If you've ever owned an HTC Android smartphone, you'll know that HTC is pretty tight-fisted when it comes to internal storage, especially when compared with similarly specced phones from manufacturers such as Motorola and Samsung. What gives?
For example, while the incoming Motorola Atrix and Samsung's Galaxy S II both come with a standard 16 gigs of storage, the recently launched Desire S and Incredible S come with just 1.1GB of internal memory. Although you can increase storage capacity with an SD card, there are still many apps that need to be installed on internal memory to function properly, including Google Maps, Facebook and Twitter. Widgets - one of Android's defining features - also don't work on the SD card.
My old HTC Desire came with a measly 512MB of internal memory and was a headache even after I had rooted it to remove Telstra's crapware. Once the internal memory dipped to 15MB, it would stop receiving emails and SMS messages, forcing me to uninstall apps and continually clean the cache. On my new Atrix, this isn't a problem. I have 16GB of internal storage as well as an 8GB SD card to store apps, photos and videos. I never have to move apps to the SD card, and where the apps end up hardly matters.
While this is a problem that will eventually go away as more and more third-party developers rewrite apps to work on SD cards, we still want to know why HTC lags so far behind the rest when it comes to internal storage capacity.
I posed the question to a HTC spokesperson who said that the 1GB limit is due to a few considerations, including hitting the correct price point (which makes sense considering the Desire S is $649 outright, while the Atrix is more expensive at $840 and the Galaxy S II even more so at $899), and giving users the flexibility of having a microSD card. The spokesperson conceded that the original Desire had capacity issues, but believes that with the later versions of Android, 1GB is more than enough.
Perhaps that's partly why HTC's decided to unlock bootloaders - instead of spending money on more internal memory, the Taiwanese manufacturer will give users the power to root and move apps you normally wouldn't be able to?