Many folks are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the HTC Thunderbolt, but the 4G handset may launch at the end of the carriers target launch window, not the beginning. Earlier this year, Verizon promised its first LTE handsets would be arriving in the first half of 2011. The official unveiling of the hardware during a CES press event got everyone excited for the carrier’s trio of LTE handsets, which include the Thunderbolt from HTC, the Revolution from LG and an offering from Samsung. Based on that presentation and ensuing rumors, many people assumed these LTE handsets would debut sooner than later.
Verizon CTO Tony Melone set the record straight on Verizon’s upcoming LTE lunch during a recent talk at the Credit Suisse Convergence conference. Melone confirmed that Verizon will launch within its first estimate but an earlier than expected launch is most likely off the table due to issues with the new technology. Melone said,
“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.”
The Verizon CTO did not detail the type of issues the carrier was experiencing. It could be hardware related; an earlier unconfirmed rumor suggested the Thunderbolt had battery issues that delayed its release. Other problems could be related to Verizon’s LTE network and the preparation required to launch a sizable number of handsets capable of LTE’s higher download speeds.
[Via Fierce Wireless]