Yesterday when we ran the story that Verizon Wireless was going to miss the unofficial, never announced by Verizon or HTC release date of Thursday March 10th, we were surprised at the number of people who tweeted back saying that they still thought it was coming on Thursday.
Sorry but today the news isn’t any better. Verizon’s CTO, Tony Melone, the guy who announced Verizon’s 4G LTE in a press conference and conference call late last year, said they were working through LTE issues. Melone, speaking at the Credit Suisse Convergence Conference, said that he thought they were well beyond expectations in even bringing 4G LTE phones to Verizon in 2011.
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.
More after the break
So all you optimists out there can go ahead and keep thinking that the Thunderbolt is right around the corner, but we’ve been waiting weeks for a more qualified statement from Verizon and that’s what Melone has given us.
When Melone took questions from the audience he was asked specifically about battery life and gave this reply:
I would say all the issues are being worked. I’m not sure I would say there are any key issues. Again, battery life has always been a topic of folks, no different than it was with 3G. The OEMs and ourselves, between the network and the device, we’ll optimize it and provide a battery experience that we believe will be acceptable to consumers.
We’ve been saying for weeks that one of our Verizon ninjas suggested there were still “hand off” issues going fom 4G/LTE to 3G. It’s no secret that Verizon still hasn’t perfected the handoff using one their USB sticks however waiting a minute for data to resume on a laptop is a lot different then having a 4G/LTE phone with data speeds hindered by the “hand off”.
At this point when the HTC Thunderbolt will hit retail remains a mystery but I’ll be when it’s ready Verizon will be the first to let us know.