HTC Nov. 7 confirmed that eight of its premium Android smartphones, including the HTC Vivid and HTC Rezound, will receive the upgrade to Google’s forthcoming Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” operating system next year.
The phone maker also pledged to bring ICS to the HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL and HTC Sensation XE, as well as HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G and HTC Amaze 4G “through close integration with our carrier partners.”
That leaves out popular devices such as the HTC Thunderbolt 4G LTE smartphone, though HTC assured consumers it isn’t finished upgrading.
“We’re continuing to assess our product portfolio, so stay tuned for more updates on device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Ice Cream Sandwich,” the company added on its Facebook page.
There are also near field communications (NFC) capabilities to let users tap their phones together to share applications and YouTube videos. There is also a feature that lets users unlock their phone’s screens through facial recognition.
ICS is launching later this month on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone from Verizon Wireless. Not long after Verizon pledged to begin selling the Galaxy Nexus, other Android OEMs rushed forward to declare their loyalty to the platform.
Also on tap to get ICS are Samsung’s Nexus, Motorola Mobility’s (NYSE:MMI) Xoom, Droid Bionic and Droid Razr, LG’s Optimus 2X, and the Sony Xperia line.
HTC, which has a solid track record for rolling out Android platform upgrades compared to Samsung and Motorola, is in an interesting position.
While the company reported its highest quarterly sales ever $1.46 billion and last week passed Research in Motion (NYSE:RIM) to became the fourth largest smartphone maker in the world the company indicated Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4S launch would weaken its sales in the fourth quarter.
It will be worth watching whether HTC can maintain its momentum versus the iPhone, not to mention Samsung, Motorola and the other Android OEMs.