We've very recently covered the HTC One Mini 2 is not to receive the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop running under HTC Sense and with this in mind, today's story that the original HTC One Mini is to remain on Android 4.4 Kit Kat and will not be receiving 5.0 Lollipop is perhaps of no surprise. HTC announced the news in a reply to a user via Twitter. The One Mini was introduced later in 2013, around six months after the HTC One M7 debuted, and is based around a 720p resolution, 4.3-inch screen. a 1.4 GHz, dual-core, 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor backed up by 1 GB of RAM. There's 16 GB of internal storage, 4G LTE radios in addition to 3G and WiFi. The One Mini loses the infrared port and NFC, neither of which are essential for running Android Lollipop and the newer versions of HTC Sense.
Although HTC have not officially explained why the One Mini is not to receive the upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop, the reason is likely related to the device only having 1 GB of system RAM compared with 2 GB for the One M7 (and the One M8). Although Android 5.0 Lollipop benefits from the same optimization as Android 4.4 Kit Kat when it comes to running on devices with limited memory thanks to Project Svelte, an internal Google Android project designed to improve how well Android ran on low memory devices, it's possible that HTC's later versions of the Sense user interface place a heavier demand on the device and performance would be too sluggish or compromised on the lower RAM devices. It's also possible that with enough optimization, the later versions of Sense could run well with the One Mini but that HTC lacks the resources (the engineers and the budget to recruit more) in order to update the device in a timely fashion. Certainly, on the face of it, a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and a 720p display are more than adequate for Android 5.0 Lollipop. We may never, officially, know the reason why the older One Mini is not to receive the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
It is disappointing that HTC aren't upgrading the lesser models from their 2013 and 2014 product ranges. This is something of a recurring theme for many manufacturers whereby the mid-range devices are updated for a shorter period of time compared with the flagship models. It is understandable because customers buying mid-range devices are often less bothered about software updates compared with those buying the flagship model. And whilst we have seen signs that manufacturers are changing and indeed Google is certainly encouraging it, Google does not pay the original equipment manufacturers' software engineers… All software updates must be paid for.