Update: The OTA is rolling out now. Go get it! Thanks for the heads-up, James!

We didn't think it was possible. We thought it was abandoned, left on the side of the road where no one would ever find it. Yet here, through the fog, a light comes shining through: Verizon is actually releasing Ice Cream Sandwich for the HTC Thunderbolt. Assuming that users haven't already thrown theirs into a lake by now.


The support page says the update is "coming soon", so we can't confirm exactly when the OTA will roll out, but the important thing to take away here is that it's real, it's definitely coming, and it won't be long now. Thunderbolt owners should be pleased. When it lands, it will be about 395.6MB, so you should probably hop on WiFi. We've reached out to Verizon to find out just when it should be rolling out. When we know, you will.

Of course, Ice Cream Sandwich brings a host of new features including support for new APIs, face unlock, data usage metrics, the slick new recent apps switcher, and all around UI improvements.

Source: Verizon

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/BasicNerf Jason B

    Awesome news of course, but when will they start pushing it out?

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

      We've reached out to Verizon to find out.

      • Havoc70

        "Soon" LMAO

        • mgamerz

          February 2014

    • Deltaechoe

      ICS for thunderbolt "coming soon" (you all know what that means)

    • itznfb

      March, 2016.

  • Frank Klun

    Wow. Just wow.

    Too bad mine is at the bottom of the aforementioned lake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills


    • Falasophist

      laughing across sites i see

      • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

        Oh yeah. Wherever I see it, it's hilarious. And even funnier is I got downvoted on DL and upvoted on AP

    • Guest

      @Falasophist Oh yeah. Wherever I see it, it's hilarious. And even funnier is I got downvoted on DL and upvoted on AP lol

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/ron-amadeo/ Ron Amadeo

    The Galaxy Nexus & ICS were released on November 17th, 2011. So if they released this today, they'd only be 1 year, 2 months, and 14 days late.

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

      Well, nobody could release an ICS update on the day of, unless they're Google. And it wasn't a flagship device by then. So I'd say they're about 7-8 months late.

      • Bleakvision

        What does flagship device even mean, when the term doesn't apply any more a few months after release and excuses are made for the manufacturer by the media?

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

          Meaning that it wasn't being pushed and marketed as the latest and greatest at the time anymore. I see what you mean though - I should have probably phrased it differently.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          To be brutally honest, it wasn't a flagship device when VZW released it. They just released a refreshed DesireHD (Inspire on AT&T) and added a really terrible LTE radio. It was really a phone from late 2010 updated with a processor from early 2011, and released at almost the end of the year. The one and only thing that made it interesting was being the first VZW phone with LTE.

          Most flagship phones remain flagships for at least 6 months, like the HTC One X and SGS3 did. It's fair to say, a device stops being a flagship when it's clear successor replaces it. The Thunderbolt, as I recall (I may easily be mistaken), wasn't even comparable to the best HTC phone on Verizon at the time.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

            the thunderbolt had great lte radios, just a crappy battery

          • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

            I suppose I'm not being precise enough. It was actually the software running the LTE radio that I was talking about. That was one of the contributing factors to the infamous data drop bug (where people would lose data and couldn't get it back without restarting or doing a battery pull). It's not that I don't understand the situation, it was a CDMA carrier trying to be first to market with a GSM-based technology that was effectively untested. Even if the hardware was fine, the software was doomed to some initial problems.

            Of course, the LTE radio was also an external component, so it gobbled up battery like the cookie monster. Again, it's not the hardware that was bad, just the nature of the beast. External radios aren't as power-efficient.

          • itznfb

            Yeah. The Thunderbolt STILL has the best LTE radio available on any smartphone.

          • TylerChappell

            It came out on March 17th, 2011. I bought it two weeks later on April 2nd. The battery was terrible, and after a few weeks, had horrible reboot issues that would kill 10% of the battery. Those problems were fixed once it finally received Gingerbread in like early october 2011. It was solid for me until about 2 months ago when my vol+ button simply wouldnt work.
            That thing is built like a tank though, but I have since moved onto the DNA.
            But out of the initial 3 Verizon LTE phones (the Droid Charge and LG Revolution), it was by far the best one and had the best developer community.
            If it wasn't for the dev community, mine would have been died much sooner, and at least this release should spark a couple of solid ROMs

          • Simon Liu

            My friend's mother replaced her fascinate with a droid charge. Basically replacing a galaxy s for a $299 galaxy s with lte. Double facepalm.

  • Norman Farmer

    I haven't used this phone in a while, moved on to the gnexus, sgs3, then the Note II. Better believe I'm gonna dig it out and upgrade it though lol.

  • http://twitter.com/Xeratun Xeratun

    Curse you Verizon! I'd finally totally given up hope of ICS ever reaching my LG Revolution, but now you've rekindled it!

    • J M

      Well, I'm afraid I have some bad news. Of the first three LTE smartphones available from Verizon (the T-Bolt, the Revo, and the Charge), only the T-Bolt will ever get ICS over the air. Verizon left the other two off "the ICS list" way back in last March 2012.

      • http://twitter.com/Xeratun Xeratun

        Yeah yeah.. At this rate I won't have the dang thing even if it did happen. But the Thunderbolt was supposedly never getting it either up until now. Not sure why they really bothered since its been out almost two years now so everybody will be jumping ship for upgrades.

        • Jimymc

          Yeah... Like when are they going to roll out ICS for the Droid Razr? I thought it was supposed to come out before Christmas?

  • Havoc70

    Holy crap really....................Yea right. As usual its their "Soon" BS

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

      Once the docs update, it's usually only a matter of days.

      • Havoc70

        Except we have seen them pull update docs down before too.

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

          Indeed, we have. I don't think they will this time.

          • Havoc70

            One can hope

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

    too bad i no longer have mines, but might see if i get one cheap from ebay

  • http://twitter.com/Bateluer Robert Boluyt

    When did HTC hand the update to Verizon and when did Verizon approve it?

    • N8

      There was an RUU leak mid-last year. Whether that has any resemblance to this current version is anyone's guess until either the current RUU gets leaked or the firmware gets released.

      • TylerChappell

        The RUU leaked back out on like Aug 22nd, but it was super buggy. Terrible battery life, and reboot issues, as well as finicky wifi and data drops, it was Froyo all over again! Hopefully those issues have been fixed. But since it's HTC + Verizon, who knows.
        I don't intend to buy another HTC device ever again after my DNA, which I bought solely for it's hardware, and have been super happy with so far.

  • LiamBryant

    The best part is Verizon's statement: "When you rely on Verizon Wireless, you know you are getting the cutting-edge devices and technology..." It's as if they aren't aware of all the updates the refuse to push to their devices.

    • Aleksey_US

      yep a year late... and just dropped support for toro...

      • LiamBryant

        Eh, it's a good thing pretty much everybody who has a Galaxy Nexus knows how to root and flash CM10.1.

  • http://twitter.com/one4thegooddays Yehuda Schupper

    I don't think it was their HAT they pulled this out of.

    • Havoc70

      No it was the other end =)

      • Stephen Cook

        Their shoe?

    • flosserelli

      No sh!t. I was about to post the same thing.

  • http://www.mobiletechview.com J_Dav1

    I almost had a hard attack. I'm happy for the thunderbolt owners. I got rid of mine a long time ago though for the SGS3 and it was the best phone decision I ever made.

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

      Who attacked you so hard?

      • http://www.mobiletechview.com J_Dav1

        There fixed. lol.

    • http://www.mobiletechview.com J_Dav1

      *heart lol

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

    Show of hands - does anyone actually still use this phone?

    • Havoc70

      The wife is

      • RichA

        Left VZW , and sold the T-Bolt back in April, 2012.

        • Havoc70

          Good Choice

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      I used it as a webcam several months ago. Does that count?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dominick-White/642535026 Dominick White

      i will go with no,

    • http://www.mobiletechview.com J_Dav1

      My mom has mine. So I shall update it for her when it comes out.

    • gmquinto

      I still use mine! Although it hasn't been stock/non-rooted since around July or August of 2011 (and I got it near the end of June 2011). Liquid's ROMs pretty much saved me from needing to get a new phone, but i'll probably be upgrading in 2-3 months.

      • Big_al

        I am right there with ya. I am/will always be a TBOLT fan. I did everything I could to enjoy it rooting and the like. Waiting for after the MWC, there are some killer devices coming. 2-3 months is a good plan.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jan.soris Jan Soris

      I'm using it. My 2 year contract is up in March. Nexus 4 is arriving tomorrow though and I'm switching to t mobile month to month. I was a verizon customer for 8 years but the Thunderbolt support was pathetic and then they dropped the unlimited plan for new subsidized plans. F you, Verizon.

    • http://www.facebook.com/emoryu21 Marty Lange

      I've had my thunderbolt for a year and 4 months, and I'd only give it up for a Galaxy SIII, or an SIV once it comes out.

    • Dialecticus

      I would have gotten a different phone if it weren't for Verizon pissing on its unlimited customers. I love my phone, my first smartphone and I bought it myself (was 17). I should get a new phone because the center of my screen is now unresponsive to touch (If I touch the center it will 'touch' either just to the left or right), but I can still type in landscape. I would get Galaxy series, but I want to keep my unlimited 4g, choices...

    • itznfb

      Define "use". I have a Galaxy Nexus and a Razr HD that I switch back and forth with on Verizon. My Thunderbolt is still used as a video surveillance camera in my home :D Does that count?

    • http://twitter.com/winapp2 Robbie Ward

      I do, but I have been using Thundershed since August.

    • Bill

      I use it! Not a damn thing wrong with it.

    • Ally Quinn

      Yep....still using this phone. Says something about original smartphones, rooting, and durabitly. Before I got my Tbolt I went through about a dozen shoddy Samung POS's with faulty speakers and screens. Once I got my Thunderbolt, I knew I had a phone, not a plastic toy. And since Verizon won't let me upgrade my phone without getting rid of my unlimited, I'll use this phone until it is destroyed, then try to buy another one off of Ebay.

  • Dalembert

    Any hope still for the desire hd owners?

    • heath

      no hope in hell. root and flash blackout is very good.

  • Jrocker23

    Wow, and I have up mine for the dna... Damn... congrats to the tbolt owner(s)

  • http://www.facebook.com/marcus.blough Marcus Blough

    This is going to get the DesireHD forums worked into a frenzy again.

  • BHazard

    Lol Verizon. When will more people start leaving you? Hopefully soon.

    • Bariman43

      I've already started cutting myself off from Verizon after a year of dealing with their ridiculous prices and shitty update cycle. Canceled my contract and am now regretfully in the process of paying off what I owe, as much I believe Verizon doesn't deserve a cent of it.

  • Sherman J. Buster

    Sorry, but this isn't a miracle. A miracle would've been having this phone working right when it was released, then upgrading the software in a timely manner. I rooted and ROMed my TBolt long ago, and thanks to the developer community, I've been on ICS for awhile now. As soon as my tax return gets here, I'm buying something else off contract. That way I don't have to deal with the PoS TBolt until our contract ends. After that, we're jumping ship. Why? Because my wife (who says she is technologically impaired and won't let me root her phone) hates Verizon's software update cycle as much as I do. What does she have? The Galaxy Nexus.

  • John Gills

    Oh wow, a week before verizon is offering me a new upgrade, they are releasing ICS for my thunderbolt.

  • http://twitter.com/ascendantlogic Matthew Case

    Calling shenanigans.

  • Scott

    At least they included a new version of Sense. The OG EVO got left out in the cold, never updated it past 1.0 which it launched with. 2.1 would have been a nice refresher.

  • N8

    As a current Thunderbolt user, I can only say "it's about damned time!" and "I'll take this with a grain of salt until it starts rolling out".

    I'm only hoping this won't be as bad as the 4.0.4 update my wife's AT&T Galaxy S2 got - that was a cluster. Ended up having to ROM it to keep it from getting the "sleep of death" multiple times per day.

    I'd be running ICS now, but it's not an option for my phone - company issue, with MobileIron, so it would squeal on me the minute I got ClockWorkMod on it.

  • Mecha

    wow, my Thunderbolt is my backup to me DNA. works good and rooted but it shows its age. wow. may need to update my Tbolt now beyond all the Custom Roms i have on it

  • Chris Lashley

    Too bad for big red I jumped to the N4 because of their inexcusable delays.

  • flosserelli

    ICS source code was made available November 2011. Yes, it takes time for carriers to run compatibility tests, make tweaks, add bloatware, etc., but 14 months is ridiculous.

  • coolsilver

    YOU GOT TO BE FUCKING SHITTING ME! That figures. I just went back to GB and thinking you know they will end up coming out with ICS as soonas I get tiall loaded back up. Luckly I have a Nandroid backup. XD

  • Skylar McNeil

    Hopefully this means the Incredible 2 will be getting its OTA soon aswell...

  • cy_n_ic

    I hear they are working on the much anticipated update for the bag phone for those that are still hanging on to that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.soris Jan Soris

    Just bought a Nexus 4 yesterday. What perfect timing, Verizon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.moch.10 Chris Moch

    LOL!!!! I threaten to drown mine daily.. it's one of the little games I like to play helps keep one sane

  • Bariman43

    This makes me even more glad I rooted my phone and ditched Verizon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brodrick.flowers Brodrick Flowers

    And where is the support for the Droid Charge? You know, the phone I got rid of my Thunderbolt for because I hated the weight and terrible battery?

    • Simon Liu

      All of those first lte phones were terrible, though I thought the Thunderbolt was a better value by the time the charge came out.

  • Christopher Nelson

    Ok, I know this may seem like I'm bitching, but the HTC vivid is over a year old now and has NOT received an update (I do not consider the ics update seing as this was supposed to LAUNCH with it) Ganted, not a lot of people bought this phone, but those of us who have feel screwed over (Especially if they have a 2 year contract, one more year with this is pretty bad)

  • Elias

    Looks like Verizon wants to please their customers who are tech savvy enough to care about updates, yet not tech savvy enough to root and rom their devices. Or maybe they want to prove themselves worthy of a Nexus. Too bad this only goes to prove CDMA is shit and GSM Nexii is the way to go if you want updates while you still care about them.

  • JG

    Dear Verizon! I'm excited to see update love for the older phones.... May I ask when other older phones will be updated as well, like my Droid X.... The press release blurb for the last OTA update you sent it included "Improved stability for future OTA updates" which means you've got something cooking (or maybe I should say freezing) for it right?? HTC's One V shipped with ICS & comparable hardware specs so the X should be powerful enough to run ICS....

  • John O’Connor


  • http://www.facebook.com/MOD64 Timothy Adams

    it should say "When you rely on Verizon Wireless, you know you are getting" the software that is over a year old and outdated, a network that goes down without any explanation and the worst customer service in the world!

    • flosserelli

      "When you rely on Verizon Wireless, you know you are getting f*cked up the ass" would be more accurate.

  • FrillArtist

    Verizon is so full of it. Just read the first paragraph of that picture.

  • Bill

    The update just hit my phone now! Just started the download. Sweet! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312291338 Tim Miller

    All three people that are still using a Thunderbolt are probably leaping for joy!

  • rob

    It was a mistake from the start. That phone is garbage what a waste

    • flosserelli

      The phone was the first LTE device on a major US carrier. It had its shortcomings, just like any other 1st-gen technology. But I wouldn't label it total garbage or a complete waste. Yes, I had to buy 2 spare batteries in order to use it like I wanted to, but despite its flaws I thoroughly enjoyed mine until the day I sold it.


    What is with this article title? There is no "miracle" here. Both Verizon and HTC should have their pee-pees slapped for this ridiculous saga they called "radio issues" and "setbacks", not praised like they pulled off a hat-trick with a man down and seconds to spare. For fark's sake, this is part of the problem.