Among all the Thunderbolt delay rumors, here comes the latest one from the Roseville Best Buy #129. Their Twitter account, currently followed by 372 people, tweeted a few hours ago that the launch has been delayed further than we were anticipating - till Thursday, March 4th.
If true, this means earlier rumors of the February 24th and 28th launches will have turned out to be false, arousing even more suspicion around the reasons behind such a disastrous release of Verizon's first LTE handset.
For anybody who is planning to buy a Xoom tomorrow, we finally have an idea on how the upgrade to 4G LTE compatibility will work. Instead of just being a simple software update, you'll have to send your device to Motorola, which, while free, will take "up to 6 business days." The process will be available approximately 90 days after the Xoom is released, and will remain available for six months.
The most anticipated Verizon phone of the month, the HTC Thunderbolt, just got its first official commercial, complete with lightning, thunderbolt (no kidding), and a guy on the hunt for HTC's newcomer who ran away straight from the Ocean's 11 set. Two things are for sure - rooftops are definitely cooler than barns, and lightning is always a good idea.
Told you so - the price of the XOOM will indeed be significantly less than $1,200 (at least according to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha). In fact, if you decide to take the WiFi-only route, the tablet will cost just $600 - half of the price Best Buy put up (and subsequently took down). 3G connectivity will come with a $199 premium (jacking the price up to $799), though it's worth noting that the XOOM's radio will see an LTE upgrade sometime down the road.
Last week our friends at WireFly unboxed the HTC Thunderbolt, but spent little time actually using the device. They left us with a few tantalizing tidbits though, saying "this phone cranks," and promising a full video review, as well as head-to-head comparisons with the iPhone 4 and the EVO 4G. Yesterday, the last of the three videos went up - let's take a look.
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.
Verizon is about to add another card to its deck - at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, the carrier intends to announce VoLTE, which will enable voice calls to be routed over their fancy new LTE network. This opens the door for simultaneous voice and data usage, a feature AT&T customers have been bragging about for ages now. Additional benefits include superior call quality between VoLTE-enabled phones, though legacy 3G users will be left behind with no improved call clarity.
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:
32 GB microSD card pre-installed (8 GB of ROM, for a total of 40 GB of storage)
SIM card required for LTE
4.3" 480x800px LCD
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.
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
Android 2.2 w/ HTC Sense 2.0 (the "new" Sense)
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.