Update, 4.40pm, 15th June 2011 - HTC now appears to have reversed its position, noting on its Facebook page that, "contrary to what we said earlier, we are going to bring Gingerbread to HTC Desire".
Citing a lack of memory that would enable the Desire to run the HTC Sense "experience", HTC confirmed the news on its UK Facebook page early this morning.
"Our engineering teams have been working hard for the past few months to find a way to bring Gingerbread to the HTC Desire without compromising the HTC Sense experience you've come to expect from our phones. However, we're sorry to announce that we've been forced to accept there isn't enough memory to allow us both to bring Gingerbread and keep the HTC Sense experience on the HTC Desire. We're sincerely sorry for the disappointment that this news may bring to some of you."
The HTC Desire, which has 576MB RAM, initially launched on Android 2.1 firmware, and was then updated to Android 2.2 "Froyo" late last year. The phone is exclusively sold through Telstra in Australia.
Though the news will disappoint current Desire owners, we can't say we are surprised. In our review of HTC's latest flagship smartphone, the HTC Sensation, we commented that although the HTC Sense overlay's slick animations and flashy menus do give it an edge over other Android phones, it feels a little slower than some of its competitors due to the graphically intense UI.
Are you disappointed in HTC? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!