 with official Gingerbread.

  • Honu

    You've got to decode HTC langage .. what HTC mean :
    "The Desire is not supported anymore, we need our engineers elsewhere, but as this is not 'politically acceptable' for our clients, we just found this 'hardware do not fit' excuse... we need to make profit out of our new product, buy a new phone and you will get Ginger.

    • Honu

      News from HTC : We will cut some apps, now gingerbread can fit ...
      Traduction : The public pressure is to high, better for our "image" to get Ginger to the Desire...
      My god... what a bunch of asses !

      • Ben

        Why not look at it in another light?
        Now you get the same update but with less pre-installed and unremovable apps from HTC.
        WIN! Good on HTC for listening to their costumers.

        I would love to get rid of everything pre-installed on my Desire Z. My phone is not carrier branded but came with a whole bunch of apps that I don't want or use none the less - Soundhound, Twitter, Peep, Stocks etc. Some of them are available through the Android Market and some are not but I would still like a choice if they should take up space in my phone.

        • Honu

          Just Root it and delete all of this mess... :-)

  • Victor

    I think they wants their Desire S can be sold better after Desire was announced not to get update!
    But Desire S which is S-on can't be rooted right now!!!!

  • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

    One of these days, all you haters will get a phone that just works: iPhone.

    • Honu

      Having an iPhone is just like having a car with an automatic gearbox ...
      Some people like things to be easy, i'm curious and like to go under the hood... so the iPhone is not for me. Netherless iPhone is a beautiful phone.. but i don't like automatic gearbox ... :-)

    • Wam

      ProfessorTom :
      "One of these days, all you haters will get a phone that just works: iPhone."

      Totally, I would love to have a phone which can't access the file system or network shared folders...
      I also want to pay extra money on every single thing that has purposely made proprietary like cables... Plus, not being able to access/buy a battery is really a bonus !

      Oh, crazy idea : I would like it to automatically censor pretty much any information that would alow me think for myself, because I can't do that... I need some guy to tell me what I can do or read.

      One of these days, you fanboys will be able to be free... or not.

  • Kimberly

    I have no idea what you all are talking about when you say "root" your phone...? I'm not THAT knowledgeable on the system. I just want my damn phone to work. It reboots all the time, even when I'm in the middle of a text or phone call. It's slow as hell to bring up text messages or just goes blank, it's always giving me errors messages that makes me force stop the process, sometimes it doesn't call out when I dial (which is just great that I live alone and may need 911!!!) and the camera errors when I try to switch to the front camera. WHY? I totally regret my upgrade with Verizon and renewing my contract, I should have gone with a simple prepaid unlimited from Wal-Mart! If any of you have a simple fix for it, I would appreciate a link and instructions. I don't care for many apps or pretty backgrounds. I just want to talk and text when I desire.