It seems capitalism public pressure has made HTC have a change of heart...
The prolific smartphone maker has announced it will offer a Sense upgrade to older Android handsets despite declaring to me at the HTC Hero launch precisely the opposite.
First up will be a Sense upgrade for the Magic made available in October for NT$1,500 (circa $46). Upgrades will also be offered for the G1, but the snags for each are twofold. Firstly, these upgrades must be accepted by individual carriers before they can be rolled out and we all know how networks hate progress upgrades. Secondly, HTC is looking to upgrade Google branded Android handsets and numerous models (including the G1 on T-Mobile and Magic on Vodafone in the UK) forewent this this endorsement (printed on the back of each handset) in order to customise the software builds.
Whether the combination of these two factors means the average user has a snowball's chance in hell of getting the update therefore remains to be seen. Of course the ROMs will inevitably be leaked across the Internet the moment they go on release, but installing them may lead to chaos further down the line when official Android upgrades start hitting handsets OTA.
Yep, things are never easy...
Update: Oh dear. It seems the T-Mobile G1 was equipped with such a paucity of internal flash memory that it can't take any more updates after Cupcake (Android v1.5). Interestingly, this is only thought to apply to Google branded G1s whereas HTC's customised editions may well pack the extra muscle to carry on the firmware fight. It's all a little bit sad though... (via jkontherun.com
via HTC.tw (translated)