Thunderbolt This Week: Rumored Delay Due to iPhone, Best Buy Pre-Orders Open, Official Giveaways, and More


I’ve said it 10 times before, and I’ll say it again: a Verizon launch isn’t a Verizon launch without a series of rumors and leaks all culminating with official (and quiet) confirmation from either them or a major retailer. The HTC Thunderbolt’s ride has been no different.

A lot of stuff came in over the weekend. Just as we imagined they would thanks to a leaked circular last week, Best Buy is now taking pre-orders for the HTC Thunderbolt. $50 down will get you a spot, of course, but we still don’t know this phone’s release date. For all we know, it may not even be launching February 14th. More on that in a bit.

Folks have also uncovered another phone simulator, this time made for Best Buy’s use. You can check out the virtual preview for the device right here. (You’ll need flash installed, of course.) And to wrap up the Best Buy parade, accessories are landing in their stores, which normally indicates a launch isn’t far off.

We just have to figure out how long “far off” is for Verizon and Best Buy. Rumors from DroidForums – the folks who have been so reliable with Verizon-related information in the past – say the HTC Thunderbolt will be delayed 2-3 weeks from its originally planned February 14th launch, and it’s because of one very fruity reason: they don’t want it to be overshadowed by the launch of the iPhone 4.

There’s also a logistical angle to the move, according to the rumor, as Verizon wants to make sure store traffic doesn’t completely overwhelm them. The two week window would give them time to sell the iPhone and deal with any returns and exchanges without new customers excited for the Thunderbolt having to deal with the chaos. Take this one with a grain of salt.

Finally, a Verizon store opening will be celebrated by giving the Thunderbolt away. The Northampton, MA launch takes place February 12th, and as far as Droid Life is concerned, at least one lucky winner will be walking away with the phone. Let’s hope that the store is stocked to the roof with units to prepare for a February 14th launch after all.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. And people are loyal to Verizon because…?

  2. Because they have good service….duh, the phone will come troll

  3. I actually seeing not getting overshadowed by iPhone a option but hey there sold out so. The first is maybe not the reason but traffic don’t make sense since if ur still in the store 4 days later then that ain’t good cause u go phone problems. I think if delayed it be a mix but the biggest is there network they want to push there 4g network now cause the next iPhone wit 4g can be kicked out with a control on data packages we seen what just happen with 3g and bandwidth throttling

  4. I reserved a thunderbolt and don’t mind waiting until the 14th. I hope that the release date is no later. If you really want the thunderbolt,then wait for it. I decided it over the iphone because i felt that hey its worth it. Beside the next iphone will be out in a couple of months than the i4 will be old.

  5. The Thunderbolt is launching on the 14th assuming stores have inventory, which can be affected by two things: bigger stores are much more likely to get them in by the 14th, and shipping delays from the “snowpocalypse” are also a slight possibility, but shouldn’t really affect it. Worst case scenario, your local Best Buy should have it in stock by the 17th, but most of them should really have it by the 14th. It’s also Best Buy retail exclusive for 60 days, which IS NOT in exchange for not selling the iPhone or some other silly nonsense, but you already knew this.

    Trust me, I’m in a position to know.

  6. I bet whoever wins the phone doesn’t walk away with a phone, I bet he walks away with a certificate “Good for a phone” when they launch…

  7. Why would anyone use Verizon anyway? They’re in violation of FCC rules and they limit what you can do on their phones unlike other cellular companies. But, I guess there must be 100 million stupid people in the US, if that’s how many customers Verizon has.

    Also, what’s up with all the Blackberry ads here? Who visiting this site is going to buy a Blackberry? Stupid. I’m not sure what is more stupid, Blackberry ads here or people who are marketing suckers and use Verizon.

  8. @Deals
    I guarantee those BlackBerry ads make for some good revenue, but I do kind of agree with you about Verizon. Kind of.

    There’s a reason I use Sprint. They’re truly unlimited, can get you yearly upgrades, the cheapest, and have great city coverage. I guess if you need coverage in swamps and deserts, you might need Verizon, but I’m being a little more realistic.

  9. I use Verizon because they have the best network, you must be cheap, go cry somewhere else.

  10. If by best you mean slow and outdated then yes Verizons network kicks ass.

  11. I just pre-ordered today. The Rep said the Thunderbolt should launch on the 14th. Bestbuy also gives you a $50 giftcard for pre-ordering.

  12. Just what network do you use Deals? AT&T?

  13. Seriously, I don’t think he could be whining any harder…

  14. lol, its still a rumored phone? last i heard pre-orders of the device and it was announced. Please update Phandroid…

  15. #1 Bestbuy is currently taking pre-orders saying it will release on the 14th “but not confirmed”

    #2 Verizon has great covereage at a reasonable price with some of the best phones thats why we use them.

    #3 There are blackberry ad’s because the website owners dont care who they advertise, as long as the advertisers are paying.

  16. Thunderbolt + 4G > iPhone + 3G. Release the phone!!!

  17. Other networks are just as good as Verizon. You’re brainwashed by their marketing. Also, there are far cheaper cellular options out there. Get at clue. Some people are just mindless drones.

  18. I’m going to leak some information here in the most inappropriate place: The iphone 4 for vzw is HSPA+ capable and will probably be the same chipset for the iphone 5

  19. I think they just did a comparison chart and actually verizon is one of the cheapest but go ahead and open your mouth must suck to be poor

  20. it must suck being a elitest fag

  21. i wish u use your phone in middle of traffic..sorry hate your type of people.

  22. Better poor then a fucking brainwashed reach asshole

  23. I mean rich asshole

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