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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.

  • http://twitter.com/Skitz_Marz Alex Gandero

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

    • Skinnhc

      ^ what he said. +1

  • http://twitter.com/Skitz_Marz Alex Gandero

    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?

    • http://twitter.com/Skitz_Marz Alex Gandero

      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.

  • http://twitter.com/Skitz_Marz Alex Gandero

    stores are opening at the regular time

  • http://twitter.com/Skitz_Marz Alex Gandero

    stores are opening at the regular time

  • http://twitter.com/Skitz_Marz Alex Gandero

    this phone is already rooted

  • http://twitter.com/Skitz_Marz Alex Gandero

    this phone is already rooted

  • http://twitter.com/Skitz_Marz Alex Gandero

    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…