HTC Desire Has A GPS Bug

HTC Desire Has A GPS Bug

The HTC Desire is one of the more desirable Android phones on the market. Unfortunately, it turns out that the model released in Australia through Telstra has a bit of a GPS bug, though a fix is apparently on the way.

A brief PR statement from HTC this morning confirms the issue:

HTC and Telstra have been made aware of an issue relating to the GPS function on the HTC Desire smartphone in Australia. After investigating customer reports we have found that the software for this feature is set up incorrectly. The device’s GPS hardware is not affected and will operate once a minor software update is made. HTC and Telstra are working closely to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency and aim to rectify this issue in the shortest possible timeframe. Currently, we are working to develop, test and introduce a software update and will continue to update customers on our progress on a regular basis until this has been resolved

While that’s an unfortunate start for a phone which Telstra rush-released and which had our Gizmodo colleague Nick virtually drooling, it’s commendable that HTC has openly acknowledged the issue and is working on a fix. Run into any problems with your new Desire? Tell us in the comments.


  • I can confirm the Desire I bought outright from Telstra has this issue.

    I actually bought it outright to use on Three. So I’m tempted to flash with a generic ROM to fix the GPS issue. Also this would remove the cruft Telstra insisted on stuffing onto the phone!

    I also have a weird wifi slowness problem with my phone too, seems like something that has come up before for many users, gotta test a few other access points before I draw any conclusions about it.

    • problem confirmed – spent 4 hours trying to get the GPS going – only to find that Telstra messed it up. Unit running on Three – rest works fine although I noticed it has roblems switching from WiFi to 3G when it loses the WiFi signal..

      let me know how the generic ROM works for you – tempted to indeed get rid of the Telstra stuff…


  • I too have the GPS issue.

    I use the phone on Vodafone and seems to flap between 3G and HSDPA when using the data connection. Doesn’t seem to harm the download speeds though.

    Wifi seems to be fine for me on a Netcomm NB6Plus4w.

  • Hmmm. That explains alot.

    I thought I was just being too impatient with it.

    I am using mine on Tel$tra (contract slave) but still found it pretty easy to strip out the pointless branded apps. The standard fare in the market is much better than the bigpond/sensis/whatever versions.

    Guess I’ll sit and wait quietly for an update.

  • I like my Desire but am bitterly dissapointed because as a phone it lacks basics – It does NOT voice select a number for dialling. This is really bad when linked to my cars inbuild Bluetooth System because I can’t just speak a number for the phone to call. I have to manually select it and press call, thats not easy when you are driving. Any thoughts?

  • I too have issue with GPS. Google Maps and NDrive GPS software (and I suspect other software relies on the GPS function) report it cannot get signal from GPS, hence cannot determine my current location. Hopefully a fix from HTC will be available soon.

  • Also purchased my desire from Telstra (without contract).

    GPS doesn’t work, fortunately I found these articles as Telstra customer service advised me as late as today to being my phone back for a refund

    Awesome phone apart from this issue, haven’t put it down (yes, this was typed on it).

  • How did you manage to disable the Telstra apps? I tried from settings but there was no uninstall option. And it’s so annoying as it just links to websites. My WiFi seems to work fine tho.

  • To uninstall applications, be on the home screen, click menu button, then in pop up menu click settings, then Applications, all the applications installed will be listed in alphabetical order, click on the application you wish to uninstall, but be careful.

    This is one major reason I do not buy from Telstra and get mine imported from UK besides it is cheaper there by couple of hundreds $.

      • I have been importing from UK for the last 3 years and using them on our Australian network, only because I do not agree with the Australian greedy pricing and warranty. Telstra price difference are more than a couple of hundred $ even after paying for the freight. This works over 30% to 45% of the cost price in UK, if I were to buy in Australia with one year warranty. I can understand if the difference was 5% to 10% over in Australia being a smaller market and all..

        Moreover, in UK they give 2 yrs manufacturer warranty and here we get one year. Plus all the crap software that we get loaded up with. Importing from UK the unlocked phone works better for me.

        Now as far as the frequency for GSM goes, in telephony it is quad band so no worries there. For DATA it works occasionally on 3G/NextG else on HSDPA, which is of no worry to me. Moreover, I use WiFi most of the time for big/heavy data downloads. My HTC Desire phones specs are:

        * Europe/Asia: 900/2100 MHz
        * Upload speed of up to 2 Mbps and download speed of up to 7.2 Mbps
        Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE:
        * 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

        So in other words GSM works fine around the globe since it is quad band and data works on HSDPA.

  • I too purchased an HTC desire to use on Three mobile. I managed to remove most of the Telstra branded stuff, but the boot-up splash screen is proving difficult to be rid of… Any suggestions?

    My GPS was borked, I assumed it was my configuration of the device, but now it works like a charm!

  • Hello, i am looking at purchasing the HTC Desire. I believe it is unlocked but originally from Telsta. I was looking at using it on the 3 mobile next work (aust) – swapping from my N95. Has anyone had any problems? Do you know if i can just put my 3 sim in and it will work okay? Sorry new to the whole phone thing and not prepared to purchase from telstra or go on a plan? J

  • I’m new at all this but purchased a HTC Desire HD phone outright & unlocked via Hong Kong.
    The following are items I’m having problems with and excuse my ingnorance if they sound a bit simple.
    1. When I sync with Outlook, I lose all the speed dial saved numbers on the phone. I have tried everything – Factory reset, selecting speed dial via Phone, In Favourites etc etc.
    Continues to delete all speed dial settings except for the Voice Mail speed dial.
    I’ve searched on the internet for solutions and tried them all but none have worked. Is HTC going to include a fix in the next update ?

    2. Having been told by a Telstra salesperson that the phone would sync tasks, I was very disapointed to find Outlook Tasks could not be synchronised. Is there an Android application that would do this, or is an HTC fix on the way ?
    If there is no possibility of a fix, is there an application runs a similar “Tasks” that would interact with the Outlook & Phone Calendar that can be synchronised. I use Outlook “Tasks” heaps and am lost without it synced to my phone. Any suggestions. (I would pay up to $50 AUS Dollars for an Application that does solve my problem and I’ll bet thousands of other HTC Desire users would to !)

    3. Being a new phone I could understand using a lot of “internet time” on it, however, having copped a huge first bill I was wondering what is the best Application to buy that will allow me to turn on/off GPS, Wireless, Bluetooth, and/or Applications or software that uses the internet, GPS, etc without me knowing about it? ( An app that notifies when usage is taking place would be ideal )

    4. I would be so grateful for a “Voice” activated dialling application. One that I can just say a ‘Contacts’ name and “Mobile” or “Home” to activate the dialling of either number. Once again I don’t mind paying for this app. (Such a pity HTC didn’t include it when they could have done so very easily what with knowing the need for hands free dialling in cars etc, let alone just the “common sense” of it.

    5. I am still trying to understand the differences between the items that came on the Phone. EG Maps, Latitude, Locations & Places widgets. In plain simple terms, does anyone know which ones to get rid of, as all I really want is something like “Google Maps” and a “Navigator” for when driving. Also, I thought once you downloaded a map from HTC and other than occasionally updating, the program didn’t need to access the phone internet. But which widget does is that ?

    Anyway, if HTC were serious about knocking iPhone’s of their perch, I believe items 1,2 & 4 alone would have cornered the market, as I believe the desire hd is basically terrific other than my grievances.

    Thanks for any help offered in advance.
    Cheers – Glenn

    • Glen, I am wondering if you got any replies to your queries from December or have found any answers elsewhere? Please see my comments above as I see these being quite relevant and nobody seems to address them!

  • The GPS on my phone seems to work better in the city (Adelaide) where I have better coverage, than it does in, for example, Rostrevor. Even so, the closest variance I have seen was 53metres, and it flicks from that to 400 metres fairly quickly.
    It also seems to have better GPS reception when it is in my pocket than when it is held flat in my hand.
    The GPS appears to work, but not well. I bought mine on contract from Crazy Johns (which uses Vodafone towers.) Any ideas?

  • I am very impressed with this phone and quite frankly it shits on iPhone-4 and most other phones on the market at the moment in terms of functionality, flexibility, ease of use etc. Nevertheless the problems and bugs mentioned by Glenn (above and some others are very annoying and a big company like HTC should guard their reputation by ironing thos bugs out. At this stage my main gievances are the
    1. losing speed dial numbers after syncing with Outlook using HTCSync
    2. The incredibly basic and inflexible (stupid) design of the HTC Sync program. For a phone of this calibre there should be a good and robust program with heaps more options and I can not believe HTC would settle for such a shit! I am sure it was designed by a 3rd party, but then HTC should have not accepted it at the first place.
    ust to mention one thing (apart from losing the speed dial numbers), why can I not chose which Outlook contact folder I want to syncronise with my phone? I – like many others – have several contact folders for different purposes, so why is it not an option which one is to syncronise with my phone.
    has anybody got any solution to these couple of points?

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