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.
Now that there is finally a firm release date for the HTC Thunderbolt (Thursday, March 17, in case you have been in a cave), we thought it would be fun to take a little poll to see just how many of you are willing to forgive the frustration you were put through by all of the delays, or if you have already moved on?
Let us know below where you stand on the HTC Thunderbolt.
Take a deep breath - it's really starting to look like the Thunderbolt saga is approaching the end. Verizon's first 4G LTE device has been through a rollercoaster of predictions, disappointments, and broken promises (over and over), but the latest confirmed date of March 17th we told you about earlier is indeed proving to be legitimate.
As promised, Wirefly just launched the Thunderbolt pre-order page, and if you've been waiting to pick one up, you may be pleasantly surprised.
We have learned from a number of trusted sources that the much-anticipated HTC Thunderbolt will launch this Thursday, March 17. We have also learned that online retailer Wirefly will be offering pre-orders starting at midnight (PST) tonight. The site's Thunderbolt page has not yet been updated to reflect this, but they announced it via their Facebook page. Verizon's first LTE smartphone lists for $249.99, but Wirefly is promising a "special price" for their customers.
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.
While some people were unable to contemplate the possibility that Verizon's all-you-can-eat data plans would be coming to an end, Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo again affirmed the carrier's commitment to move to a tiered system today. When will life start to suck for new or upgrading Verizon customers? This Summer, apparently.
"But David, I already have an unlimited data contract, they have to honor that!" Why yes, they do. Until you want to upgrade to a 4G device, and you have to sign a completely "new" rate plan contract.