Verizon CTO Tony Melone spoke at Credit Suisse’s Convergence conference this week and answered a few questions about the state of their 4G LTE network and the first handset that many were expecting by now, the HTC Thunderbolt. The responses he gave aren’t going to exactly please the heck out of you, but he did stick to their “first half of 2011” timeline that was set back at CES. He also mentioned issues which have been rumored time and time again, claiming that they are “working through” them without getting too specific…
I guess our expectations change, but we had said first half of this year at CES, quite frankly, we think that exceeded people’s expectations. A year ago, people didn’t believe that there would be LTE smartphones in 2011. First half of the year is what we promised, first half of the year is still on track. So we don’t believe there are any new or surprising issues. I think what we’re facing is what you would expect, and that is a new technology, you are working through issues. And we anticipated that, and we are pleased at how we are working through issues. And as I said, you are going to see LTE smartphones on the network as promised, before the first half — before the second half of the year, by the end of the second quarter.
“Before the second half of the year, by the end of the second quarter.” Politically correct, I get it. It’s still painfully obvious that they tried to push up the date of the Thunderbolt, but the technology just wasn’t ready or Best Buy wouldn’t have sent out a press release for pre-orders, included the phone in 3 of their weekly ads, and continued to inform customers of new “rumored” dates. Clearly, someone up top got a little ahead of themselves, not understanding that something this new was bound to run into issues and now we are a full month into one of the longest running phone jokes of the last few years.
Maybe the luck of the Irish will bring us a treasure.