From what we've seen around the AP offices, the Thunderbolt is the most highly-anticipated Android phone in some time. It's no surprise, either: between HTC's respectable name, tested-and-true hardware, and LTE, all accounts describe it as a fantastic piece of kit. HTC has released a short promo video featuring some of the key employees behind development of the device, and it's actually a surprisingly well-shot, well-cut, interesting view - definitely worth the few minutes it takes to watch it.
Today is finally the day. The Thunderbolt has arrived and you have your shiny new toys in your hands. You just might be enjoying data speeds that some Wi-Fi connections would envy. We went poking around a little and found some impressive results floating around the web already (and we also want to know what kinds of speeds you are getting).
First, one big thing to keep in mind with all that you have heard about Thunderbolt LTE speeds is that the Speedtest.net app, commonly the first way to easily test data speeds, isn't working properly with the Thunderbolt.
A research firm is claiming that Sprint is not only transitioning to LTE, but that the process is already well under way. Supposedly codenamed by Sprint "Project Leapfrog," Gerson Lehrman Group says they have knowledge of Sprint's switch and that it will apparently take place over the course of the next three years.
"Sprint has initiated project leapfrog with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Samsung to upgrade its network to LTE," cited the report.
However, thanks to Amazon Wireless, haters now have one less reason to pick on the ThunderBolt: the online retailer is selling Verizon's first LTE phone for just $179.99 - $70 less than the official $249.99 price.
Just when we thought that news about the HTC Thunderbolt was going to die down now that the mystery of its long-anticipated launch has been solved, word comes that Best Buy will only be offering the LTE phone at the $249.99 price until March 20 -after which it will be $299.99. While the phone has generated a lot of buzz, it's hard not to view this price hike as Best Buy shooting themselves in the foot.
They say "talk is cheap" - and these days it seems like every major US wireless carrier is claiming to have the fastest 4G (of course 4G is a highly debatable marketing term that describes three vastly different networks, but that's fodder for another post altogether). It's relatively easy to tune all of the marketing hype out but, when presented with some solid numbers, it gets easier to pay attention. PC World has tried to give us some raw data to work with in their profiling of the data speeds on the four major providers.
Way to pour salt on your customers' wounds there,
Verizon authorized Verizon retailer: pictures have surfaced of a new flyer arriving in customers' homes (obtained by Droid Life) that shows the HTC Thunderbolt with the words "Now Available" beneath it. No, this isn't an unexpected dream come true for Verizon customers, it seems like a flub by an authorized dealer (it's unclear to us which one) that certainly can't help calm the restless natives.
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.
You can chalk up another false rumor on the list of "impending releases" for the HTC Thunderbolt. The latest speculation to be debunked is that the March 10 date that had been teased is a no-go, according to a leaked Verizon chart picked up by Droid Life. The internal memo shows the much-delayed Verizon phone falling sometime after the iPad 2 launch (which is March 11).
This news makes sense, as, despite the anticipation for the first 4G phone on Verizon's LTE network, the iPad 2 launch would likely take priority with Big Red.
4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays.