thunderbolt delay again

Yesterday, we heard that yet another (unconfirmed) HTC Thunderbolt "release date" was a big dud, but today, we have some even more disappointing news for eager LTE customers: Verizon chief technology officer Tony Melone said that customers will have 4G phones in their hands "by the end of the second quarter." Yes, that would mean by the end of June - probably not anytime soon. While Melone intended to highlight their pursuit of excellence in this interview, I think most of us can already hear the collective groan from Verizon customers who have been anticipating the upcoming HTC Thunderbolt.

This from Melone:

I guess our expectations change, but we had said first half of this year at CES, quite frankly, we think that exceeded people’s expectations. A year ago, people didn’t believe that there would be LTE smartphones in 2011. First half of the year is what we promised, first half of the year is still on track. So we don’t believe there are any new or surprising issues. I think what we’re facing is what you would expect, and that is a new technology, you are working through issues. And we anticipated that, and we are pleased at how we are working through issues. And as I said, you are going to see LTE smartphones on the network as promised, before the first half — before the second half of the year, by the end of the second quarter.

When asked about the rumors that horrendous battery life was the reason for the long delay of the phone's release, Melone danced around the question with expertise that a politician would envy:

I would say all the issues are being worked. I’m not sure I would say there are any key issues. Again, battery life has always been a topic of folks, no different than it was with 3G. The OEMs and ourselves, between the network and the device, we’ll optimize it and provide a battery experience that we believe will be acceptable to consumers.

While we are confident that Verizon will deliver a quality product when it arrives, it appears that they are aware of the growing angst among some of their customers and are trying to put out the flames with some spin. All of the other major US carriers have released 4G-capable phones, and Verizon is noticeably lagging behind.

Would you rather see Verizon release an imperfect LTE phone and perhaps patch it with updates, or are you content with waiting? ...Or have you jumped ship and gotten yourself an EVO or Inspire? Let us know in the comments.

Source: ZDNET via Android and Me, Droid Life

Will Shanklin
Will's typical, run-of-the-mill story is that of 'classically-trained actor turned Android smartphone and tablet writer.' If you catch him quoting Shakespeare, it's not because he misses it, but because he desperately wants his Masters in drama to count towards something.

Sir William dwelleth in the fair haven
Chicago; with his fair maid'n Jess and his
trusty cur, Ziggy.
  • annoynamous

    Yeah that's okay but can somebody please tell me when froyo (android 2.2) is going to the samsung fascinate? It's been WAY too long of a wait, almost a year now since they promised us

  • Joe

    Verizon is setting themselves up for failure, IMO Verizon should have never allowed Best Buy to start collecting peoples hard earned money for pre-orders for a phone that wont be released until months after, what a joke. I am happy that I did not get suckered into that. However the IPhone 4 was a complete bust for Verizon, they need to just accept the fact that the Iphone is old and people want the "new" (TB) I would not be surprised if they began losing customers over this, not that they have not released a phone more of just the way they are conducting business as a whole.

    • James

      *facepalm* I'm not even going to deal with you... and the iPhone was not a bust, retard. Get your facts straight.

  • mark pagano

    Wow, what a long wait for the thunderbolt, but ill continue waiting, i will not settle in for anything else but the very best. We all know how iphones, samsungs and blackberry sucks, so is natural for verizon to take advantage and clean up storage because once the TB is out probably theyll have to donate the iphones to governments or schools.

    • James

      Whatever. I'm sorry, but this is the real world. Not some made-up fanboy heaven. Grow-up.

      • mark pagano

        Oh, thanks, your answer was so professional, keep going.

        • James

          And yours was any better? You really do live in a fantasy.

  • Scott

    Ive been a dedicated android fan since the g1. I gotta say I was pumped about the thunderbolt, but im getting bored with poor quality apps. No hdmi output? Not big, but they know what we want and keep missing it. And I hate how they only release new software to newer phones. Took forever to update my droid x which I hate. I hate to say it but im going to wait for the iphone 5 and im getting the ipad2. Xoom is a little weak. No apps.

  • Sam

    ...anticipating the upcoming HTC Thunderbird.

    It's not the Thunderbird, it's the Thunderbolt

  • Bill

    I knew this was going to happen. It's nice that VZ finally came out and made a statement but it's too late for me. They started the hype by the advertising when they did, then coming out with a new T-Bolt on a rooftop in the lightening, and then squashing the release date several times "according to Best Buy unless they don't know from a hole in the ground and it was all hearsay." But they had to know all the rumors that were flying around and Best Buy preselling the phone when there was not a firm release date, and then just sat back until it was almost too late. I would have thought a lot more of them if they would have come out with this statement after the first release date was passed. I have been with VZ for years but this was definitely a poor management follow-through. I am definitely going to pass on the T-Bolt now and wait for the Droid Bionic. With its dual processors and its capabilities I think it will be a better phone. It is supposed to be released in May unless they put so much hype on the T-Bolt that they won't allow the release of the new Droid until they have met their sales quota for the T-Bolt so they won't lose sales. But me personally when this many excuses surface about a phone it makes me leery and I appreciate the fact they want to iron out all the bugs but it should have been done prior to the first release date being posted and advertising the phone hard. I'm waiting for the Bionic. This is just my personal feelings so don't anyone take this personally.

  • FX111

    I'm willing to wait, If all of this has to do with the battery life of the device I would rather have them fix it then to have to carry a charger around with me just to make it through the day.

    This actually makes me happy, I'm one of those people who always gets the extended battery on any phone I have, I'm hoping that with the extended bat and the fixes that they are working on the battery life will be in the epic neighborhood.

    • MicroNix

      Something sounds fishy though. This isn't the first time HTC has made a phone and there are other 4G phones on the market that are not having battery issues. I'm not buying the explaination. To have a phone being advertised doesn't mean it is in phase 1 of design. It means its being mass produced for an upcoming release. You don't mass produce a phone until it QAs.

  • Droid User


    1. Can't spell the name of CTO properly and use different spellings in the article.

    2. Called the phone the Thunderbird.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Thank you, both are fixed up.

  • Elvis

    Nobody will buy it, why bother when ALL the other high-end phones have dual-core, etc. (bionic) unless they plan on releasing it fairly cheap, I don't see how they could imagine selling very many of these...

  • MicroNix

    Conspiracy theory here...what if Apple paid VZW a big bag of cash to delay any Android 4G phone launch until after iPhone 5 which could be LTE? That would be so Apple right now...

  • Stewart

    I think apple has a lot to do with it, Just think about it, this is the one phone that can take smartphone arena by storm, ( funny Huh) but it can , and Apple will do everything it can to delay it. And has the deep pockets to do it. It is call war folks, It how it done in this world. Just my opinion.

    I still want it! and Yes I will wait! but now the price may have come down to $199.00 to $239.00 price range. what else will be out on the market at $300.00 and is a smartphone in June. I guess a lot will depend on cost of a gallon of gas in June can you say $9 a gal :) maybe we should buy oil stock and not smartphones.

  • Andy

    I know its sounds ridiculous, but at this point a flawed device would be fine by me. I was expexting this to come out weeks ago.

  • Dominick

    If they're going to take that long they should fix what people don't like about it, add an HDMI out thus better graphics processor (while it's benchmarks were very good, the gaming scores were not), move the charger to away from where it is now so you can watch movies horizontally WHICH charging, some people are waiting for the Bionic so they can have a dual core, but I don't know if it would be faster. Though I'd also like a dedicated camera button, and a screen with the same width as the Evo.

  • Dominick

    move the charger to away from where it is now so you can watch movies horizontally besides vertically WHILE charging even...

  • Scott

    Requesting hardware changes at this point is, well... pointless... the phone has already been manufactured... the only thing going to change at this time would be firmware or software...

    I have to agree that I would take a flawed device and wait for updates just to get my hands on the phone...

  • Dar

    TIERED plans people. Thats the real reason for the delay. The interviewer game him an out witht he battery question. The battery willbe no better in june than what it is now. They want to sucker as many new contracts as they can with tiered data plans.