After the official Android 4.0 announcement, HTC came out the next day and gave a pretty confusing comment, saying they will have to figure out what they do about Android 4.0. That put a lot of HTC phone users on fire, because they thought that either Android 4.0 will be coming late to their devices, or worse even, it won't come at all. But today cleared at least half of that confusion, saying Android 4.0 is on its way to as many of their devices as possible:
"Since Google unveiled Ice Cream Sandwich earlier this week, HTC has been looking closely at the new OS's features and functionality to determine our upgrade plans. We're a recognized industry leader in providing fast and consistent upgrades to our Android devices (see what Engadget had to say about our upgrades: http://engt.co/qMb9nQ), and Ice Cream Sandwich will be no different.
Upgrades require a careful balance of hardware and software to ensure the best possible performance and usability, so please stay tuned as we assess our product portfolio. Our goal is to upgrade as many HTC devices as possible and we'll be sharing details on specific devices and timing in the coming weeks!"
Now for the second part - when exactly will these updates arrive to older HTC devices? For some of them, like the Desire HD it could take a whole year, and for newer ones, it could take half a year. Why so late? Because HTC has hinted that basically they want to put Sense on it. Since Android 4.0 is a reinvention of Android, it could take them a good deal of time before they port their widgets and features, make them blend in with Android 4.0, and make sure the performance is as fast as it should be. HTC Sense hasn't exactly been one of the lightest skins ever, especially since Sense 3.0.
Of course, HTC could also choose to leave stock Android 4.0 on them, and that might actually become a competitive advantage for Motorola once Google acquires them. They will become the only manufacturer with stock Android. A lot of Android users will like that, and will recommend their devices to their friends and family, too. HTC stands to lose a lot from that, but even so, something tells me they are not willing to give up on Sense this early. I guess we'll see how it all plays out next year.