10
Feb
IMG_8096_wm_thumb1 (1)

First it was a mystery. Then it was the 14th of February. After that, it was indeterminately postponed. And now, Android Central is reporting that the Thunderbolt will finally launch on February 24th.

This lines up perfectly with Droid Life's earlier speculations, though of course, it's always possible that Verizon will push the date back yet again. Because, you know, it's not like anyone is eagerly awaiting the carrier's first 4G phone or anything.

10
Feb
wm_IMAG0143

The Thunderbolt just can't come soon enough, can it? It seems we've been talking about this beast forever, and Best Buy even officially announced pre-orders, but the uncertainty regarding the actual release date has been killing us. Is it the 14th, the 24th, or something else?

And now it's not the only thing killing us - a tip confirmed by 2 sources points to a whopping $749 full retail price of the Thunderbolt, at least judging by the information currently in Best Buy's systems.

08
Feb
thunderbolt_wirefly

Our pals over at WireFly have done an unboxing video of a production Thunderbolt, and at 7 minutes long, it provides a good look at what customers can expect to find in the box. See for yourself:

Notable points:

  • 32 GB microSD card pre-installed (8 GB of ROM, for a total of 40 GB of storage)
  • Kickstand
  • SIM card required for LTE
  • Dual-LED flash
  • 4.3" 480x800px LCD
  • Android 2.2.1
  • 8 MP camera around back, 1.3 MP in front

Although they just barely play with the phone while it's powered on, they mentioned in an email that "This phone cranks." They also mention that WireFly will be selling the device "soon." How soon that is is up for debate though, especially in light of today's delay.

08
Feb
alt

Some internal document sent somewhere at some point today was captured by someone and then sent on to Droid-Life, and the news it contains isn't going to be making anyone particularly happy:

thunderbolt-delay

Here's the deal: the Thunderbolt won't be launching on the 14th (next week). Amazon and Best Buy apparently had it wrong, and Amazon has since updated its page to reflect that unknown launch date.

The Thunderbolt's Mobile Hotspot feature has also been pushed back, but I would assume this is merely to accommodate the device's new release date.

04
Feb
htc-desire-2

A German HTC fan blog by the name HTC Inside published a shot from Vodafone's internal inventory system last night, revealing the existence of an HTC phone by the name "Desire 2". Phandroid pointed out that this may be a European version of the upcoming and equally mysterious dual-core Pyramid, and I'd say that's not too farfetched a theory.

htc-desire-2

We'll probably find out what this thing is at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (which starts on the 14th), so the mystery shouldn't last a whole lot longer.

03
Feb
chart-of-the-day-htc-gorss-proft-feb-2011

Business Insider took a look at HTC's gross profit, and noticed something interesting: since the introduction of the Nexus One, the company's gross profit has nearly tripled. Although the Nexus One was a flop by sales standards (although certainly not by consumer standards - I've yet to meet an N1 owner who doesn't swear by the phone), there were clearly positive implications in building the device for HTC.

chart-of-the-day-htc-gorss-proft-feb-2011

It's hard to say what caused the massive increase - whether because building the flagship device provided the company with valuable experience, because it coincided with Android hitting its stride, or because of the attention the company received for being chosen by Google.

03
Feb
htc

Another day, another Android phone rumour. Android And Me received a tip from a "regular source" about HTC's first dual-core smartphone set to launch on T-Mobile in May 2011. The phone, codenamed the "Pyramid", will reportedly feature a 1.2GHz dual-core MSM8260 Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm, a 4.3-inch qHD display (with a resolution of 960x540), and support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network for 4G connectivity.

We do not wish to speculate on the veracity of this rumour, however Taylor from Android And Me has stated that the regular source has provided accurate information in the past and in this case, TmoNews has confirmed the rumour through another independent source.

01
Feb
HTC_Inspire_4G

The first of AT&T's entourage of Androids for 2011 has had its release date and pricing set in stone. The Inspire 4G, essentially an AT&T version of the Thunderbolt, will be dropping on February 13th for 99 bucks on contract or upgrade pricing. And for a double-digit price, the Inspire 4G is packing some respectable specs.

  • 4.3"  SLCD display
  • 1GHz single-core processor
  • HSPA+ connectivity (AT&T's first stab at "4G")
  • 8MP Rear camera
  • 768MB RAM
  • Android 2.2 w/ HTC Sense 2.0 (the "new" Sense)

HTC_Inspire_4G

What remains unknown is whether or not AT&T will charge a premium fee for access to its HSPA+ "4G." Given the fact that AT&T has made explicit its plans to eventually roll out true LTE 4G in Q4 2011, it might serve their publicity machine better to keep data plan rates as they are until that time.

31
Jan
canalysis1

Just a few weeks after Android became the number one smartphone platform in the US, Canalys is reporting that strong sales of Android devices in Q4 2010 has helped it overtake Nokia's Symbian OS to became the world's best selling mobile platform.

canalysis1

33.3 million Android-based devices were sold globally in Q4 2010, compared with 31.0 million Symbian-based phones and 16.2 million iPhones.

Android's growth is astonishing. In Q4 2009 it sold a mere 4.7 million units, a year later shipments have jumped by over 600%.

31
Jan
thunderbolt-external-compare1

A couple of leaked Verizon charts popped up on Droid Life this morning, their contents? HTC Thunderbolt propaganda - well, at least in one of them.

thunderbolt-external-compare1

If Verizon's estimated LTE speeds aren't just hot air, then Sprint and T-Mobile (and AT&T) should probably be worried right now. Sprint's smartphone plan price hike probably isn't winning them any points, and T-Mobile's 4G handsets aren't exactly new and exciting (G2, myTouch, or a rehashed Vibrant - take your pick).

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