HTC has responded to Google's launch of Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, with an official statement, which gives very little away in terms of its plans to update future HTC handsets.
And it's fair enough really considering the reaction of HTC handset owners when previous Android updates have come along. Samsung's involvement with the manufacturing of recent Nexus devices might give them some bragging rights, as the Samsung Nexus S will see an ICS update.
One of the issues HTC has is that it layers its own custom user interface, HTC Sense, over the top of its Android mobile phones. As well as giving, what some consider, a more intuitive experience it also means HTC has to allow for this when updating to the latest versions of Android.
This balancing act will no doubt mean more development time, and HTC just needs to make sure that it doesn't wait too long, otherwise it could see valuable customers switching allegiances to manufacturers with an up-to-date OS.
When we spoke to HTC it replied with this statement:
"We are excited about the latest update for Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and are currently reviewing its features and functionality to determine our upgrade plans. Our goal for Android updates is to give every customer an improved user experience, which means balancing each phone's unique hardware, HTC Sense experience and the Android kernel. While our goal is to upgrade as many of our recent devices as possible, we are committed to maintaining every phone's performance and usability first. Please stay tuned for more updates on specific device upgrade plans."
It's clear, then, that "every phone's performance and usability" is paramount, so you can probably be sure that when Android Ice Cream Sandwich does arrive on HTC hardware, it'll be running as smoothly as possible.
However, there is a certain amount of overlap between Android 4.0 (ICS) and HTC Sense, so whether we'll see added functionality to the interface, or even certain bits removed, remains to be seen.