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Official Statement: Rogers/HTC Agree To Update HTC Magic

A few days ago we reported on the news regarding the change that Rogers/HTC were now going to update the HTC Dream and HTC Magic, after an official statement said they were not going to.

What originally happened was both HTC and Rogers had cut support for either device in terms of updates to Android 1.6. Then Rogers/HTC had a change of heart and said that they will update the HTC Magic but not the HTC Dream, claiming hardware limitations.

The new update is said to bring the SenseUI to the HTC Magic but will keep the OS at 1.5. More importantly, the Magic will be receiving Android 2.1! The Dream however, while receiving some kind of update (which was not disclosed what exactly), will stay at 1.5 due to the aforementioned hardware limitations.

The original statement from an HTC PR rep is seen below:

While there has been a lot of confusion regarding software updates for these devices – we want to make sure that everyone knows that Rogers has been pushing hard to ensure the best possible outcome for all customers who have purchased an HTC Dream and Magic. Although we previously announced that we did not plan an upgrade to either device, we have reevaluated based on Rogers request and agreed to move forward.

First, we will be implementing an update for the 1.5 OS to both the HTC Dream and HTC Magic in the upcoming weeks. These will offer a number of benefits for these devices, including bringing the HTC Sense experience to the HTC Magic, although the OS version will remain 1.5.

By mid-year, HTC will issue an upgrade to Android 2.1, including the highly
acclaimed HTC Sense experience for the HTC Magic.

However, due to certain limitations on the HTC Dream, the software path for the HTC Dream will not be developed beyond the next Android 1.5 update.

Well, we now have an official statement from Rogers on the matter. See below:

It’s great to hear that everyone is pleased by HTC’s agreement to upgrade Magic to 2.1. We pushed hard on your behalf and are pleased with that part. When it
comes to Dream, we share in your frustration that the device does not have the required on-board memory for an upgrade. We’ve reviewed this internally and believe that Dream users should be able to have the same HTC Android experience as those who purchased the Magic. So, we are offering our HTC Dream customers a limited time opportunity to upgrade from their current HTC Dream device to the HTC Magic.

We’re working on finalizing the details of that promotion now but wanted to let
you know the great news as soon as possible. Please be patient as this is not yet available in-store, online or through customer care. I will be back next week to provide you with more information.

Stay tuned!


So if you’re a HTC Magic owner, you get all the lovely updates. Awesome.

But if you’re a HTC Dream owner, you get the chance to upgrade for a limited time to the HTC Magic. While this seems to sound good, there is likely a 3-year renewal involved and a high cost of conversion, so those factors must be considered. While Rogers may view this as a good solution, I am not exactly convinced that it is.

What do you think Dream owners? Is this a good offer? And Magic owners, what do you think about these events?

Providing the latest news for Canadian Android users and beyond.

  • mancini86

    Hi, as a rogers customer for 3 years i would like to say to you that this is a very pathetic, rogers style, save face at the last second because costumers are threatening to take you to court for contract reasons kind of response.

    It is not be any means, a good offer. New HTC phones are coming out this year and rogers wants you to be stuck with the old technology so you don't over burden the system.

    Don't buy into there scam offers. Tell them you want the HTC magic for free if you have the dream.

    DOnt be scammed into another 3 years of hell !

  • dbag420

    This is ridiculous. Even if I got the Magic for free, I don't think I'd want it. I bought the Dream for a reason: I want the hard keyboard.

    It appears that I'm finally going to have to root my phone. Anyone wanna help?

  • d3space

    Ditto for the keyboard!!

    Is the LG Eve going to receive updates? I would like to know if I can trade in my Magic for the Eve.

    WIND is looking mighty good to me right now since both my original Google Dev Phone (G1, unlocked, rooted, and ready for any available ROM) and the Nexus One is going to work on the WIND 3G frequency.

  • Dan

    I have been with rogers for over 4 years and I would only take the offer if they gave the Magic for free without the 3 year renewal. I find this to be very insulting from a Canadian company we should trust. Once I heard they stopped supporting the android phones I rooted mine. Never looked back, and am very happy with the outcome. Connection with the phone is so much better. No Wifi issues (had big problems connection to certain routers, including mine). Internet tethering both wired and wireless. I can surf the web on those long trips now :). Also enjoying the apps made for 1.6 and up (there are quite a few I noticed after upgrading to cyanogen's 1.6 mod).

  • not a Rogers employee

    I have been following this whole fiasco for months now. As a Magic owner I am very satisfied with the outcome of this conflict. I have all those dedicated individuals to thank who so relentlessly fought the good fight and made two large companies see the error of their ways! A major consumer victory in my opinion. Before you all start your critical messages perhaps you should CONFIRM your suspicions. Do you know for certain that you have to renew your contract to get an exchange.

    Even if this is the case, I bought the Magic only after a little bit of research revealed that it had better hardware compared to the Dream (ROM, battery capacity). I certainly did not take the “technical expertise” (if you can call it that) of a wireless kiosk employee at face value. Face it, they are working there for a reason! So take this deal. The Magic has an excellent soft keyboard. Again I almost bought the Dream because I also favoured the hard keyboard, but after testing out the Magic I realized that its keyboard worked really well for me (BTW, I hate the iPhone keyboard).

    If you are still saying screw that, then root your phone and be happy.

  • L.t.

    I would like to see a better voice command setup personally, it never gets anything right when I say it, makes it really hard to use a head set with it.

    Hopefully the 2.1 upgrade will help fix this issue.

  • Ryan

    I just want some fricken paid apps

  • HD

    I have installed the soft keyboard on my HTC Dream that rogers removed (stupid rogers). Its the same keyboard if you were using the HTC Magic. I have to say its pretty good. So for that reason I'm willing to trade my Dream for the Magic. The details are not out yet, but I will only swap phones if its a 100% free swap. No re-signing of any contract, one-time fee, etc…

    Rogers! Do the right thing and offer the swap 100% free with no strings attached! This better happen.

  • serg

    just called rogers tech support and the guy says he he did not hear of any update yet…..

  • Brandon

    I agree with a few of you. I signed up for the Dream ONLY because they told me there was a one year upgrade policy on it. Then they change it to two years on me. If I have to sign up for a Magic at another three year contract, plus extending the upgrade window another two years out, it's not even close to being an option.

    I will be trying to root my Dream, and then decide based on how Rogers takes this. My guess is, new contract, new upgrade term, which is horse $hit.

  • Hi Serg and all — Just a quick note. We have not released the details of the exchange so they are not in the system yet. I'll return here to post those details as soon as they are available, which I expect to be this week.

    Thanks for your patience

  • fed007

    Wow, I just ready the history of this issue all over the web. I am a developer looking for my first android phone to play with. Since I am a rogers customer I thought I would check out whats out there, then all of this…

    Am I safe to buy the Magic? or should I wait until they actually do it? or change providers (my contract is up this month) ?

    Who is the best carrier that will update android on their devices? It kind of looks like I should just get comfortable with rooting my phone.


  • vkos87

    The people who bought the dream and are now complaining about this deserve what they got. You chose an obsolete phone strictly for the keyboard or without doing your own research on the hardware. I bought the magic because of it's improved technology and the ability it would have to keep up with updates. Your own fault for choosing a keyboard over memory. babies

  • curious

    It's a tough call right now.

    Food for thought: Bell and Telus just released their first Android phones (Samsung Galaxy and HTC Hero, both nice phones by the way). Bell and Telus have probably not even thought about what upgrades involve, just like Rogers they probably didn't do their homework regarding the use of a nacent and evolving open OS (did I forget to say Android is awesome). On the other hand Rogers has been “educated” by a very vocal user/customer community and is far ahead on the learning curve now and may be the best choice when it comes to Android OS phones and their upgradability (at the moment). I think that Rogers will keep its promise of upgradingthe Magic to 2.1 and hopefully take the lessons learned to avoid this type of thing from happening in the future. If the others carriers are smart they will take the Rogers experience and learn from too, especially when it comes educating their sales staff.

  • Nightmare

    Hi there fed007!

    I am willing to sell you my Dream if you wanna root something. I paid device only on june '09 in Toronto.


  • HD

    Rogers released & marketed BOTH phones at the same time, together! I did in fact notice magic had more memory. However, I assumed both Android Phones would be able to run future Android versions… right? Is that unreasonable for me to assume?, vkos87? Its not like its Android 4.0

  • Brandon

    @vkos87, you make a point, if not mostly for the purpose of insulting people.

    Yes, most of us bought the Dream because of the physical keyboard, however, you forget that at the time, it was between only these two phones, neither of which are very good when it comes down to it. It wasn't simply a decision between a crappy, obsolete phone with a keyboard or the amazing, super duper Magic; both are somewhat sub-standard phones.

    Mostly, I went with the Dream because I wanted the keyboard, and Rogers told me that I could upgrade in 1 year, when hopefully there will be phones that are far better than either of these handsets. How was I to know that Rogers would punish me for early adoption and change their upgrade policy after a few months of me buying the phone. I do a lot of typing, and really hate virtual keyboards, so was willing to put up with a year of a crappy phone in hopes that a better one was on the way.

    Not all of us bought the phone without doing any research, but some of us put a bit of faith in Rogers selling and supporting the thing. We will see if that faith was misplaced.

    I am still not sure if I will go with the Magic. Instead of just crapping on us, why don't you tell us why you like the Magic so much, and how you like the virtual keyboard? Should I upgrade when they give me the chance, or hold out for something better?

  • vkos87

    My intention is not to insult. But I do not understand how anyone who did the research could have chosen the dream. My main concern with buying an android phone in general was that google was making the software for everyone and it would be up to the phone manufacturer to keep their hardware up to levels which could support it. Rogers basicly brought in two generations of phone. Choosing the first generation (with lesser hardware) over the second would limit your ability to keep up with new software. It sucks that rogers got them both at the same time, and they have been a pain in the ass for not upgrading earlier but if your investing hundreds of dollars or 3 years into a phone it is to your benefit to do your research first. Rogers did not tell you which phone to buy and they are not the creator of the software. I just don't see your frustration in Rogers on THIS issue as being well placed.

  • vkos87

    Your problem with upgrade policy is a different matter and a legitimate beef. That is bullshit and hopefully you can convince them to waive this 2 year wait or whatever it now is. But this was not the main concern I was hearing which led me to post on the issue. Rogers is just a service provider.. it is up to them to provide upgrades for the phones they carry. But the inability of the first android phone to keep up with googles O/S upgrades is not on rogers.

  • Brandon

    I was just replying to mention that I am only displeased with Rogers on the renewal change, and I too hope I can get them to waive this.

    I do agree with you somewhat that it's not Roger's fault. They brought on two fairly bad phones as their flagship Android devices, although, they were the only options out there at the time, so you can't blame them. But they must have some control, since they are now doing something about it, and the G1 in the US is being upgraded to 2.1 (I think). If they are going to bring out older handsets, they still should be willing to support them after a few months.

    Overall, I have to say, I do love my phone, crappy hardware and all. I think with some improvements on the efficiency and speed of the thing, and I would be happy. I knew what I was getting into with this phone, and have even discouraged people from buying it unless they were a true geek. I don't regret it, just can't wait to upgrade to something better.

    You never really answered my question about the Magic though. Give us your sales pitch, beyond the simple “it has enough memory” thing.

  • vkos87

    It is, yes. The hardware was made by HTC and happens to not keep up with new android releases. Google is upgrading an operating system which is attempting to work on multiple phones from different manufacturers and on different networks. This can't be easy and buying the FIRST android phone over one with upgraded hardware was a bad decision. Does Rogers control what hardware requirements will exist for future android upgrades? Blaming them on this just does'nt make any sense.

  • nostriluu

    It's great to hear Rogers is addressing this problem. Clearly most early adopters of Android have high expectations that depends on the carrier's commitment, and will be loyal to a carrier that comes through for them. Being able to upgrade our devices' software to use emerging features is a key and reasonable expectation as part of this “revolutionary,” “open” operating system. Most of us are paying a lot each month because of these promised attributes.

    May I suggest that you reward us (and yourselves) by working out a plan to provide us with a Nexus 1, Sony Experia X3 or Motorola Droid (which also has a keyboard), with the proviso to wait 1 – 3 months and pay $200 for the upgrade, as an alternative to changing to a Magic? (I don't think extending our term is reasonable since I think Rogers overpromised here, although I admit I wish I'd been more patient in my choice).

    The key factor here is both the Dream and Magic are both running on out of date, last generation processors – much more so than usual, and clearly if we're signing up for 3 year terms we should have phones that will remain useful for most of that entire term. Many apps emerging today will not run well on the last generation Dream and Magic.

    This kind of consideration and flexibility will mean a lot to us in the new competitive landscape, in fact if Wind offers the N1 I'd consider switching to just because I've been so disappointed with the Dream's performance, connectivity, camera and so on, and I don't expect the Magic to be that much better (but I've been happy with Android).

  • vkos87

    Lol. Im not selling the things. However, when I looked at the stats on each phone it was clear to me that given i am investing in a phone whose O/S is reliant on an outside company I had better choose the one which gives me the best chance of keeping up with googles updates. This was my main factor in choosing magic and i got what i was needed. If anyone elses was… “I need it to have a physical keyboard” – then you got what you needed while taking a risk on future Android update compatibility. I on the other hand got my upgrade but have a significantly more smudged screen.

  • d3space

    If you're okay to go with WIND and their AWS frequency for 3G, you can buy both the Dream and the Magic directly from Google. Rooted and unlocked for $400 USD + $25 developer signup fee to post to the Market + shipping (I recommend shipping it to a US address.)

    That's how I got my first Android phone (the G1, aka Android Dev Phone 1, aka HTC Dream) and then HTC releases official versions of the phone software to flash onto your Dev Phone.

    If you use these phones on Rogers, you'll get voice working no problem but only EDGE speeds.

    But with technology being outdated before it's even released, I would get a Nexus One directly from Google. They will probably have an offical “Dev” version of it by May to coincide with the Google conference.

  • nostriluu

    Compare to and the only apparent difference is the Magic has more ROM (and the Dream is larger with a keyboard while the Magic has a larger battery). When I got the Dream I believed they were essentially functionally the same, aside from more ROM on the Magic. You take a very strange, corporate apologist, dog eat dog position here which is apparently a bit savage even for the carriers. It is not possible for a consumer to know exactly what these differences will mean, and the information I had on the Dream was it was satisfactory to that point (aside from supposedly correctable battery life), so it's up to the manufacturer and retailer to make sure everyone's happy, if we are in a competitive market. So Rogers is doing the right thing. I just hope they take advantage of this opportunity to give us a chance to upgrade to current generation technology, both the Magic and Dream are quite out of date, using the same processor that was in the first generation 2007 iPhone. And I hope they don't bring trailing edge hardware to an enthusiastic market again.

  • jag

    visit the cyanogenmod wiki and have a look at the “how to” for “EBI1” kernel. (normally the kernel used is for ebi0, but in order to use the existing radio, you should use the ebi1 kernel).

  • jag

    visit the cyanogenmod wiki and have a look at the “how to” for “EBI1” kernel. (normally the kernel used is for ebi0, but in order to use the existing radio, you should use the ebi1 kernel).