"Readers may point out that for years HTC was been selling phones in EMEA with only the bare minimum of support. Indeed, but that was on the back of years of success, based on great design. It took a while for this reputation to fade. Google doesn't have years of reputation as a hardware king. And HTC's numbers tell their own story. Google now owns the cream of HTC's phone division."
I've mentioned before my experience of HTC on these fine forums - I wouldn't even call their support in 2011 "bare minimum", nor their design/quality "great". Non-existent was more like it. My second HTC handset was a HTC Sensation with the random shutdown bug - it would just randomly turn itself off. At first HTC wanted me to buy my own replacement battery to see if that fixed it - it was only when escalated to a supervisor did they grudgingly agree to send a free one. There was a few mediocre attempts to get me to shove off, including telling me to do a factory reset but nothing fixed it. I swore off HTC with that handset and never looked back - considering how HTC have gone since I guess I wasn't the only one they royally pissed off with no regard for the consequences and it's caught up on them. Frankly Google must have known what they were buying from HTC and HTC's numbers would have made clear their ability to keep customers happy and turn them into repeat customers.
Google have two options - fess up with a mea culpa then dig deep to 1. sort out the problem for existing owners and 2. design something that works properly next time; or abandon the lot and sweep it under the carpet. Based on the long list of Google abandonware I wonder which they'll pick?