Sense 5 on the HTC One S

Three weeks after it officially cancelled the Android 4.2 update for the HTC One S, HTC has reversed its decision and brought it back on the release schedule. Only one of the two variants of the device – the Snapdragon S4 powered model, will receive the update. But well, it’s better than writing off the device completely.

HTC U-Turn for One S

@LlabTooFeR, a well known and reliable source for leaks and rumors on HTC, recently tweeted:

Early this year, in response to a query on its Facebook page, HTC had confirmed that the One S, One X, X+ and XL would receive official updates for Android 4.2 and Sense 5. However, earlier this month, it backtracked on its decision and excluded the One S from the list of devices receiving the update. HTC later revealed that this was due to lack of support on the Snapdragon S3 powered variant of the One S.

The HTC One S ships in 2 variants – one running on an S4 processor, while the other runs on the older S3 processor, which was sold in Asia and certain other markets. Developing an update for the older variant was proving to be troublesome and costly, thus HTC scrapped the update for both the variants altogether.

Naturally, consumer outrage and criticism followed. There is a petition online demanding HTC rethink its decision and roll out the update. We don’t know if it was common sense or public pressure that led to the reversal on this decision, but One S owners now have a reason to be happy. At least the ones having the S4 variant.

This isn’t the first time HTC has changed its mind on handset updates. A few years ago, another flagship – the HTC Desire was given the axe when the company cancelled its Android 2.3 Gingerbread update citing insufficient memory on the device. After facing unusual consumer criticism, the company decided to roll out an update after all, but with a host of removed features to accommodate a smooth user experience.

The S3 variant is almost certainly not going to receive the update. HTC has blamed Qualcomm for insufficient support on the S3 chipset, leading to difficulties on the update.

“Qualcomm has stopped critical software support for the S3, leaving the obligation to update those gnarly pieces of chipset software on OEMs.”

However, there’s always that slim chance of a miracle. HTC might just decide to spend a few more bucks and even deliver an update for the S3 model.