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

Illustration for article titled Rumor: Existing Android Phones Won't Get HTC's "Sense" UI For Lame Licensing Reasons

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.

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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!]

DISCUSSION

macrumpton

"a multimedia experience for customers that actually rewards them for buying multiple Sony products and services."

Which translates into punishing folks that do NOT buy their products and services. This is not a change, this is the same old Sony obsession with exclusivity: Memory stick, Minidisk, Betamax and a dozen more attempts to lock in customers through making it painful to leave Sonyworld.

If you look at their greatest hits they are the few times when they gave up on lock-in. The Walkman was a huge hit not because it was proprietary, but because it would play a cassette that was recorded on any recorder.

If they would leverage the rest of the world the way Apple has with the AppStore, and strive to make their hardware work better with other manufacturers than anyone else, then people would be more drawn to it.