Verizon’s 4G-enabled HTC ThunderBolt Delayed

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Bad news for those of you who are waiting with baited breath for Verizon to release the HTC ThunderBolt: it looks like this high-end Android OS smartphone has been delayed, and the new release date is up in the air.

The slated release date of February 14 seems to be off the table in light of a document that has leaked out of Verizon. According to this list of upcoming releases, not only was the ThunderBolt’s launch from 2/14 delayed, but there is “no ETA at this time.”

This has, of course, sparked speculation about causes for the delay, one of which is that its 4G mobile hotspot feature will not be working in time for the Valentine’s Day release. Initially, it was reported that the ThunderBolt would be missing said capability, but Verizon quickly redacted the statement, saying that it would have it upon its release. Some have subsequently theorized that the ThunderBolt may return to the initially planned February 24 release date due to complications with the device’s 4G hotspot capabilities.

HTC ThunderBoltMixed Messages
The news about the delay comes on the heels of a tweet from Verizon Wireless yesterday, which read, “HTC Thunderbolt: no updates to report. We’ll share what’s real, when it’s real, directly. Here.”

Adding more than a bit of confusion was when Best Buy tweeted later that same day that the ThunderBolt was available for pre-order and would be released on February 14, to which Verizon made no response.

HTC ThunderBolt Overview
As its first smartphone with the 4G standard LTE, the ThunderBolt will offer data transfer speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps for downloads and 2 to 5 Mbps upload speeds under real world conditions. For comparison, tests on this carrier’s current 3G network gave download speeds of 0.6 to 1.6 Mbps and upload speeds of 0.5 to 0.8 Mbps. 

Aside from this, though, the device isn’t going to be a huge jump above high-end smartphones that were released last year. It is still going to be fully-packed with features.

This starts with a 4.3-inch WVGA screen set in a bar shape with a kickstand on the back.

This model from HTC is going to run Google’s Android OS 2.2 (Froyo) with HTC’s Sense overlay on a 1 GHz processor. It won’t have a significant amount of internal storage capacity, but will have a microSD card slot with a bundled 32 GB card.

HTC ThunderBolt Hands-on PreviewOther features are going to include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a digital compass, GPS, a proximity sensor, and a G-sensor.

It will have a front-facing camera and support for video conferencing. This will eventually be supplied by Skype, but this app might not be included when the HTC ThunderBolt first ships.

The price for this model has yet to be officially announced or leaked out.

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