Official: HTC tablets will not be updated to Android 4.0
HTC’s official Android 4.0 update list includes the majority of the phones which have been rolled out within the past 12-18 months. We’re glad HTC will be keeping most of its newer phone up to date, but we did miss one important piece which was tucked inside HTC’s list. HTC’s Android tablets (the HTC Flyer, EVO View 4G and Jetstream) will not be updated to Android 4.0.
HTC did not explain why their tablet lineup was being abandoned. When it comes to hardware, the HTC flyer variants and the HTC Jetstream have more than capable of handling Google’s latest Android built. But the issue probably has more to do with HTC’s tablet strategy than anything else.
When HTC originally released the HTC Flyer, the idea was to offer a unique product with HTC Scribe pen integration which would help differentiate HTC’s tablets from the competition. Being an owner of the Flyer, I can definitely day that HTC took the right approach. But as good as the HTC flyer and HTC Jetstream are, the Android tablet segment does not offer a great return on investment. Players like Samsung and Amazon have had limited success, but it’s hard to determine if they have been profitable in the segment.
If there are no profits to be made in tablets, HTC will keep its focus on the smartphone segment. Updating the HTC Flyer and Jetstream to Android 4.0 may sound like a simple task to us, but it would require HTC to create a new HTC Sense skin for Android 4.0 which would be delivered to an incredibly small number of customers. The return on investment simply isn’t there.
Fortunately, the development community for the HTC Flyer is very close to releasing several different Android 4.0 builds. There are still some glitches to be worked out, but if you’re willing to root and flash an unofficial build to your HTC tablet, Android 4.0 is within reach.