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HTC Employee: “Sorry About the Thunderbolt in General”

htc thunderbolt

The HTC Thunderbolt is largely thought to be one of the most disappointing, frustrating, and disastrous smartphones of all time. It was released as Verizon’s first 4G LTE device, so you can imagine how much attention it grabbed from the tech universe leading up to and after its arrival two years ago. In fact, we hypebeasted the Thunderbolt for months after it was first unveiled at CES in January of 2011, followed by non-stop coverage of it for a lengthy period of time after release. Unfortunately for HTC and those who bought the phone, the phone struggled to become anything but a nuisance as software delays and poor performance tarnished any sort of positive life it once attempted to live. 

But this isn’t news to any of us. The horror stories of life with the Thunderbolt are well-documented throughout this site and others. The Thunderbolt experience was so bad, that some readers have admitted time and time again that they will never buy another HTC device, no matter how good the reviews on them are. Strong words, very strong words. What if HTC was willing to sympathize with you? Would that change anything?

According to an HTC employee who has been on the prowl over at reddit for the last few days answering questions and providing support, his company feels your pain. Reddit user “Erick_HTC” who very well could be Erick Nielsen, because he introduced himself as someone who works at writing up troubleshooting guides of devices and supporting users who report issues, wants to say “sorry about the Thunderbolt in general.” He admits that the Tbolt was a “difficult project” and that he understands why you feel the way you do, but wishes “we didn’t destroy your trust.”

Erick hopes that you will give them another chance because they are doing “much better” now, though, something we can attest to.

Refreshing to see someone from a tech company express their true feelings, even if they aren’t a part of their PR or social media teams. I can imagine that plenty of their company workers feel similarly, yet aren’t in a position to share those thoughts. Reddit to the rescue!

So what do you think, Thunderbolt owners – will you ever give HTC another chance?

Via:  reddit

  • Carl fippit

    Terrible phone. Had to replace it twice under warranty. I will not buy an HTC phone until they come out with one that is reliable and works.

  • motta2003

    My Tbolt was a replacement to my BB Storm…so it was a HUGE step up for me. I really had a great run with it before buying a GNex off of eBay. I never had any of the reboots or issues that others report. I think HTC really turned their back on us owners though and I’m skeptical about anything that they make now. If they did a phone that was quad cor, 5″ screen, with wireless charging AND UNLOCKED bootloader then I would perhaps be interested.

  • Luis

    HTC Thunderbolt was the reason I switched to iPhones sadly, but lately I’ve been thinking about getting back to android phones again.

  • TxSteelersFan

    I LOVE my DROID DNA! But I hate the way Sense screws up my Contacts. Link this…!

  • John S

    Lol. Next year they will be apologizing about the DNA and on n on..

  • bartbart

    Had the phone for the bitter part of 2years. Awful battery life (even w the extended battery, phone was heavy and looked like hunchback of ND), glitches, random reboots. 2-3 LONG reboots daily, sometimes taking 10 minutes to fully boot up. Pretty pathetic for them to admit now that the phone sucked and not to follow it with something to help me forget. Sorry, no more HTC for me.

  • Because of this simple apology, I will reconsider my “NO MORE HTC EVER” pledge.

  • umbrellacorp

    I had an HTC TBolt. I thought it was how all Droids operated. Glad someone let me borrow another one to prove me wrong. I don’t think I’ll grab another HTC again. It was a 250 dollar 2-year mistake.

  • No I’m done with HTC. I have had a few good times but mostly its been a fight all the way through. Now that the last update was installed problems only became more frustrating. Good bye HTC.

  • sgtguthrie

    I still call it the “HTC Blunderbolt”!!!

  • sgtguthrie

    Nope, short of a public statement…I doubt it…lol!

  • Dave Bowen

    LOL! It wasn’t just the thunderbolt, I bought an HTC flyer as well. No love or support. They just moved on. So to answer your question, NOPE! I will not give them another chance. In fact, about the only thing they could do to possibly sway my vote would be to give me a brand new phone (HTC One for example) to make up for my loses. I’m not even sure that would secure my vote. But at least I could make my choice without having to drop a ton of my own cash (again) to see.

  • Chris Hollenbeck

    It took me a year and a half to get 4G for the first 4G phone (Vzw said 3 months, not HTC’s fault). Random rebooting and delayed updates defiantly reduced confidence in purchasing anything from HTC.
    Would I buy anything from HTC? If their phones are getting good user reviews after 6 months, I would consider buying one.

  • Steve Schneider

    I was the owner of a TBolt and I now have a DNA… So that answers that question. And I can’t wait for the One on VZW.

    Through my time with the TBolt I didn’t find anything INCREDIBLY bad with it, but my device was rooted and adrynalyne made it amazing. Liquid helped too. Without the dev support of the TBolt it was a lost cause.

  • Geoff Johnson

    I don’t remember most of these bugs, and I got my phone on release day. Must have been because I immediately went to custom AOSP ROM’s and got an extended battery.

  • huneybooboo

    wife and i bought tbolts because we were duped by VZW to get the samsung rogue (vowed not to buy samsung again after the alian and rouge were crap phones) instead of a motorola droid 18 months earlier. the thought of 4g was what did it for me. and our area had 4g coverage.

    i ended up running cm7 for a long time. now on a “stock/debloted” ICS rom. wanted a rom that actually ran GPS (i travel) had no luck with any BAMF derivitive. for the most part the phone worked. no “catastrophic” failures.

    wife didn’t root hers. she mainly had poor battery performance. and now it’s in the random reboot cycle.

    we want a new phone, but don’t want to give up the unlimited data. and with me not a fan of HTC, Samsung OR apple… not sure where to really go next.

  • anthony jones

    Never again HTC. You f’d my wallet

  • sean

    I actually left the Galaxy S3 for a Thunderbolt! I had got the GS3 on Verizon without checking the screen out before hand. When the employee turned on the GS3 and I saw the pixilated pentile display, I was horrified! What’s the point of a ” high def. 720p ” screen if it is pixilated! Being stuck on Verizon’s network, I quickly realized that all of their latest smartphones at the time were pentile display phones! So I got a credit for the S3 and ran out and got a used Thunderbolt. It had a non pixilated screen and worked just fine. Then I discovered the Rezound that had a razor sharp screen and used it for a while till the DNA came out. I am a happy camper now!

  • zombiewolf115

    am surprised that bionic is here hypebeast the xphone lol

  • Xellek

    So you guys at Droid Life admit to hyping the phone up for months, then in an article that shows that you were wrong you say “they are doing “much better” now, though, something we can attest to.”

    Why should we believe that? Why should we put any stock into what Droid Life says? You guys are on the same boat with HTC. Might as well be the Titanic.

    Kellex is on point with the rumors, and that’s the only thing this rag of a website is good for. Does HTC pay you guys to hype all their mediocre phones up, or are you just fanboys?

  • While I didn’t have the horrible experience some others did with the Bolt.. I won’t be buying another HTC phone for the sole reason of them not putting their best phones on VZW. The DNA, Rezound, Incred 2 etc etc all have gotten horrible support. While this may primarily be the fault of VZW, it’s still no excuse for HTC to put their power phones on other carriers. HTC, grow a pair of balls and get some good phones on VZW and minimize the bloat.. Then I will buy your brand again.

  • Hands down the worst tech product I have ever owned. The problems were too numerous to count, and as a result I jumped ship to an iPhone 4S. I definitely want to go back to Android with my next device, but I’m not sure I could give HTC any more money after that debacle.

  • De-integrate sense from the phone and make it just another Launcher Option.

    And maybe a $200 credit for anyone who trades a Tbolt in for the HTC One if/when it comes to Verizon

  • This phone is the reason I will not buy anything HTC again…

  • NOPE!

  • Ken

    Ex tbot owner now Gnex owner. Never again will I purchase an HTC.

  • Mike Weisbarth

    My faith in HTC never wavered. I waited patiently for the DNA. It’s been fantastic! Probably the nicest phone I’ve ever had.

  • Kizaru Hiruko

    As a former ThunderBolt user, and current Droid DNA user, I can say that HTC has regained my trust (though, in fairness, they never really lost it). I got the chance to play with the One recently and I was impressed. Nice job, HTC.

    Now, will Samsung apologize for the Droid Charge? That phone was horrible.

  • jnt

    I’m completely convinced that half (not all!) of the Tbolt’s problems were Verizon’s fault, and Verizon’s “beta” (at the time) LTE network’s fault.

  • thundersuck

    Worse phone ever! When romed, it did okay. Would I buy another HTC? Maybe, one phone wouldn’t make me stop buying an HTC. Even bought the sammy Droid (constantly) charging, I mean Charge…pos too..

    But found my place with the galaxies!!! A lil to late for any other manufacturers. . I tried them all, sammy is just on fired!! I used to be team Moto, but riding the sammy train! Just the most well rounded manufacturer, software, support, updates, etc… happy with my note 2, cant wait for the 3!!!! That is all folks.. I dont post much, when I do, its personal! !!!

  • Bit once, twice shy… I would need to be disgusted by other manufacturers before HTC gets to the front of the line again. I owned a TB for almost two years, and it was the most frustrating two years for all the reasons there are. I am on Nexus4 now, and in contrast, could not be happier. HTC is in the back of the line, and will continue to be there for a very long time.

  • Franklin Howard

    I owned the Thunderbolt and I was able to Root and Rommed it and it was an ok phone for me, then I moved on to the Galaxy Nexus which was a major fail, horrible battery life, horrible radio, and stale updates. It is VZW people, they are hard to work with on software upgrades. I went back to HTC with the DNA which is a great phone but I had to leave Big Red, they suck. Which is why I am now on Tmobile with my HTC One and love it. Best phone I’ve ever owned.

  • Honestly? I’m more pissed about being fooled twice with HTC over the Rezound than I was disappointed with my t-bolt. Once I got CM on that phone it was an infinitely better experience. I’d still be using it today if the digitizer hadn’t broken and at the time cost more to repair than the $50 I got my Rezound for.

  • Jaron1226

    I owned an HTC Thunderbolt and I’m sure NO ONE cares about my opinion, but it actually wasn’t that much of a horrible phone. All of the problems mentioned didn’t really happened to me. My Thunderbolt always did what it was suppose to do. I mean all in all it was a bit laggy here and there, but it always got back up to speed and did what it had to do. My only complaint is it’s poor battery life. HTC definitely could have given us a few more MAH of battery like but…Then again you could have easily gotten an extended battery or the used the HTC Rezound’s battery as well. It was my first Verizon 4G LTE Android, and I loved it, and actually hated to part ways with it. Now I have my Galaxy SIII which I also love. My only complaint is the poor radios used in it, and the touch wiz UI. Other than that I love that one as well.

    • I’ll agree with you there, it did succeed as a 4G LTE device. It definitely proved to me that the tech was viable. But every other element in the package was so badly thought out that it almost didn’t matter how great the data speeds were. And it’s true, lots of devices have hiccups here and there, even my Nexus 7. But at the end of the day, it’s up to the carrier and OEM to kind of join forces and push updates out that fix these issues, and Verizon and HTC clearly didn’t care about their user base enough to do that. In fact, they did the opposite – almost every update that claimed to patch one problem broke something else in the phone.

  • tlennon

    I was one of the poor suckers that bought the tbolt. I was so pissed. Its been a long 2 years. I just got the S3 and couldn’t be happier

  • I owned a Thunderbolt. It was a disaster. I will never buy an HTC phone on Verizon (because they share the blame) unless it’s a Nexus.

    As for this sympathy, give me a free phone, and we’ll talk.

  • Gosh, I wonder if you folks ever heard of the Moto Bionic? It’s hard to believe that the same folks that make the simply awesome Droid Razr Maxx HD made that POS. I have a friend with a Thunderbolt that actually loved it and toughed out the problems it had. He just recently got a Samsung SG3, and while he likes it well enough, he still talks about missing his TBolt.

    The Bionic sent me running to Apple, but the Razr Maxx HD brought me back. And while I miss Apple a little, I’ll NEVER give up the battery life I’m getting with the Razr Maxx. To me, battery life is the single biggest issue with these phones. If Moto can do it with the Razr Maxx HD (and without the OPTIONAL extended battery and accompanying bulging battery cover!), There’s no excuse why every other phone maker can’t. Period

    Geri O

  • JG1000

    Never Again, HTC.

  • TheDarkJaguar

    Man, the only time that my Thunderbolt was actually an “OK” phone to use was after it received the ICS update. I went about 2 years of wanting to break my phone (of course, that would only get me a new one through Assurion). I had many days where I just threw the damn thing because it would lag so bad in making a phone call! I would try to call someone and it would act like I didn’t do anything. I would try to call them again and still nothing! After about 5-10 minutes, my phone would magically call the person and then call them again, switching into conference mode. There was no way I could ever try to be the “whatever number” caller for any radio station because by the time it would call them, they would already have a damn winner! Lucky for me, I have an S4 on pre-order. They only thing my phone will be good for is a temp phone if my new S4 has to be repaired or if my daughter’s iPhone needs to be repaired or replaced.

  • Bob Allen

    I had the TBolt – Actually, I went through 4 of them before I gave up on it and went to a Droid Bionic. Kept having one failed device after another.

    Good thing I picked up a Rezound later on or I never would have had faith in HTC again!

  • I love the comments here, “I will maybe come back if they give me a free phone or a ton of stock options etc”. Your willingness to go back shouldn’t be dependent on a bribe.

    • BroRob

      Why not? When I upgraded from my TBolt I was between the DNA and GS3. I really didn’t like the 16G on-board with no micro-sd slot on the DNA and the lack of support/updates on the TBolt. Had they offered me a $250 rebate I could have got a DNA (subsidized) with no money out of pocket. That in itself could have swayed me to try it out. I literally sat there for an hour and intimately I chose the GS3 because I didn’t want to risk another HTC bomb, plus I added a 64G micro-sd card to the GS3 for a ton of space. *side note* I hike and camp a lot with no service so I like the space for GPS maps and music.

  • Hatyrei

    Also my HTC Incredible 2….failed to see the ICS promised update! HTC & Verizon are both liars!. Or so what i think of them…. almost 10 months now…right? I wish owners get compensated from this horrible experience.

  • Joeyjoefus

    I loved my Thunderbolt. It was easy to root and I changed up roms weekly. Had a lot of fun learning the ins and outs of rooting and roms.

  • “sorry, our bad” rings rather hollow, they should be offering some sort of bone to prove they really are serious, maybe $100 (they just cannot do free phones) if you turn in your Thunderturd, Rhyme, Dinc2, etc. and get another HTC phone. The Thunderturd has been great business for Samsung, my wife, my father, and one of our salesmen all went from the TBolt to the SGS3 after ICS pretty much made the phone useless

  • I must have had a different T-bolt but I loved the phone.

  • Wasnt the thunderbolt essentially the EVO 4g with LTE which was already pretty outdated at that time?

  • Chris Caldwell

    Problem is, no accountability. You spent hundreds on a phone they admit was a POS. Can you return the phone? Best you can do it flip it on ebay and make some other poor smuck take your victim spot. What other type of company can get away with that?

  • Chris Caldwell

    Why is this company still around? people, stop buying crap from then LOL. Of all the companies they are the WORST about selling cheap, over hyped phones and then dropping them right away from support. Anyone notice this came 2 years after its release (ie JUST IN TIME for most of the folks who bought them on the usual 2 year contract to have paid them off.) Nice of them to wait for you to make your final payment before admitting to giving you the shaft! And what about all the phones they stop selling within 3 months of when they are still offered on 2 year contracts? Is there a phone they HAVENT shafted people with like this? If you distribute your phone on a two year payment play, SUPPORT IT THAT LONG! You imply that it will last that long.

  • Christopher Riner

    I mean, I can understand being cautious about buying a phone from a company that has sold you a lemon before, but saying you wont ever buy a phone from them again bc of one phone is just plain ignorant. I had the droid charge, which was also a true p.o.s., but that didnt deter me from getting the galaxy nexus. Hell, all the first LTE phones sucked.

    If you wont try a phone that (basically) the entire blogging community is telling you is the new gold standard for any particular ecosystem, then you’re letting your bias keep you from possibly the best experience you’ve ever had with a phone. And you only have yourself to blame.

    • LionStone

      +100! 🙂

  • John Guillen

    I had the TB and was very disappointed. After time and time of false ICS release most of us was stuck on gingerbread and watched in pain how everyone else enjoyed JB and other updated features. Its fine that HTC recognized this but what does it do for us who spent the money on this device? I do like HTC and would buy another phone but its too late because I jumped on the GS3 wagon and love my phone. I couldn’t wait for a new HTC phone for my contract was about to be over. So I had to jump to a different carrier. Sorry HTC you’ve lost a lot of customers with this phone and the carriers could care less for us customers. Not even a discount on another phone, not even a coupon to update. We were given nothing but false hopes.
    So, would I buy another HTC phone? yes I would. Now that most of the wrinkles are sorted away with new phones. The HTC One, looks like a great phone but too bad I moved on to another phone. And why did you give it the same name as another phone of yours?