HTC Thunderbolt Release Rumor Roundup: Have Your Say

The phone that most people seem to be talking about at the moment is the HTC Thunderbolt, due to come to Verizon. This is an impressive looking device but a lot of attention has been taken away from what a great handset it is, simply because of the delays in giving everyone a release date, and sticking to it. Various release dates and reasons for delays have been reported in the last few weeks and we thought we’d round that up for you so you can get an idea of the overall picture.

We know from comments to our articles just how many of you are becoming frustrated at the chopping-and-changing release news so if you’d like to share your thoughts about this then please have your say by using the comments box below. We’ll link to some of our previous articles so to find out more about a particular aspect click on the link for the full story. The HTC Thunderbolt will be the first 4G phone for the Verizon LTE network so there’s an awful lot of interest in it and athough a release may not have been officially confirmed, the various leaks certainly implied different dates at different times.

The first release rumor we had was back in January when it was widely reported that the release would be soon as Verizon staff training for the product was already taking place. Further to that many people were pretty sure we’d hear something about a release date from MWC 2011 in Barcelona but this never materialized. Leaked Best Buy documents then revealed that Thunderbolt accessories would be arriving in stock on February 19 so this suggested a release within a few days of that.

By the end of January a date of February 24 was being leaked to tech sites by sources but then a leaked Best Buy inventory screenshot became available which showed a date of February 14. Many people were very glad at this point that it seemed the Thunderbolt would be arriving sooner rather than later. By the beginning of February Verizon was also sending out teasers via Twitter to whet people’s appetites for this much-awaited Android smartphone, to say the arrival of the Thunderbolt would be sooner rather than later. Just after that another ‘leaked’ Best Buy document, this time an advert, said that pre-orders would be available the following week for the phone that was coming soon. The news of pre-orders opening was exactly what people were waiting to hear.

By February 5 we started to hear speculation that the Thunderbolt release may be delayed because Verizon did not want to overshadow the release of the iPhone 4 on its network and a date of February 28 for the Thunderbolt release was then bandied about. On February 6 we brought news that pre-orders were now officially open and some of our readers who placed pre-orders in-store were told the phone was coming on February 14, while others were told that there was no firm release date. The next snippet of news we heard was that Amazon had listed a date for the Thunderbolt to go on sale as February 14 so by now things were getting very confusing and people were starting to get a little bothered.

Shortly afterwards though, Amazon had removed this release date and the next we heard was that the release date would be between February 17 and 24. We’ll just take a quick pause for breath here…right let’s continue. The next on this came from various reports to various tech sites saying the official release date would be February 24, followed by another leaked Best Buy ad, which also listed the release date as February 24. So far so good, things were looking promising.

By February 15 we reported that HTC CEO Peter Cho, was saying that the device was being shipped that week and a teaser video from Verizon for the Thunderbolt was also placed on YouTube. The Verizon website page for the Thunderbolt had also changed to read that the Thunderbolt would strike soon, so all the signs were there for a February 24 release. Shortly after this though, we heard that the release date was being put back to February 28 and then also reported that different Best Buy ads were listing two conflicting prices for the Thunderbolt. The next sign (bear with us we’re nearly at the end) was yet another Verizon ad for the Thunderbolt being placed on YouTube. Surely they wouldn’t tease us further if the phone’s release was not imminent right?

Sadly the next thing we heard was that the release had been delayed again, this time the news was tweeted by a Best Buy store and the Twitter message added a possible release date of March 4. We had a big response from readers on this news and most of them were getting thoroughly fed up with waiting while some were starting to wonder if there was something wrong with the handset preventing its release. Two days ago we told how an HTC training employee had stated that it was merely politics between HTC, Verizon and Best Buy that was causing the release delays and that Thunderbolts were being churned out so there was nothing wrong with the handsets. In the same article we told of a leaked Best Buy roadmap, which now listed the release for March 10, and you guessed it, the Best Buy store tweet about a March 4 release date had been deleted.

The last piece of news we had was only yesterday when we told how it seemed the Thunderbolt could have some technical issues after all and that these were the main reasons for the delay. Apparently a firmware update was in the offing to solve some problems with battery and signal issues. At the same time we also noted that the Verizon ads previously accessible on YouTube are now marked “private” and are no longer viewable by the public so this seems to indicate yet further delays.

If all of this hasn’t deterred you from the actual phone itself and you want to see more about it (and let’s not forget that until now there have been a lot of positive things said about the actual handset), then check out the HTC product page for it here. So, we come to the end of this sorry saga and like you, can only wonder at what we may hear next. Will Verizon and HTC surprise us all and finally get their act together?

We’ve previously said that the way they’ve handled this is somewhat of a marketing disaster as so many people now feel so frustrated it’s put them off buying the phone at all. Many of you, and us, might have preferred some more simple plain talking from the companies involved but we’d like to hear your thoughts on this so feel free to have your say by sending your comments to us. Are you willing to keep waiting or is it time for HTC and Verizon to come clean?

  • chris

    i am still getting it. love my moto droid and the storage in addition to the new features of the Tbolt are great. 300 bucks is getting pricy but if an i phone can cost that why not a android phone.

  • Vernon

    The bottom line is this…………….

    Verizon has NEVER……….did you catch that……….NEVER announced an official release date, so all of the reported release dates that came and went were just rumors that were spread by people that THOUGHT that they knew something that they didn't. Trust me, I want a Thunderbolt also, to replace a windows based phone that I have, but…………..I will have to wait just like the rest of y'all until there is something official and there is an actual RELEASE of the phone. I can't believe how upset everyone is getting over a damn phone, and especially over "release dates" that are not even release dates, just rumors. If there truly are problems with the phone, rumored skype issues, rumored battery issues, rumored 3g/4g switch issues, then let Verizon/HTC work out the issues before they release the phone. It's only a phone people, it not the cure for cancer!

  • Gene

    This saga with the Thunderbolt has gotten ridiculous. I put a $50 deposit down at Best Buy with plans of switching from T-Mobile to Verizon for this phone. I have heard all the excuses as to why the release dates are being pushed back. Now I am worried this phone is going to be a great disappointment and will probably stick with T-Mobile

  • Criss

    Hey. I had just bought the Verizon iPhone and am thinking of switching to the Thunder bolt because of the 4g. Is it worth it. Are the data speeds on this phone a lot different then the 3G phones? The thunder bolt does seem like a nice phone, but I’m not sure. Another question: Is this also a world phone?

  • Criss

    How much is the data plan? Is it he same as 3G phones?

  • presto3344

    I would not hold your breath for the March 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th ect… release date. I have been dead on thus far with my info and predictions. Verizon just keeps dropping the ball. The Thunderbolt has been a huge disappointment and it has not even been released yet. This phone will be marked down to $150.00 before the summer even starts and everyone will have forgotten all about the Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt is alot of rumbling and no big thunder bang or lightning to follow. What a joke so far. I am going to pass on the Thunderbolt. Also, no Skype upon release (per rumors) and no comfirmed release date. What a disappointment for a phone that had so much hype. It is not that hard if they just think of customer relations and keep people imformed. The iphone 4 (or was that the iphone 3, ha ha) was a bust and the Thunderbolt is going to be a bigger bust if Verizon is involved. I would like to see the quarterly earnings for Verizon after not delivering once again.

  • Smalley

    Seriously? Come clean?!? We should go take them around back with gallons of soap and cold hose water so these idiots can clean up their act.

    How many potential upgrades, sales, and new contracts have they lost at this point? How many are teetering on edge, waiting to get their next spoonful of gracious gravel flavored lies and be forced to wash it down with Diet Deceit before they have their fill and just “settle”?

    At this point, I am fairly sure there are quite a few people that have and are going to just go for the best Android on the market at this time. Hell. Maybe even an iPhone?

    Sure the public is fickle. We love our toys. Our gadgets. But the quickest way to lose customers is repeated lies, scams, and cover-ups. HTC. Best Buy. Verizon. At this point so late in the game, you’d figure one of them would have something of and exllaination

  • Robin

    COME CLEAN VERIZON…. quit jerking us around…. I am thinkin of sticking with APPLE 4 OR possibly iphone 5 NOw considering the rumors…. whether true or not… there is a reason for the delay …. and I don't wanna be one of the ones finding out AFTER I bought the Thunderbolt!

  • Smalley

    (Sorry. Nothing can spoil a good rant like big thumbs on a MotoDroid keypad!)

    …explaination. It is seems more like who can hold out the longest. A perverse game of Monkey in the Middle, where the public fights over scraps of information…hoping for that next “leak”. That new “official” release date.

    How many have come and gone? The Handset of Zeus has yet to be released but the Three Faces of Hades delivered unto us much disappointment as each comes to pass. Like dark warriors, whose intent is misdeeds, they strike with their phantom blades, not realizing that it is a double edged sword they wield and with every strike against us, they strike themselves.

    Yes. They strike themselves with the loss of so many customers who may move on to bright and broad horizons rather than this cheap, dark and narrow “Thing” that is taking place here.

    What makes this all so asinine is that even now, they can relieve the pressure. They can relieve the pressure with one simple act:

    Tell us what the hell is going on exactly!

    We understand hardware & software trouble. We’d understand trouble between the three partners.

    What we do NOT understand is a complete information blackout, or worse 3 or 4 “leaks” that contradict.

    I’m waiting it out. I can afford to. I have a MotoDroid that is in tip top. My wife however is running with an undead EnV3. I’m sure we’re not the only ones in this particular scene. I can only imagine what the ones who have laid down the preorder money, or who are like my wife and running with one that is barely alive are feeling.

    I wonder who is going to be the brave soul? Who is going to be the digital ages equivalent of Deepthroat and bust this thing known as AndroidGate wide open.

  • Waiting too long

    Ya, the first generation will have bugs, but this is a true sign of tech trouble, so…We will wait for the thunderbolt2

  • Hammer

    This is ridiculous! I got sick of waiting and upgraded to teh Droid X instead….Maybe the Thunderbolt will be released by christmas….

  • Michael O

    Yes Verizon I'm so upset with you, I have patiently waited (and I'm a very patient person) for this phone. I have followed the creation of this phone even when Verizon had no name for it. I have debated on getting a different phone and have went as far as checking on a different provider. I have also pre-paid at Best Buy from day one. Verizon could you please get off your butts, be honest and let your many loyal customers know what is going on…..

  • Bill

    #1 2/25 CONSUMER REPORTS WILL NOT RECOMMEND THE VERIZON IPHONE 4 DUE TO PROBLEMS WITH THE PHONE. For this reason, Verizon needs to unload as many as they can from their warehouses having overestimated the demand. The public waiting on the first Verizon 4G phone didn't help them sell the 3G IPhone, very poor management decision.
    #2. Verizon4g network problems from not working with Skype, low battery life and others. Very poor management and there probably are serious problems on the yet untested Voice 4G network.
    #3 Verizon has thrown Best Buy to the wolves by changing its mind on he 2/14 release date. Some report it as an anticipated date, but tell that to the people pre-selling the phone, it was a firm date to them. Best Buy didn't do it without the blessing of Verizon.

  • Bill

    #4. It is Bull S that people are switching to other phones, carriers and other threats rather than waiting for the Thunderbolt and Verizon knows it. Verizon is the best carrier for a number of reasons and smart people know that. That is why they are honed in on the Thunderbolt. I wish it was different and we could express our anger with this treatment by switching but we won't.
    #5. The only thing that could be done to get some satisfaction is if some good lawyer filed a Class Action suit for Deceptive Trade practices and Fraudulent Inducement for pre-selling the phone and then not giving a reason for the delay.

    • Mike Smith

      Verizon is not the best carrier. Do your math. Verizon is very good at Advertising and drawing people in. I have been with AT&T for 8 years and have been to San Francisco, New York City, Dallas Texas, Houston Texas and many other places that people complain about with no dropped calls or service delays. I have also used T-Mobile, and Sprint. All of them are decent. And for you rural people, I have probably been there too as I am military and travel the US unlike many of you have. The problem is that CDMA towers drown out GSM towers in a way that is hard to explain. When a CDMA tower is close to a GSM tower it causes interference. So it is not Verizon that is good it is their technology which Sprint uses as well. Sprint actually has better customer service than Verizon and AT&T combined.

  • gadget gal

    I put my deposit down ($105 at the Verizon store) and went for my refund on Friday. I am tired of the game they are playing. If the phone won't hold up to strong battery life, tell the public! Let US decide if we want the newest gadget the day it's released or if we want to wait for TB2.

    I say we yell at Verizon through out wallets! For those who have put down deposits to pre-order at Verizon or Best Buy, go get your deposit back today. Maybe Verizon will say "I can hear you now" when the pre-order sales reverse!

    • StangGT

      This is not Verizon's fault. It is Best Buy that keeps stating release dates, Verizon never said a release date.. When they announced the phone at CES 2011 they said it would be released AROUND Q1 of 2011. Just be patient and wait for Verizon to say a release date because when they say it I GUARANTEE it will be released on that day.

  • Teej

    I used to believe these websites and all of their lies until one of my relatives, who works for verizon, laughed her behind off at the rediculous stories I would tell her that I read about from these sites. Now I just read them for entertainment purposes b/c none of them know what they are talking about. Smdh at all of you! She said that when they confirm a release date then she will personally call me and let me know. Unil I get that call, the HTC Thunderbolt’s release date is…NEVER!

  • Annie

    I have tried to purchase a phone at Verizon for the last six days. I wasn't sure which phone to buy since my friends with iphones or Droids all seemed rea.sonably happy with their purchase.
    Strange–I was talked out of buying either one by the Verizon salesman. He told me to wait for this so called Thunderbolt. I was stunned as well as disappointed that I left without any phone at all. I really went in expecting pressure to buy some type of phone. Curious I went in another day- different salesman –same thing happened. " Wait-you don't want 3G—wait for the Thundrbolt."
    I went to 4 more different Verizon locations all with the same resonse. Well, today 2/27 I went to Best Buy—you guessed it-WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW—MAYBE ?????Has this happened to anyone else?

  • Van

    Really annoyed with Verizon. I own a small business and was going to buy 7 handsets, but went with Sprint 4G instead. The delay and lack of communication is frustrating and unprofessional.

  • tired of waiting

    Tired of this.been waiting for month. Called 3 best buys all sound like b s. Maybe tommrow hopefully? ??

  • presto3344

    What a marketing disaster. I wonder if some heads are going to roll. How can they even run ads for the Thunderbolt. I have given up on this phone. Verizon has killed sales before the Thunderbolt has even been released. This has turned into a grease fire for Verizon.

  • ITSuperFreak

    I have been following the TBolt since Feb 6th. I must wonder if Vegas is taking bets on the ACTUAL OFFICIAL release date?!

  • t-storms NY 2/28/11

    I went to a small local verizon and the guy told me it would definetely be in on monday the 28th – he had 20 coming and the 4g data plan is unlimited for 30 a month. he had a dummy phone under the desk and let me hold it and look at phone – it is really nice- I hope he is right!!!! I did forget to ask about the price however!!

  • BeatingU

    It is not coming out today, feb 28th

  • CNA Ray

    Oh, you foolish apologists for Verizon who say Verizon is blameless for any delay, since they never gave an official release date. Where do you think Best Buy is getting their info? Who made those commercials promising the phone was coming soon? Why is HTC angry? There's no question, Verizon is primarily to blame for this botched release. I predict 3-months from now there will be many angry Verizon customers holding a POS Thunderbolt wishing they didn't have 21 months remaining on their contract.