HTC announces that the popular prepaid Desire 510 won’t get Lollipop – at least, not on the most popular American variants.
After months of being in limbo, HTC has confirmed that the most popular American versions of the Desire 510 will not be upgraded to Android 5.0, Lollipop.
HTC’s Vice President of Product Development, Mo Versi, confirmed directly to PhoneNews.com staff on Twitter today that the phone will not be updated, and will remain on Android 4.4.4, KitKat.
The HTC Software Updates web site has left the Desire 510 in limbo since its debut. It is sold in GSM and CDMA variants, most popularly sold via Sprint CDMA MVNO Virgin Mobile. Unlike other devices that received definitive status, the Desire 510 has only said “This device is currently on KitKat.”
As of press time, Mr. Versi and HTC have not answered why the device will not be updated. From a technical specification standpoint, there doesn’t appear to be a single feature limitation or compatibility issue with Android 5.0, Lollipop.
Android 5.0 Lollipop adds increased performance, but most importantly, the next-generation Material Design user experience – as well as the formal launch of the Android Runtime, or ART, – the first major rewrite of the Android application language (and its virtual machine), since its debut.
HTC in recent years has tried to turn around the negative perception by the community that it has failed to deliver on Android updates. The company has committed to updating “iconic” Android devices for at least two years. That commitment would have covered older devices that didn’t get updates according to that timetable, such as the HTC One X and HTC One X+ – but it also gives HTC wiggle room to not update capable devices too, and that includes the Desire 510.
HTC rival Motorola has recently begun shipping Android Lollipop updates for devices that pre-dated the Desire 510, including their entire 2013 launch lineup. With devices such as the less-powerful, first-generation, Snapdragon 200 Moto E being updated – the move is yet another competitive advantage loss for HTC. Motorola has said Sprint and Sprint prepaid versions of their devices will be updated in-line with their other carrier coverage.
No word yet on if the GSM variants, such as the Desire 510 sold by AT&T MVNO Cricket Wireless, will be updated or not.