Verizon: Thunderbolt by HTC Goes on Sale Thursday March 17!

Verizon officially announced that the HTC Thunderbolt will be available starting Thursday March 17 at retail stores and online beginning March 17. That’s right, no more rumors, but a solid Thunderbolt release date! With an official price tag of $249.99, the HTC Thunderbolt will be the first Verizon 4G LTE phone.

There have been  HTC Thunderbolt’s price and release date rumors since the device was officially launched at CES 2011. Best Buy began taking pre-order reservations on February 6 and as of yesterday continued to do so. Verizon’s announced that it will not be taking pre-order reservations between now on Thursday and that its retail stores will open at normal hours.

The subsidized price of the HTC Thunderbolt is $249.99. This price requires a new contract or eligible upgrade. A voice plan, starting at $39.99 per month, an unlimited 4G LTE data plan is $29.99 per month.  The Thunderbolt’s wireless hotspot feature is free through May 15, but after that date it will cost $20 per month for 2GB of data.

The HTC Thunderbolt can be used on both Verizon’s 3G network and 4G LTE netwok. Much of the U.S. is not covered by 4G LTE, but subscribers that are covered should experience blazing fast upload and download speeds that rival those of wired ISPs. Thus far, Verizon customer have only experienced 4G LTE through USB modems plugged into laptops. A 4G LTE MiFi card from Novatel is expected soon.

The HTC Thunderbolt is similar in appearance to the HTC EVO 4G, a phone that was announced a year ago and that runs on Sprint’s 4G network. There are several key improvements to the Thunderbolt, including a faster processor, more storage capacity and LTE compatibility.

Below is a summary of the HTC Thunderbolt’s specifications. You can find full Thunderbolt specifications and more details here.

  • 4G LTE
  • 4.3” WVGA display
  • 8-megapixel rear facing camera and HD (720p) video recording
  • 1.3-megapixel front facing camera
  • Latest generation 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

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The HTC Thunderbolt will be available at BestBuy, Verizon Wireless and Wirefly starting on the 17th. Wirefly is taking pre-orders and is promising that shipments will begin on the 17th. Best Buy locations may still be taking pre-orders, but some stores are reporting that they won’t likely be able to fulfill all orders on the Thunderbolt’s launch date.

If you’re not eligible for new Verizon phone, the Thunderbolt will cost you at least $669.99. If you’re not eligible for an upgrade, you’ll have to spend a serious chunk of change to get the Thunderbolt.

Comments

  1. shelleyjr says

    Thanks for the Verizon update. This was just the information I was looking for. I wondered if there would be a pre-sale of the Thunderbolt like Verizon did with the iPhone. It seems that Verizon is doing everything they can to down play this new phone. They put a lot more energy into promoting the iPhone. Plus, not opening early for the Thunderbolt is just another example of their laid back attitude towards this phone.

    • Ironcoffins07 says

      All verizon phones have next day shipping available for online purchases. This phone should be no different as long as its available online when they say it will be.

      • shelleyjr says

        Thank you for replying. I have never ordered a phone online before. This will be my first smart phone too and I am new to Android. I am really looking forward to having an Android smart phone.

  2. Bill toon says

    Well if it is to be released on the 17th Verizon retail stores nor Verizon online or Verizon itself are saying it. All they are saying is it is not available yet! so what good does it do to signup on thier website to be “notified” in adnviance of its release?

    I called Verizon and they said if it is to be release Thrusday then I will probably be notified Thrusday morning that it is being released?? WTF VERIZON way to keep your customer base “pre informed”

    • shelleyjr says

      I agree with you 100%. What is the big deal about signing up to be notified if you are going to be notified the day they go on sale? Duh! It seems pointless unless they were going to do pre-sale, which they are not.

      I spoke to a Verizon rep yesterday and she said that I could sign up to be notified. I told her I did that months ago. However, she did say I could order a Thunderbolt online from their website on Thursday.

      I haven’t been notified by Verizon yet. Has anyone heard from them that signed up?

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