This is the end: HTC One S won’t get Android 4.2 update

Daniel Bader

July 2, 2013 3:09 pm

ones-18

Farewells are bittersweet. They often affirm the value of something we had and lost, or make us nostalgic for the brightness of its heyday.

I loved the HTC One S. I was probably more excited by its introduction than the flagship One X when both devices, along with the One V, were announced in February 2012. The lightweight aluminum construction, distinct design, blazing performance and affordable price combined to make a mid-range device that was in many ways more desirable and accessible than the One X.

Both the One S and One X share the same 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 1GB of RAM. They both began their lives with the same Android 4.0.3 software running Sense 4.0. But, as flagship products tend to, the One X got more love from the Taiwanese manufacturer, while the middle child played second fiddle, receiving sporadic updates that finally petered out.

While the One S was updated to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean beginning in February, the company has decided that it will not be updated to Android 4.2 like its One X counterpart.

We can confirm that the HTC One S will not receive further Android OS updates and will remain on the current version of Android and HTC Sense.  We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed the HTC One S to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences.

Yes, HTC, this will be met with disappointment. There is no reason whatsoever the One S should be cast aside while the One X should continue to thrive. This is the reason Android users feel disillusioned and begin tinkering with their devices. This is the reason so many people stick with the iPhone. This is the worst example of device alienation. You should be angry about this even if you don’t own a One S; abandoning a device barely a year after it comes to market is just bad business, plain and simple.

Then again, there’s always CyanogenMOD.

Source: MoDaCo

  • Ken K.

    Some things never change. Like Apple being overpriced, Samsung is plasticky, and HTC abandons its phones.

    Why is Galaxy S2 (more than 2 yr old) has 4.2 while One S (1 yr old with good spec) is stuck at 4.1.2. Here is the list from my head that was abandoned by HTC: One V, Amaze, Raider, Sensation, Desire HD, and now the One S.

    Peter Chou, you are a total failure as the CEO. HTC ain’t turning around if it keeps screwing customers like this. Oh my butt hurts.

    • Tom

      The S2 does not have 4.2. If you’re referring to CyanogenMod 10.1 (which works VERY well on both phones), then the One S has it too.

    • Ken K.

      it does not have 4.2 yet. It will, according to Samsung. It will be the final update for S2 and Note.

    • Josh Brown

      But they are both a year older than the ONE S. The one s only got one major update. The S2 was launched with Ginger bread and is going to be updated farther than the ONE S. And they lock down their boot loaders so it is hard to update through custom roms.

    • Tom

      You’re a little outdated on the bootloader part – the One S now has S-Off which means installing (and updating) a custom ROM is far easier than before. No need to fastboot flash the boot.img any more.

    • Josh Brown

      Well I wouldn’t really say out dated as the HTC Vivid was the phone just before the ONE series. And the ONE S having S-off has nothing to do with HTC that was a group of dev’s that found the weakness. I have owned many HTC’s
      HTC Touch -cracked LCD never dropped
      HTC Tilt 2 -replaced rear speaker 5 times
      HTC Desire Z -no problems
      HTC Desire HD -GPS & Cell Antenna’s stopped working
      HTC Sensation -lost a row of pixels on the LCD and Digitizer stopped working
      HTC Raider 4G X 2 -Terrible battery and broken glass x2
      The only device looking back on it that I would buy again is the Desire z, good little phone, still running in fact. But all of those phones never got more that one offical up date and were a beast to root or s-off (except sensation) and had major hardware issues(except the desire z). I can list off the issues for you. I now have a note 2 and my wife has a s4. Great phones and easy to load custom recoveries(do even need to root first). no hardware issues yet on either phones. You convince me to get a HTC again.

    • Tom

      Yeah my first smartphone was a DZ – loved it, and it got me into rooting/flashing too.

      Sorry to see you’ve had a bad experience with HTCs. I certainly would buy another one myself – but only if it were a Nexus product. Despite being short changed by LG on the Optimus 2X, I still bought a Nexus 4.

    • Dany

      But it will have it. It was confirmed weeks ago

    • Yeas

      My S3 is 4.1.2, so I’m doubting any S2 is 4.2 (yet). That being said, its not as if the phone is unusable and garbage now =P

    • Josh Brown

      There is an official 4.2.2 TW rom from samsung leaked. Check xda.

  • jroc

    This is exactly why people badmouth HTC and say they won’t buy any of their devices…frankly, I don’t blame them. What a poor decision.

  • beyond

    queue Skyfall by Adele in the background…..

  • Francois Roy

    Amen.

  • jackjiarocks

    Digging your own grave HTC

    EDIT : More RANT. THE SPECS of this phone have NO ISSUE getting the 4.2 or the future 4.3 (or even 5.0)as i can almost be sure of the capability of snapdragon S3/s4. can handle those updates.

    HTC, fire chou, change your entire shitty marketing plan and again/- STOP RELEASING SO MANY %%5sING phones that you can not manage to market or support over long term!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mr_Reliable

    I’m sorry, was that a news report or an editorial? Because if it’s news, I’d recommend keeping the opinion piece to an editorial.

    • jroc

      When you get your own website, feel free to write about stuff in any manner you choose.

    • Daniel Bader

      It was both.

      Welcome to MobileSyrup.

    • Mr_Reliable

      Thanks, I’ve been here awhile. Doesn’t stop me from thinking it could
      act more professional. But hey, your site your rules.

    • Guest

      Thanks, I’ve been here awhile. Doesn’t stop me from thinking it could act more professional. But hey, your site your rules.

    • Justin Crowley

      please keep your thoughts to yourself

    • BaconTelevision

      Really? Keep his thoughts to himself? Within the comments section? Constructive criticism helps foster positive change(s). BASHING, only festers negative outcomes. I don’t think Mr Reliable was bashing, I believe he provided criticism.

      As a journalist, you learn to appreciate others opinions on your writing. Sometimes it’s for the best. I enjoy reading articles on MobileSyrup for entertainment. I really don’t care for proper structure, use of grammar, or correct syntax, etc. He could stand to be more professional as you’ve pointed out, but even the larger tech-sites have writers on staff that can’t decipher the simple differences between “there,their, they’re.”

      Lastly, cyber-humping Daniel Bader won’t help you win the next prize draw. So simmer down and enjoy the news..

    • thepeddle

      Man you’re a tool in epic proportions…..

  • Nathaniel James

    Just ordered my Nexus 4 anyways

  • Rich

    *tear* I love my one S

  • TomsDisqusted

    If they made the bootloader easy to unlock and were good about cooperating with the open-source community – so that it wasn’t too difficult for disgruntled One S owners to get high quality 3rd party ROMS – then this would be more forgivable.

    • Tom

      Well, S-Off is now available (almost a year after release) and official CM10.1 nightlies are finally available again (after the DMCA snafu shut them down for 3 months).

  • julian

    this is ridiculous

  • Daniel

    This is why I am never getting an HTC phone

  • sammy11

    This is bullshit. I dont know if I want to get the one anymore. The one s is a great and capable phone. HTC you may of very well lost a customer.

  • sammy11

    Good job losing another customer. Might just get the nexus 4 as my next phone

  • Yeas

    Why are people acting like their HTC One S will suddenly stop working or something? Its a beautiful phone and runs great. That won’t change.

    • Josh Brown

      But why would you buy a phone from a company that does not update when you can buy a phone from a company that does. Even if Samsung doesn’t they have made their phones so easy to flash and they release the kernel source so dev’s can make custom rom’s. Why reward a company for bad customer service.

    • Tom

      Caution on the “kernel source” part. Exynos is a snafu right now and CyanogenMod is basically giving up on Samsung devices using those chipsets…

      You’re right that HTC made the one S unnecessarily difficult to mod though. S-Off narrows the gap a lot but it’s still a bit of work.

    • Josh Brown

      On every HTC phone I have owned I have heard nothing but complaints from dev’s of how hard it is to build rom’s even on sense framework’s let alone CM. So yes Samsung is not perfect but they have a far better track record then HTC. As far as I know Samsung has not sent lawyers to make dev’s take down rom’s built on TW frameworks or rom’s built on their kernel source.

    • Yeas

      This idea of being able to update your phone to newer versions doesn’t appeal to everyone. I’d say most people couldn’t care less. Its might be hard to believe since you will only find like-minded people discussing this on a tech site. End of the day, what sold me on the phone was the physical aspects, which remain awesome despite lack of a software update =P

    • Josh Brown

      Yes that is personal preference but HTC should be up front with people on their update policy not after they have paid for the phone. Because if they expect updates then they will mad when they don’t get them. If HTC says up front that their phones wont get updates then I bet you their sales tank. So they just hope no one notices and buys a new phone when they get sick of not having the new features.

    • Yeas

      I can agree with that. Promise two year of updates and stick by it etc.

    • Raylusk

      The point is these updates don’t just include new features they also include security updates. When manufactures don’t update their phones they leave them open to security issues. In addition as android is updated, apps are updated to work with the new version of android. Sometimes this causes these apps to no longer work with older versions of android preventing people from using their apps. This is inexcusable behavior on the part of any phone manufacture and has been a problem with Android from the beginning. It is the primary reason that after owning three android phones, I no longer own one and won’t own one again until Google enforces a strict update policy on manufacture that uses android.

  • Gsizzle

    Just r00t your damn phones. Quit complaining.

    • Tom

      I’m a hardcore rooter and flasher too, but not everyone is…

    • Gsizzle

      But how did you become a hardcore rooter? You took the time to understand how to do it, there are so many guides on YouTube nowadays. It won’t kill you to at least give it a try.

    • Tom

      True, I did take the time to learn it (though I used the CM wiki not YT lol), and I think more people should learn to do it. So I reverse my vote.

      But pushing out an official update is a show of respect for customers and maintaining that ensures loyalty and future sales.

      Plus, if the next update is the same fundamental framework change that the 2.3->4.0 leap was, then even custom ROMs can’t fill the gap (HW acceleration).

    • Josh Brown

      Have you tried to root a HTC? To unlock your bootloader you have to do a big song and dance on HTCDEV .com, so they now know your IMEI warranty is now voided. also to get S-off on my raider, so you can flash with out a computer(because recovery cant flash kernels without s-off), you chad to take a cover off that had a void sticker over the screw and use a wire to jump it and then run a program to s-off your phone. Never again will I buy HTC, and I was a die hard fan.

  • Josh Brown

    And this is why I went from being a die hard HTC fan, to never buying one again. Same old thing, even if it did get the update Android 6.2 would be out before it got 4.2.

  • Tom

    I suspect the fact that many of the One S’s released outside North America sport the older, more problematic S3 chips (rather than the S4 chips we have) is contributing to this issue. HTC probably wants to “keep them all equal” in a bad way…

    Anyway, even if they released it, carrier variants would take months to get it, lol. I have to admit, it’s a fundamental problem with Android as a whole. Not enough for me to ditch the platform (I’m the root-and-flash type), but still rather annoying.

    • Josh Brown

      Even if they released it it would at least give dev’s something to work from even if carriers took forever.

  • Sofa Professor

    I’m a One S owner who was considering making the move to the One. Not now. If you can’t support my phone a year later there is no way I’m spending money for the same poor experience all over again.

    • Henry

      Anybody that’s ticked off has every right to be. I have an HTC One but I am certain I will not get updates past a year from now, if that. Doesn’t bother me though, I’m not a frequent flasher but I knew what to expect so when HTC drops support I’ll flash vanilla, maybe even before then.

    • Zed

      There’s amazing support for the One on XDA, so no worries if you don’t mind taking the time (under an hour) to unlock bootloader, flash recovery, backup, flash rom.

  • hotcar96

    It was sadder when Motorola left the atrix hanging…I miss my atrix 4g :(

  • Allan

    Typical HTC.

  • Guess

    Still better than Sony and their delayed and bugged updates, I’m still waiting they announce the same fate to my xperia s

  • Anonymous501

    I have a galaxy s2 which is nearly two years old. Samsung has been pretty reliable when it comes to updates. According to them they will release 4.2.2 for the s2 as the last update. I’ll remember that they provided two years of updates when I go to buy a new phone next year.

    What I learned was that Samsung is pretty good when it comes to updates and to buy flagship models of a companies line of phones.

  • lkjlkj

    I agree that this shouldn’t happen. However we always knew that only high end devices are updated. HTC’s high end was the One X.

  • Yuvin

    Atleast they have a working CyanogenMod. My trustly old LG P999 didn’t get any updates at all from Wind, T-Mobile in the U.S gave it 2.3.7 but that’s it. No drivers for ICS/JB.

  • Dudnt

    I have a one s. personally it doesn’t bother me as the phone is great. it’s very underrated as this phone is probably the best looking phone from htc, even hotter than the 8x and 2013 htc one. And my phone has decent battery and performance and hea management are top notch also. Even with this news I would buy this phone again

  • Monte MacDonald

    My camera failed 27 days after warranty then this.

  • FuzzyFish6

    I’m sure this is disappointing, but you know what? I bet 99% of ONE S users wouldn’t know or care that the device isn’t getting 4.2.

    Sucks for the hardcore enthusiasts community, but it’s not a big deal either way.

  • disqus_5AKNsW3h0N

    This is just the like when the ATT Desire HD got an OS update but the Canadian version didn’t yet its the same exact phone. I guess HTC will have another drought in lost revenue if they keep this up.

  • Guest

    This is surely disappointing but comparing the One S to the S2 isn’t really fair because Samsung abandons it’s non flagship phones fairly quickly themselves. Not that it’s an excuse, but to prop up Samsung as some paragon of phone updates is inaccurate. Anything outside of the Galaxy S or Note lines are lucky to even get one update.

  • Stephen

    This should surprise no one. Garbage update policy from an equally garbage company.