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Samsung Droid Charge Delay: Are 4G Phones Ready for Verizon’s Network?

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Remember the Samsung Droid Charge? It was a 4G LTE smartphone from Verizon that was supposed to launch on April 28th only to have Big Red postpone that release date indefinitely due to still unknown reasons.

Samsung Droid Charge

Speculation about the delay has rested on it having something to do with the 4G LTE outage that the carrier experienced just prior to the scheduled release date. And while Verizon was able to return 4G LTE service to HTC ThunderBolt and modem owners, the Droid Charge is still stuck in release date limbo.

In fact, there hasn’t been a peep out of Verizon about the Droid Charge since they confirmed that it would miss its release date. Isn’t it a little odd, especially after the HTC ThunderBolt fiasco and Motorola Droid Bionic delay, that Verizon would stay silent?

LG RevolutionThis very well could be a ‘waiting for the right time to release it’ type deal but there also could be something far sinister at work here. During these two weeks of waiting, all sorts of questions have popped into my head.

“Might there be something wrong with the Droid Charge?”

“Is it going to go the way of the Droid Bionic?”

It’s unlikely that there is anything wrong with the Droid Charge’s hardware. We already reviewed the Droid Charge and Verizon’s Droid Does landing page still is up. However, the fact that Motorola and Verizon switched up the Droid Bionic form factor gets one to start thinking.

“Will the LG Revolution beat it to shelves?”

I wouldn’t bet on it. However, if you recall, the HTC ThunderBolt went up for pre-order on February 7th and didn’t get released until March 17th. We could very well see the Droid Charge arrive in June. The LG Revolution has a rumored launch date of May 25th.

But while all of these questions about the phones are good,  the most important question that came to mind is this:

Is Verizon’s 4G LTE network even ready for these phones?

The answer is looking more and more like no and it’s making AT&T look like a genius for not rushing into the 4G LTE market. Sure, the HTC ThunderBolt is a fantastic phone but it can’t even last a full day on 4G. The Samsung Droid Charge can’t either. In order to not have to continually charge your phone, you have to switch it over to slower 3G.

And yeah, I understand the Droid Charge delay has only been going on for two weeks but it makes you wonder if this is going to happen every single time Verizon tries to launch a 4G LTE handset, at least the one’s this year. In fact, Verizon has now blown all three of its 4G LTE release dates, a list that includes the ThunderBolt, the Droid Charge and 4G LTE for the Motorola Xoom.

All of it just seems so, premature. Almost as if it’s an experiment and that would be fine and all if customers didn’t have to pay exorbitant prices for the hardware and the data plans and were also forced to sign a two-year contract.

Verizon’s asking price for the Samsung Droid Charge is $300 and I feel sorry for those that have been waiting for two plus weeks to throw that money away on what appears to be a network that’s not ready (even during these early stages) for the strain of more than one phone.

20 Comments

  1. PirateFan

    05/12/2011 at 4:29 pm

    I am about to change providers.

  2. Scottybraun112

    05/12/2011 at 4:46 pm

    @AdamMills- well heres alittle something I just found out yesterday.. A friend at Verizon has informed me that the charge is still being delayed do to an issue with the actual phones “Charging Mechanism” and the phone wont be released for possibly another 2 weeks. Go figure, since the phone is called the Charge! But is this info 100%, not sure.. but it makes sense! LTE was not even down for 2 days, the charge has already been delayed 2 weeks, so it sure could be an issue with the phone.. hope this info comes in handy

    • Adam Mills

      05/12/2011 at 4:56 pm

      Wow. So, it’s possible that it won’t even be out until June? Gotta love the silence from Verizon.

      That makes this delay even more interesting then the HTC ThunderBolt saga because Verizon didn’t even announcement a release date for the T-Bolt until it knew it was definitely coming out. That’s what’s so peculiar about this. They give us a launch date and then postpone it. Immediately after a nationwide outage.

      Your story is definitely believable but I just think that, overall, Verizon’s 4G LTE roll out is just a half-baked attempt to secure people into contracts before AT&T can roll their network out.

      • Scottybraun112

        05/12/2011 at 5:09 pm

        Yea sure, Verizons LTE is great sometimes from what I hear (Not covered in LTE territory anymore). But it was rushed and still is very new.. New phones equal lots of new customers, which equals a lot more 4G data, and that might cause problems.. But also I really don’t doubt it if the Samsung Charge has an issue.. Why sell a new $300 phone with a known issue, an then deal with all the backlash and returns when the customers find out.. Its easier to delay, fix it, than release it..
        I wonder if I can find out if they started shipping phones back to be fixed? Not sure how the technical stuff works. But I have not seen this info I gave you anywhere else, but I figured Id let Gotta be mobile know what I found out since I like you guys!

    • Vzemp

      05/13/2011 at 11:50 am

      Has nothing to do with the phone.  We have 25 sitting here on the shelves.  Waiting for sale.  If it was a phone issue we would have been instructed to send them back.  We have not heard an official word but had to do with the LTE network issue the day before launch.   

  3. Dbexec

    05/12/2011 at 4:59 pm

    Brian Higgins, Verizon Wireless’ executive director for LTE Ecosystem
    Development, stated this week at a conference that whatever the problem
    was, it’s fixed and
    won’t happen again
    :

    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Verizon-Still-Not-Saying-What-Caused-LTE-Outage-114188?nocomment=1

  4. jason

    05/12/2011 at 5:00 pm

    I agree with everything you said. It is crazy the way verizon has been lately. If they knew it was going to be like this or anything close to this they could have told their WELL paying customers … like myself that all their dates were going to be delayed.

  5. Dbexec

    05/12/2011 at 5:01 pm

    Higgins didn’t reveal any details about what caused the outage or which
    of its vendors were responsible, but he said that the issue was fixed
    and VZW has taken steps to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. “Certainly
    there are going to be some lessons learned,” Higgins said. “We’re going
    to make some adjustments, and some of those adjustments have already
    been made. … It was an important issue. We worked through them. Our
    vendors were very responsive.”

  6. Bullitt5051

    05/12/2011 at 6:00 pm

    Target is selling them, I got mine this past weekend. The phone works great, 4g and all. I love it.

    • Scottybraun112

      05/12/2011 at 6:03 pm

      Really? online or in store?

      • Joey Loeffler Jr

        05/12/2011 at 6:53 pm

        In store, I’ve seen them and I have a buddy that has one. Its pretty fantastic but could be a little snappier (OS, Apps . . . 4G is blazing and camera/screen are phenomenal) I haven’t pulled the trigger yet as I am curious if the S2 will drop this summer for VZW or not.

    • Josh Smith

      05/12/2011 at 6:53 pm

      Do you mean the Thunderbolt? Or did you pick up a Charge at Target?

      • Bullitt5051

        05/12/2011 at 9:08 pm

        It was the charge, in store.

    • Eagle34

      05/12/2011 at 8:44 pm

      I work at Target in the electronics department right next to the mobile
      reps and can tell you for a fact that they are not selling them. Yes
      they have them,(I have seen the box and the phone inside it), but they
      cannot sell them. Their system won’t even let them ring it up. So if someone is selling them they are doing it illegal.

      • Bullitt5051

        05/12/2011 at 9:07 pm

        Well I was surprised they sold it to me since no one else would but I didn’t ask any questions. It rang up just fine.

  7. GMB

    05/12/2011 at 7:43 pm

    Why do people act as if this is something new? Verizon has ALWAYS been silent on anything related to their phones. I remember waiting months for them to say anything about the Samsung Omnia after it was announced by Samsung. 5 months to be specific then decided to go with the Droid 1 and it was still quite awhile before Verizon even mentioned the Omnia. The phone will come out when they decide to release it and we just have to sit here and wonder. If it was not for the fact that Verizon has the best network I might consider moving. However they do have the best and I travel around a lot so the Network is important to me.

  8. Scottybraun112

    05/12/2011 at 9:08 pm

    well im not doubting that the guy got sold a Charge at target.. a few people have mentioned already online that stores have sold the charge to them, a reporter was one of them.. some stores like best buy, costco, etc.. but they weren’t supposed to.. just because one store will not, doesn’t mean another one wouldn’t.. depends just how lucky you get!

  9. John S

    05/25/2011 at 7:53 am

    You can actually get the DROID CHARGE 4G with $100 discount for new
    subscribers or $50 off for existing Verizon Wireless subscriber: http://bit.ly/lOCjEh

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