Samsung was awarded a precious head start in its upgrade path to Android 4.0, but how will its competition respond? HTC may have one of the most difficult jobs ahead, since it has integrated its Sense UI so deeply into the core Android user experience, but that doesn't mean the OEM isn't determining the best road it should take to get to the land of Ice Cream Sandwiches. The company released an official statement following this evening's announcement to confirm that it's looking over the update's new features and functionality, figuring out how to make it happen without forcing sacrifices to the usability and performance of each HTC product. We'll be interested to see what it comes up with, as many of the UI elements popular in Sense appear to now be a part of the stock ICS functionality. The company was careful not to commit to the new Android, nor did it give any particular timeframe or roadmap in the process. Check out the full statement below:

We are excited about the latest update for Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and are currently reviewing its features and functionality to determine our upgrade plans. Our goal for Android updates is to give every customer an improved user experience, which means balancing each phone's unique hardware, HTC Sense experience and the Android kernel. While our goal is to upgrade as many of our recent devices as possible, we are committed to maintaining every phone's performance and usability first. Please stay tuned for more updates on specific device upgrade plans.