Telstra Desire phones affected by corrupt GPS info

Australian owners of HTC's latest Android-based smartphone, the Desire, have complained of problems with the phone's GPS function.

HTC and the smartphone's sole distributor in Australia, Telstra, have both acknowledged the issue, blaming the telco's custom settings on the phone rather than the GPS hardware itself.

Users on community site Whirlpool have reported an inability for the phone to find a GPS fix, particularly using triangulation assistance features from nearby Wi-Fi routers and mobile towers.

Some users were notified of the issue by Telstra via email over the weekend, but it is not known whether all users have been made aware.

A spokesperson for HTC alerted the media over the weekend, saying that two companies are working closely to urgently resolve the issue.

"After investigating customer reports we have found that the software for this feature is set up incorrectly," the spokesperson said in an email. "The device’s GPS hardware is not affected and will operate once a minor software update is made.

"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."

A spokesperson for Telstra told Computerworld Australia that the telco is looking to issue a fix by the end of the week, either through an over the air update or as a downloadable ROM patch from the company's website. The spokesperson wasn't able to say how many phones were affected.

The local release of the HTC Desire was initially slated for 27 April, but was brought forward to the 21st due to "strong consumer interest".

Telstra has sole telco rights over the phone for the first six months, but the smartphone is unlocked and can be used with any carrier.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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