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.
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.
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.
A short while ago, the Best Buy Grand Rapids Facebook page prematurely posted a status update indicating the release dates of the Motorola XOOM tablet and the HTC Thunderbolt.
The status update suggests that the Motorola XOOM will be available for sale at Best Buy from February 24, while the HTC Thunderbolt will be available starting February 14 (the day after Mobile World Congress 2011 officially kicks off). Additionally, the Verizon iPhone 4 will be coming to Best Buy on February 10, and the Samsung Presto 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot will be available from February 17.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
HTC Thunderbolt, announced at CES earlier this year, may only seem like it's underpowered compared to the dual-core offerings, but according to a very early unboxing by someone named Michael, it's quite a beast with some very admirable features. I don't know how Michael got his hands on this device so early - perhaps he's a tester, a ninja reviewer, or a VZW employee receiving Thunderbolt training (I'm most likely inclined to side with the latter), but he does spill some interesting details that I've summarized below, conveniently mixed in with some specs.