When HTC started work on bringing Gingerbread to the Desire, it ran into a little snag. While it saw that it could bring Gingerbread alone to the phone without issue, trying to fit both Gingerbread and Sense in the handset’s limited storage created quite the dilemma. First HTC said the space limitation was a deal-breaker, and that it was abandoning plans to update the Desire past Froyo. After a bit of a backlash from Desire owners, HTC reversed course and ultimately provided a Gingerbread update option (though not distributed OTA) for interested users. We’re reminded of all this now because it looks like a very similar situation could be unfolding, regarding Samsung’s Ice Cream Sandwich plans for the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab.
Earlier today, Samsung revealed that it won’t be providing a pathway to Android 4.0 for the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab. Its reasoning is apparently along the same lines as what HTC was going through with the Desire: that these models don’t have the resources for the simultaneous installation and use of Ice Cream Sandwich and TouchWiz.
Like HTC’s earlier stance, Samsung would rather not release anything at all than to deliver a plain-vanilla AOSP-like Ice Cream Sandwich experience. Considering just how many Galaxy S owners are out there, we’d be surprised if we didn’t see a negative reaction to this announcement that exceeded even what was directed at HTC this past summer. Whether or not that will be sufficient to change Samsung’s mind is just too early to say.