Rumor: Existing Android Phones Won't Get HTC's "Sense" UI For Lame Licensing ReasonsS

That HTC's "Sense" interface would run on older hardware was known for months before its official announcement, so a sanctioned update for existing phones makes sense, right? Turns out, there might be an extremely annoying barrier standing in HTC's way.

Partially contradicting earlier (but no less tenuous) reports that the interface would be ported to other Android phones, MobileBurn is now claiming an HTC representative told them that "licensing restrictions" would prevent the company's customized, proprietary interface from arriving on "with Google" branded phones—which include the T-Mobile G1 (Dream) and MyTouch 3G (Magic).

At first glance this sounds petty and strange, but oh, goddamn it, there's a precedent. From May:

We've just learned that HTC is including a built-in Microsoft Exchange client on the HTC Magic devices that lack the "with Google" branding... According to HTC's Eric Lin, the "with Google" phones will sport the stock Android smartphone operating system, while the non-Google branded phone will include HTC developed "special sauce."

I'm sure there's a sound legal reason for this, but that doesn't stop it from being as annoying as all hell. It looks like this one might be up to you, homebrewers. [MobileBurn--Thanks, Alan!]