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HTC Thunderbolt Finally Announced by Verizon, Available 3/17 for $249 on Contract

After somehow making it through 8,000 denied delays, 1,800 rumored release dates, battery issues, Skype removals, and 100,000 angry trolls, Verizon’s first 4G LTE device is ready to be placed in your pocket.  The HTC Thunderbolt has been announced and to no one’s surprise is $249 on a new 2-year contract.  Data plans will hit the $29.99 mark, just like we said they would months ago, but we have to assume they won’t be that cheap for long.  Skype was not mentioned in the release and from what we can tell will not be ready Thursday when the device goes on-sale.  Are there battery issues?  Not that anyone is going to tell us about.  Now, breathe for a second.

One cool thing to note is that the 8-device hotspot feature is free until May 15, but will be at least $20 a month after that.

Everyone still interested in this device after all that we’ve been through?

Full press release after the break.  

THE THUNDERBOLT™ BY HTC, THE FIRST 4G LTE SMARTPHONE FOR VERIZON WIRELESS ARRIVES MARCH 17

ThunderBolt™ by HTC Available Beginning March 17

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless and HTC today announced that the ThunderBolt™ by HTC, exclusively from Verizon Wireless, is available on March 17 in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com for $249.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.

Powered by Android™ 2.2, the ThunderBolt by HTC is the first smartphone to take advantage of Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE network.  The ThunderBolt by HTC features the latest version of the HTC Sense™ experience, which offers enhancements including new personalization options, a consolidated e-mail inbox, and unique camera effects and filters.  The ThunderBolt by HTC is equipped with support for Google Mobile Services, including Gmail™, YouTube™ and Android Market™ with thousands of free apps.  Additionally, the ThunderBolt by HTC will feature 4G LTE optimized apps such as EA’s Rock Band, Gameloft’s Let’s Golf, Tunewiki and Bitbop.

Additional features:

  • 4G LTE – customers can expect download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G Mobile Broadband coverage area
  • 4.3” WVGA display
  • 8- megapixel rear facing camera and HD (720p) video recording
  • 1.3- megapixel front facing camera with video chatting capabilities
  • Newest generation of the 1GHz Snapdragon processor
  • Mobile Hotspot capability – share 4G connection with up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices
  • 8 GB of onboard memory and a pre-installed 32 GB microSD card (Actual formatted capacity will be less)
  • Built-in kickstand for easy media viewing

With the ThunderBolt by HTC, customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and a 4G LTE data package.  Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access and an unlimited 4G LTE data plan is $29.99 monthly access.

Mobile Hotspot allows users to connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the nation’s fastest wireless network via an application available on the ThunderBolt by HTC.  Mobile Hotspot will be included through May 15 for no additional charge.  After May 15, customers may choose to activate Mobile Hotspot for $20 for 2 GB of data per month.  Customers can track their data usage by downloading the My Verizon app available in Android Market or by logging on to their My Verizon accounts online at www.verizonwireless.com/myverizon.

For additional information on Verizon Wireless 4G LTE visit www.verizonwireless.com/4glte. For more information about the ThunderBolt by HTC please visit www.verizonwireless.com/thunderbolt.  For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest and most advanced 4G network and largest and most reliable 3G network, and serves more than 94 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 82,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.

About HTC

HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile phone industry. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC creates innovative smartphones that better serve the lives and needs of individuals. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.

  • Anonymous

    Not even worth it. Bionic time. These data plans and bullshit ways of fleecing the customers that they know will want the 4g speeds is nothing short of robbery. They give more speed and then they take away your unlimited data plan because they know you’ll likely go over, at least that’s what they want. Come on root!

  • Anonymous

    Not even worth it. Bionic time. These data plans and bullshit ways of fleecing the customers that they know will want the 4g speeds is nothing short of robbery. They give more speed and then they take away your unlimited data plan because they know you’ll likely go over, at least that’s what they want. Come on root!

  • Catchie49

    if this thunderboly is like the sprint evo this phone will freeze up alot trust i went thru the evo 2times and then the galaxay phone from att and they suck monkey butt

    • DBK

      It’s only an EVO in shape. Internally, and software-wise, it is a completely different phone.

  • it won’t be. froyo or gingerbread isn’t optimized for dual core.

    • Skinnhc

      ^ what he said. +1

  • and whats so much better about gingerbread from froyo?

    • DBK

      Smoother, faster UI and the bugs are all ironed out.

  • KSChris

    Anyone know if Verizon would let me upgrade a week early for this?

    I’m eligible for an annual upgrade next Thursday.. but I figure, one week early shouldn’t be a big deal for them, right?

    Any VZW employees here who can answer this?

    • Sacromer

      hey on annual upgrades they wont let you do it early you have to wait until that exact date.

  • Anonymous

    and the difference between froyo and gingerbread beside ui colors and screen off animation is??

  • Anonymous

    gonna make me sad if there is no placeholder for netflix on this pony

  • DanSke

    I actually was gonna get this at BB since I pre-ordered it on Feb 6th, but after reading the protection plan and ppls experiences I’d much rather do one on Verizon. Read the fine print, its worth it.

    Best Buy can make you wait up to 30 days for a repair where as Verizon will give you a refurbished phone that day or the next. You pay a deductible of $99, but I’d rather that than the run around I’ve been reading from Best Buy customers. Also, Verizon offers a replacement whether its lost, stolen, or dropped in water. Best Buy doesn’t.

    Thought I’d give everyone a heads-up if they are on the fence like me. Cheers.

  • DanSke

    I actually was gonna get this at BB since I pre-ordered it on Feb 6th, but after reading the protection plan and ppls experiences I’d much rather do one on Verizon. Read the fine print, its worth it.

    Best Buy can make you wait up to 30 days for a repair where as Verizon will give you a refurbished phone that day or the next. You pay a deductible of $99, but I’d rather that than the run around I’ve been reading from Best Buy customers. Also, Verizon offers a replacement whether its lost, stolen, or dropped in water. Best Buy doesn’t.

    Thought I’d give everyone a heads-up if they are on the fence like me. Cheers.

  • dontpanic615

    Did anyone else notice that the contract price : 249.99 plus the ETF 350.00 is 600 which is less than the full price of the phone by 150?

    • i’ve asked my friend about that. you will end up paing more.

  • Anonymous

    I actually called wirefly and upgraded my wife’s line and will switch the thunderbolt over to my account when it comes. I read over everything and even talked to Verizon and they said they never report number switching which could make wirefly try to impose a fine for doing so. My Thunderbolt should be here the 17th or 18th!

  • Isai90

    Does anybody know the one year contract pricing?

    • kw

      wondering the same thing..the rate phones come out now…i dont want to wait 2 years ever again

    • KSChris

      Isn’t it usually $100 more?

      Likely $349.

  • stores are opening at the regular time

  • stores are opening at the regular time

  • this phone is already rooted

  • this phone is already rooted

  • now whats the full retai? wirefly says its 649.99

  • Anonymous

    Anyone know the one year pricing for the TB?

  • Anonymous

    Anyone know the one year pricing for the TB?

  • LionStone

    I just hope Gingerbread and Skype video chat comes soon…

  • Danieljacobs99

    I’m going to wait until the Incredible 2 comes out. My OG droid will keep going strong until then. The thunderbolt interests me but the screen is just too darn big.

  • Its still not order-able from Verizon’s site. 🙁 I hope I can order one by tomorrow so I can receive it on the 17th instead of having to skip work and wait in line at a store.

    • JobsH8er

      Sorry..
      no pre-orders available for this device from VZW

  • Finire

    The only reason I’m thinking of getting this is to be sure to snag that unlimited 4g plan at 29.99

    • Anonymous

      Same. Will we be locked into unlimited 4G only for the next 2 years or “forever” as long as we dont sign a new contract?

      Was thinking of locking in the unlimited 4G rate and just buying all future phones off contract (for as long as 4G LTE is the top technology.

      • Finire

        From past experience with VZW, unless you upgrade or change contracts, you’re locked until you change it yourself.

        • this is true. i kept a plan that they didn’t have and i upgraded phones. as long as you don’t make any changes to the actual plan, you’re good.

    • Anonymous

      Just don’t plan on using it as a hotspot because the data plan that’s an extra 20+ bucks a month only gives you 2gb of data as a hotspot. Hopefully this nonsense will change.

  • Yvette66

    I just got off the phone with verizon rep. he told me no 3/17 release date. which was curious because I called the same number yesterday and was told 3/17. they say they don’t even know the details. they can’t tell me how much the phone will cost because they don’t….geesh

  • Yvette66

    I just got off the phone with verizon rep. he told me no 3/17 release date. which was curious because I called the same number yesterday and was told 3/17. they say they don’t even know the details. they can’t tell me how much the phone will cost because they don’t….geesh

  • Greg!!!

    How Much will it be Full Retail?

    • Guesto

      $650

      • Anonymous

        my local bb says that they will not sell me a phone at full retail – they will only let me get if i upgrade or add a new line. do you know if this is best buys policy or if the agent is just greedy??

        • what the hell? why wouldn’t they? lol thats why theres a full-retail price. i say thats BS

        • i called and they said the same thing, but i kinda bitched and said that i preordered. how can they deny me a phone, but they said to talk to a manager when i go in. i think i might just go into verizon in the morning anyway cause i think it will be cheaper there.

          • Anonymous

            i would love to avoid getting from bb, but i have gift cards that i gotta
            get

          • yea, i have giftcards and i have rewards. but they price match. so if verizon is selling it in store for cheaper, they’ll match it. i called and they told me $749.99 as of right now. Plus, i want to activate it on my own. do they just make you do it in store? apparently the police says you can buy it, it just has to be activated.

      • Anonymous

        my local bb says that they will not sell me a phone at full retail – they will only let me get if i upgrade or add a new line. do you know if this is best buys policy or if the agent is just greedy??

  • Guesto

    I thought it was supposed to be coming with an SLCD screen?

  • Jay P

    F That $199 on wirefly.com i can wait couple of days. I’ve waited 2 months what an couple extra days.

  • TheXFactor

    Why are these new phones being released with an older version of android?

  • Anonymous

    SOLD!

  • GUYS…ARE YOU SICK AND TIRED OF TYPING IN THE NAMES OF 10 WEBSITES A DAY TO GET YOUR LATEST ANDROID NEW??? GO TO Android-alert.com TO GET YOUR ANDROID NEWS FROM ALL OVER THE WEB….THIS IS NOT SPAM ONCE AGAIN Android-alert.com THE TOP SPOT FOR ALL YOUR ANDROID NEWS

    • After reading I have a strange craving for a Chalupa…

  • Disciple

    Is there likely to be a $50 online discount?

  • Fresh

    Hotspot capability is free until May 15th?!?! SWEET… by then someone will have most certainly rooted it… thanks VZW!!

  • lol my droid has 2.3.3 and thunderbolt has 2.2, ill stick with the OG until (maybe) the bionic..

    • KSChris

      Or you can just get the Thunderbolt and root it..

    • Alvinm 77

      You act like there wont be 2.3 ROMS for the Thunderbolt. And why we’re running 2.4 your Bionic will be stuck on 2.3. Going for OG Droid to a locked bootloader phone like the Bionic is the worst thing you can do if you’re a ROM flasher. No CyanogenMod for you buddy.

      • KSChris

        Eeeexactly.

        I can’t imagine why anyone who frequents this site (and I’m assuming, is into rooting) would want the Bionic. The negatives of that phone far outweigh any possible positives the dual-core MAY have at some point in the vague future.

  • John

    This will be the most powerful phone on Verizon. The newest snapdragons put the chips in phones like the Droid X and Dinc to shame.

  • JG

    when can i order/pre-order this thing online?

  • Interstellarmind

    if only this thing was dual-core.

    seriously looking to ditch motorola on account of their crappy camera (relative to HTC’s), motoblur, and bootloader lockdown.

    • Alvinm 77

      Dual core don’t matter right now unless you 3D game a lot on your phone.

    • Anonymous

      I’m with you. The camera on the motorolas suck compared to HTC. I did a side by side with my X and my wife’s Inc and the Inc blew it away.

  • Jason

    Will we be able to keep the $30 unlimited 4G data plan throughout our contract?

    • JG

      they cant change your plan until you sign a two year contract again…which means youll have unlimited 4g for two years.

  • Well…it’s about damn time. Now…since that cat it outta the bag, I think we can all move on to the Droid Bionic now.

  • barry egan

    htc is painfully bad. froyo is so frickin stupid.

  • I cancelled my pre order a week ago. Yeah, she’s hot, but I’d rather have one without all the drama.

  • Anonymous

    Yes! I am still getting this phone. Been waiting patiently while VZ and HTC work out the bugs. As an engineering, I know how difficult it can be to implement new technologies. Better to have the issues worked out than release a broken product.

  • Rhymenoceros

    I get 21% off data and voice plans, plus 25% off accessories, so this should work out ok. I wonder if tethering gets a discount also. That’ll pair up nicely with my iPad.

  • Rhymenoceros

    I get 21% off data and voice plans, plus 25% off accessories, so this should work out ok. I wonder if tethering gets a discount also. That’ll pair up nicely with my iPad.

  • Anonymous

    Now time to wait for the Bionic and see which one is better. Going to be a long wait unfortunately.

    • sane here

      • Interstellarmind

        bionic’s gonna be a dual core… it HAS to be better?

  • Rhymenoceros

    I’m due for an early upgrade now, so hopefully this is resolved and I can just get a Thunderbolt. My Samsung Flipshot is just not cutting it.

  • Dts05

    Guys, it was odd enough to no be real. Like seriously she said… “Uh oh, wait a minute, just got an email!!….”
    I mean really? You think these ppl have email at their desk while taking calls. Maybe she was forced to neglect the info she just told me. She literally told me to call back at midnight and place order then she all of a sudden took it all back.. I dont know what to believe anymore.

    • I would have asked her what the email said exactly.

  • Anonymous

    I was not going to get it at $299 but I’ll be getting mine at $249. $199 would be better but having a 32gb card thrown in makes it much easier to get it at $249. The universe must have been talking to me when I tried to get a pre-owned Incredible Sunday morning and they were all sold out. I know where I will be Thursday morning. I hope I get my 20% employee discount.

    • Anonymous

      If you are up for a 2 year renewal, just go to wirefly and pre-order it right now for $199!

      • Anonymous

        I wish I was but my awesome wife is transferring her upgrade to me so I can’t go that route. If anyone is interested, my Droid X is up for sale on swappa. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        I wish I was but my awesome wife is transferring her upgrade to me so I can’t go that route. If anyone is interested, my Droid X is up for sale on swappa. 🙂

  • Im still down to get this phone. Early Opening here i come!!!!!!

  • Fredy

    Perfect day as me and the wife will be able to upgrade. I just need to talk her into getting this baby and not the isux.

  • Dts05

    Wow, this is interesting… Just got off phone with Verizon – (tried to call and sweet talk sales rep in to info) I am moving my wife over to Verizon and wanted to see if I could pre-order. She confirmed the Thursday release, started noting my account to call me on Thursday from 8am- blah blah blah. She then said this, and I quote,
    “Ut oh. Just got an email here… hang on… Wow recalling the 17th release. Wow not sure whats going on Mr. ******. Looks like they may be pushing this back again.” Are you serious?

    Do you think they forced her to do this?!? This was so odd, we talked for more than 15 mins and all of a sudden she just happen to get an email pushing this back?? Freakkkky…..

    • TROLLING OR TRUTH?

    • Mothership has already spoke… sorry.

      • Dts05

        Good, hopefully she didnt know crap for her manager was forcing her to say those things. Why would they do that? Are they not on commish?

        • DTS05, call center/customer service reps are not on commission. In store sales reps are, however.

  • Rachel

    Yay! Will be at VZW bright and early Thursday morning to return my Droid X and swap out for this beauty! Should have listen to my hubby and waited.lol…..Hey when will Verizon stores find out?? I called this morning about an hour after the press release and no one had any info…I told them about it and they where surprised.lol

    • Buddy

      Same here! Just called a Verizon store in downtown San Francisco….they knew nothing of the release date. WTF.

  • Igor

    Is 1yr contract an option?

  • Anonymous

    Finally. Now maybe we can get on with our lives. :]

  • Dshudson

    My Verizon bill after XOOM is roughly 1200… looks like I have some work to do before Thursday! Yikes

  • CB

    Not sure if this data is out yet…

    But, anyone ever see testing on the battery life? There have been rumors this this is horrible. Coming from the OG Droid..Kinda leery about this…

    Also, do we know if the SIM card for 4G will be included right out of the gate? Watching the WireFly video on this one, he didn’t have one included…Makes ya think if this thing is 4G ready out of the box….

    • palomosan

      Is going to do Data and Phone simultaneously, I guess that means yes.

      • CB

        Not sure about that, I heard it can do data/voice over 3G. so, you do not need to be in LTE range to use this feature. .

  • lvond600

    Finally!!! Just in time for my Vegas vacation!

    • FortitudineVincimus

      so what.. you’ll be that one geek in the corner of the bar tweaking out on his new Droid and not the chicks

    • Anonymous

      don’t get drunk and lose it…….

  • Vinzky

    I wonder if they will allow my company’s 22 percent discount on this phone.

    • palomosan

      The same thing I was thinking, however I get 20% off.

      By the way guys, I gained a friend to jump to Android, He’s been waiting for this phone, this will be his first Android phone.

      • Tim242

        Congtats! I hope your friend loves it!

    • Anonymous

      your company gets a 22% discount on the plan. Not the phone.

      • Yep…discounts don’t exist for equipment. Service only.

        • KO

          Service and accessories

        • KO

          I used to get 25% off service, equipment and accessories, but now I only get it off service and accessories

          • picaso86

            22% off my 4G plan also????

          • KO

            I’m sure every companies discount is different. Mine is on all services and accessories, so I should be good.

        • Guest

          Actually discounts exist for equipment if it is purchased at full price. I learned today from customer support

  • Anonymous

    I’m about 5 miles outside of 4g coverage. What the eff, VZW?

    • MikeC

      Only 5 miles? I’m in Mendocino Count, 120 miles north of their nearest LTE/4G, currently it ends in San Rafael, just across the Golden Gate.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah. And where I work isn’t any closer to 4g coverage.

  • all these delays and they couldn’t put Gingerbread on it? Seriously, I do not see what the hype is about, other than the screen it isn’t that big an upgrade over the DInc.

    • lvond600

      People are going to root the phone anyway

      • yeah but judeging by how long it took to root the DInc that could be awhile.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t want to have to root my phone to get updates. I want the manufacturers to take care of it especially if I’m paying $250 for it.

  • 1977sjr

    What is the full retail price?

    • $669.99

      • 1977sjr

        Thank you. Anyone interested in a mint condition Droid X??? 🙂

        • Dodgesityballer

          How much?

  • Octotron

    Looks like I have something to do during lunch on Thursday 🙂

    • If there are any left….

      • I dont’think its’going to be a big rush for’this phone

        • Ash

          It will sell out by the weekend if not the same day. Majority of the people saying the won’t get it will because their curiosity is going to force them to go to the store and demo it. Once that happens they will buy.

          • LionStone

            haha, yep, all those ppl that said they aren’t gonna get it, I wonder how many still aren’t? 4g baby!!

  • Calidog50

    Let the drama end!

  • Anonymous

    My impulse is down

    • Good more for us.

      • Anonymous

        Not trashing the device, just saying

      • Guest

        So you can finally stop crying about this device? Geez, a bunch of grown men crying about the availability of the EVO on Verizon. Losers….

        • Ajr_texas87

          I’m guessing you haven’t seen the benchmarking test on this phone. It blows the evo right out of the water when it comes to speed.

          • Actually benchmarks don’t mean anything there very unreliable

  • Anonymous

    Between the lack of a dual-core processor and the time it took for this thing to actually be announced, this is the slowest thunderbolt ever.

    • Brutalsnowman

      1 Mississippi….. 2 Mississippi…. 147 Mississippi

    • scadole

      you’re a douchebag…. get your dual core when the flying delorians come out.

      • Anonymous

        Wow, did my joke really warrant you calling me a douchebag?

        Obligatory: umadbro?

      • Guest

        DeLorean

    • Anonymous

      Um I don’t think froyo is optimized for dual core yet so that point is null and void.
      But anyways lack of dual core processor isn’t going to keep me from this phone, an announcement of the Incredible 2 is the only thing that would steer me away.

      And am I the only one that finds kellex calling anyone a troll funny?

  • nick

    how much ram?

  • You were so excited you spelled feature “featuer “

  • Second

  • Yawn

  • Ohhhhhhhhhhyeah

    I wonder if it will be $249 at Best Buy as well. Either way, can’t wait to have this bad boy in my pocket.