HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich Update Remains in Limbo

Since the end of August, HTC ThunderBolt owners have been wondering when they might be getting the long awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update. There have been rumblings, but unfortunately, that wait appears headed into its fourth month as November, the third month of the ThunderBolt’s ICS update stay in update limbo, comes to a close.

Shortly before HTC’s self-imposed August deadline for the HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich update, the company acknowledged that there would be a delay with both the ThunderBolt and Droid Incredible 2 ICS updates. At the time, HTC offered no information regarding any sort of timing for the updates only saying that it was continuing to work with Verizon on making the software available.

Read: New Droid Incredible 2 Ice Cream Sandwich Update Details Emerge.

The HTC ThunderBolt update remains MIA.

As November closes out, it now appears that HTC ThunderBolt and Droid Incredible 2 owners will now be moving into their fourth month of waiting for not only the update but some sort of response from either HTC and Verizon in regards to the updates. Thus far, owners have been treated to rumors and a couple of statements from HTC including its most recent one which suggests that it’s working on a connectivity issue with the Droid Incredible 2 Ice Cream Sandwich update.

Other than that, HTC has stuck to generic responses or silence while Verizon has remained completely tacit.

HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich Update in Doubt
The HTC ThunderBolt ICS update could be in doubt.

Over the course of the past few months, the HTC ThunderBolt and Droid Incredible 2 owners we’ve spoken to have struck a wide range of emotions. Initially, they were angry and frustrated. Then, after the weeks went on, they became incredulous. And now, nearly three whole months after the update was promised, many are just laughing it off with one calling it a “disaster.”

That’s probably not too far from the truth. It’s hard to remember the last time an major Android update dragged on this long. HTC ThunderBolt owners will remember the months it took for HTC and Verizon to roll out the bug fix update for the random reboot issues but beyond that update, it’s extremely difficult to recall a situation as ridiculous and really, as disastrous as this one.

Read: HTC Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Update Plans Revealed.

The other day, I tried to envision an iOS update delayed for this long for iPhone owners and all I could do was laugh. And at this point, some of the HTC ThunderBolt owners I’ve spoken to have done the same. It has reached that point of absurdity.

At least there is some good news afoot in the form of HTC’s rather candid response in regards to the Droid Incredible 2 ICS update. It could be that we see some positive news soon. Better late than never, right?


  1. Time to give up, Adam. It’s not coming. Even if it does, most folks who initially purchased the device will be eligible for an upgrade. The only folks who will lag behind are grandfathered users on unlimited data who wish to keep that status after their contract ends. The rumor is now out there of how to contact customer support via phone to get an “early” DNA/upgrade via Verizon Support (NOT in store)…for a small early upgrade fee. I suggest users with the biggest problems try that approach. The article is on ZDNet and entitled “How to Score an Early Upgrade from Verizon.” Best of luck everyone. Personally, I’m done with HTC, Verizon, and Android because of this debacle. On to the evil iphone maker (who issues updates independent of the carriers) and a provider who still has unlimited data in my area.

  2. Have three Thunderbolts in the family. Moving one to iphone5 later in Dec. Most likely move the other two to either Samsung S3 or iphone5. Never HTC again.

  3. nfortunately have 4 more months on verizon and this crap phone. 2 GB on any 4g phone is not enough and I’m going to move to ATT which has 3 GB or Sprint with the unlimited in March. Regardless, as enticing as the droid DNA looks, it looks to be plagued again with a small battery (those idiots) and no expandable memory (wtf?)

      • The Thunderbolt has 768mb RAM … although it wouldn’t surprise me if the idiots at VW tried using 512mb as an excuse – maybe they thought no one would verify their excuse for abandoning the t-bolt months ago.

  4. I was stuck with mine until January but gave up about a month back and got a nice new Droid Razr off Craigslist for $100. Well worth it to ditch that hunk of gingerbread crap and hold me over until the new wave of tech at CES in January.

  5. I’m calling for a worldwide boycott of HTC phones starting December 14th. If HTC has not issued an update for the Thunderbolt, we should abstain from buying HTC phones over the holidays. HTC can either update the Thunderbolt by December 14th or issue $100 credits towards the purchase of a new HTC phone. Who’s with me???? Post around the internet to get some traction on this!!!!

    • Somehow, I doubt you’ll find people flocking to your cause. I can’t see many people boycotting a phone manufacturer because they are late with someone else’s phone update. #firstworldproblems

      *Note: I have a Thunderbolt and eagerly await a new phone (not HTC). But until I’m ready to buy a new phone, a “boycott” for me in December is going to resemble me not buying any phone until my contract is up.

    • am with you man, i dont really like this htc bullshit anymore. there so far behind on everything. no wonder apple is number one right now.

  6. Just got off the phone with Verizon and the beta tests with ICS crashed the phone so they told me that Jelly Bean is targeted for next month

    • Yeah, and they are also giving us unlimited data for as long as we stay with them and only charging us $25 a month for life

  7. [email protected]

    i ditched my Thunderbolt knowing an upgrade was not coming and that Verizon has discontinued the phone. I bought the droid Razer M (Jellybean). I turned my Thunderbolt in back to Verizon they waved the upgrade fee. Droid M is far superior to the Thunderbolt. I didn’t even see ICS. Jumped straight to Jellybean, Not to mention the battery life on the Droid M is FANTASTIC. I as well am done with HTC.

  8. [email protected]

    It’s Not Verizon’s fault…..The phone was terrible and would not be able to handle ICS even if it wanted to . Its HTC’s fault

  9. I too will never buy another HTC device. ICS has been out for over a year! Clearly, they don’t give a shit about us.

  10. I want the DNA by HTC but I don’t dare by it . If they can’t keep up with their updates then I don’t want the product. There areots of good phones out there my next one WILL NOT BE AN HTC !!!!!!! they haveost my respect.

  11. I got tempted when I read the article about the ZDNET dude convincing Verizon to give him an early upgrade, and he got the DNA. It does really look like a great phone but then I have to slap myself and realize that it is made by HTC! That means it may well have jelly bean right off the shelf, but I know a year down the line and beyond, it is going to fall behind the update curve just like my TBolt has done. So I am sticking to my guns, no more HTC for me.

    I suppose it is an interesting debate, how long should a manufacturer support a phone? How long should they provide OS updates for it? Good question to be sure. However I don’t think it is too much to ask to support a phone for at least two years!

  12. I had three Tbolts on a family plan….my daughter went to look at the DNA and I told her no way. She got an S3. The other two are waiting for upgrades…..but they won’t be HTC’s because of HTC’s poor track record with this phone.

  13. To read this, you will need to remove your rose colored glasses and snap back to reality. Thunderbolt will never have the RAM to support ICS, Jelly Bean or any other silly named Android OS Treat! Put down the phone! It’s not worth all the crying, finger pointing or anger. Remember, It was the very 1st 4g lte phone. HTC tried! It had some pros that everyone, loved like – it was the 1st 4g lte release with lots of internal memory on 32gb micro sd card and some cons – like a huge ugly bump of a battery, not enough memory to update it for a 2 year contract period and Verizon’s memory hogging bloatware! It serviced me well…until it just couldn’t keep up anymore. Thank you, Thunderbolt. May you R.I.P. That’s why my new Samsung Galaxy Note II is being delivered tomorrow. My life will go on and I am so EXCITED!

    • My friend has a HTC Thunderbolt phone from T Mobile. Last week, while we were in a book store, his phone upgraded to ICS. It took between 20 to 30 minutes to complete. There it was…..

  14. I’ve read enough to know that HTC is a roomful of idiots and Verizon is the worst company on earth for customer service. I’m done waiting for companies too cowardly to be honest with their customers. I suppose when they finally emerge to say something, they’ll have to take their thuimbs out of their mouthes first.

    F them!

  15. I am glad to see that HTC is losing so many customers over the ThunderBolt. I will NEVER buy another HTC product after my horrible experience with it and them. I think Verizon still has the best service (not customer service, but actual phone and data) so I feel like I might have to stay with them, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will most likely be my next phone.

  16. I’ve been with Verizon since they took over AirTouch here in NM and have never been disappointed. To date, I have been happy with my selection of phones and only had to utilize the replacement program once, for a Blackberry. Am I disappointed because I may not get the latest/greatest…not really because I do have the option to change phones. My Thunderbolt is serving its purpose and relatively well at that. I would just like to see an official statement from one or both on what is really going on. Someone above said that they were going to work on Jelly Bean because ICS was still having problems…was that for the Thunderbolt and how do we know how creditable your comment is and not another stir the pot above the boiling point statement. I could say I talked to a rep today and they said they were working on android 5.3 named Biscochito for summer 2013 and more than enough people would run with it as a viable statement.

    Big Red and HTC…just tell us that very few phones get updates after being out for 1.5 years and these are not in that category. We are very materialistic so once you tell us there may be a week of hatred but then we’ll adapt by keeping or getting rid of our phone in question and life will go on.

    • Actually, I heard the same thing from a Verizon rep about a month ago when I called about some thunderbolt issues. He said they were having too many issues with ice cream sandwich and were skipping to jelly bean because it is less intense in its memory requirements. I don’t know if that’s true, but just wanted to note that the guy above wasn’t the only one who’d heard that.

      And you can add me to the list of those who have soured on HTC because of this fiasco. my next phone, ideally, will be a nexus of some variety, but barring that, it definitely won’t be an HTC.

  17. Have two Thunderbolts in my family and after constant 4G data drop (with 3G not working at all on my handset) and random resets I will never buy HTC junk again. Also, I’ve made sure that the company I work for will no longer provide any HTC handsets for the 79 employees in the future. Personally I’m looking forward Galaxy S4 ;).

  18. The one thing to remember is most of the manufacturers have one or two devices that just can’t handle the upgrade path they originally thought was possible, or some issues force a delay. One phone I wanted to get before I got an Incredible 2, was the Samsung Fascinate. If I’m not mistaken, owners were promised Gingerbread(?) back in the summer of 2010. When did they get the update? I believe it was December 2011. That’s a long time and a lot of upset customers.

    Another poster commented that the Thunderbolt was the first 4g LTE phone and as such had pros and cons that came with this distinction. As with many “First” devices, they’re almost like beta products and chances of upgradability (is that a word?) could be difficult.

  19. Wake up people. It’s verizon. They won’t people with unlinited data to get off and buy there plans. The thunderbolt was there best seller and now they wont thunderbolt user to get new phones so they can get us off the unlimited plans. I call Verizon and there a bunch of liers. I’m tiered of my 4g dropping. All they say we dont fine any problem in our network. I call bull Shit. Any lawyers need to jump on this and sue verizon for making us switch our plan for unlimited to limited data. They won’t even credit my account. They know there’s a problem and won’t even do anything to help there customers. SO VERIZON I CALL BULL SHit on you.

  20. I can officially upgrade my Thunderbolt tomorrow November 29th. Seeya HTC. I’ll move right into Jellybean with my next phone.

  21. I’ve gotten word from a survey responder via phone that indeed ensures ics will be coming, but of course this is all he had heard.

  22. As long as you don’t mind buying a phone for full retail price you can keep your unlimited data. Think I will just so i can continue to use ridiculous amounts of data…

  23. I think that most of you guys are being childish. “oh! Ingh! no update yet for my old phone!” “they are the worse, bad bad HTC, I dun wanna talk to you anymore…”. I do grant you one thing, if HTC had promised something, they should stick to it and do it. But also, I feel that the delay must be mostly due to Verizon’s addware. The thunder DOES work on ICS just fine, in fact I am using the leaked Rom right freaking now. I don’t want to sound rude hete but you guys in America are way too pushy sometimes. If the update goes out, good, if it doesntx it will certainly influence your future purchase decisions, not only for the brand but the carrier and the right radio (gsm). Now please stop wineing and act maturely.

    • What is wineing? Thanks for the generalizations of Americans, we always appreciate your opinion of us. It is frustrating to have a phone that doesn’t work 60% of the time and hoping that an update could help, then waiting 3-4 months past the promised time only to have all communications ceased.

  24. IS THERE SOMETHING AFOOT??? I just did “Check new” for “Software update” and I get the “Checking for new Software available now.” message. It usually comes back and gives me a message saying “No update found” or something like that and I have to hit an “OK” button to clear that message. This morning it just went back to the “Software update” menu. I know this is a subtle change, but it is something different. I rebooted my thunderbolt to make sure it wasn’t something up with the phone. It still reacts this way… is an update about to hit?

    Any other thunderbolt owners out there seeing this happen?

    And, for the record, I agree that thunderbolt owners have been given the SHAFT by verizon. I am going to suffer with my thunderbolt until all my contracts expire, and then I am going to see what alternative is out there. It seems my wife and kids text more than they call… who needs good call quality anymore!!!

  25. I’m gonna have to disagree with yall. I personally love my thunderbolt. granted when first came out, the whole reboot issue sucked, and the original root methods were a pain and removed the software update that fixed that issue. And of course there’s the battery life issues.
    But, now my phone is rooted on a stock rom. I removed all the bloatware, and bought the extended life battery. my data hauls ass for the most part. I was using my phone for wifi to my laptop last night and believe it or not, was downloading at 7mbps. my one and only complaint is that it lacks the MHL software in the usb port that allows you to mirror your screen onto your tv screen via the hdmi port.

    and as far as Verizon getting rid of the unlimited data plan. I think it’s ridiculous, and so is their pricing for data. they actually don’t offer a data plan large enough for my use, considering I average about 21 gigs a month. If i were to switch plans I’d be paying upwards of $300 per month.
    needless to say, I won’t be upgrading when I renew my contract. Although, that galaxy note 2 looked really nice. and I’m baffled as to why they didn’t put expandable memory on the DNA. that’s like putting a go kart engine in a Chevy.

    • BigDaddyBear, thanks for your reply. I understand what you are saying, and somewhat agree. I am technical enough that I could root my phone and it would be a better experience. But, as many others have said about many other phones, I shouldn’t have to do that, and the average user is not gonna be able to do that. My kids each have a rezound, and it is even faster on data that the thunderbolt. I may buy a used rezound off ebay or craigslist, root it, and finish out my verizon contract with it… then survey if going with another carrier makes sense. May keep unlimited verizon for me, move rest of family to cheaper texting.

  26. My two adult children have moved to iPhone because of this. Two lost sales for HTC. I’m waiting because my Bolt works great.

  27. I have been very pleased with my Incredible 2 despite no ICS. While I am disappointed that there is no update yet I am considering the DNA. For my experience the screen is a big part of my decision. I have read the screen is amazing on the DNA. A friend has a Bionic and the pentile screen is horrible, not nearly as crisp/clear as my Incredible 2. I have an upgrade due at end of January and am trying to decide between the Galaxy SIII, Motorola Razr Maxx HD, and the DNA. I have to laugh at those that are going to leave Verizon. I was with ATT in a major metro area and their is no comparison when it comes to the network speed, Verizon wins hands down. I was even able to upload a photo on 3G from the top of North Eolus peak, an isolated peak in the Colorado backcountry, my buddy on ATT could not even make a phone call on his Iphone 4, LMAO.

  28. I’ve talked to a verizon employee about ics and she couldnt give an answer, I don’t think ics is ever coming out, the phones outdated

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