5 Thoughts on the HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich Update

Like many of you HTC ThunderBolt owners out there, I have wondered about whether Verizon will roll out the HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich update after promising that it would. Every single day I go back and forth on whether the aging device will get the update and so, I wanted to share my thoughts about the situation.

All the way back in February, HTC confirmed the HTC ThunderBolt Ice Cream Sandwich update saying that it would roll out the update sometime in the future. Then, the manufacturer confirmed that the update would be coming out sometime in July or August of this year.

It did not specify a day and with July winding down without any news, one would assume that the update is going to arrive in the month of August, if at all.

The HTC ThunderBolt ICS update is frustrating me.

Read: 5 Thoughts on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Update.

What I mean by that is that the situation surrounding the HTC ThunderBolt’s Ice Cream Sandwich release is unclear. It all started when the HTC Desire HD, a device that is essentially the HTC ThunderBolt, except not on Verizon, saw its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update cancelled.

That was the first sign of trouble.

Soon after that, we were told by a source that there was only a slim chance that the HTC ThunderBolt update would be rolling out to customers. Specifically, we have heard that there is only a 5% chance that the update will ever arrive.

In addition, we have yet to see any ICS update for the HTC ThunderBolt leak out which is not a death knell but is not a good sign either.

Now you can see what I mean when I say that my mind has been all over the place wondering about whether deserving HTC ThunderBolt customers will ever see the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich.

So, here are five thoughts that I have wrestled with for the past few days in regards to the update.

I Still Think the HTC ThunderBolt ICS Update Will Roll Out

A source told us that the HTC ThunderBolt ICS update has a 95% chance of not rolling out. Coupled with the fact that the HTC Desire HD (again it’s a similar device) failed in its ICS testing, there is good reason to think that the update is in trouble and that it might not roll out.

However, I am still of the belief that Verizon will ultimately decide to roll the update out.

Not out of pity or kindness but because there are a ton of HTC ThunderBolt owners out there. HTC is the one testing the software and I’d be shocked if Verizon wasn’t pushing it to get the software to run on the ThunderBolt. If I were Verizon, not only would I not want to deal with thousands of angry ThunderBolt owners but I also wouldn’t want to have to clean up HTC’s mess.

Remember, it was HTC, not Verizon, that promised the update.

The HTC ThunderBolt, despite its issues, sold well and I think that gives HTC and Verizon good reason to pursue the update further than a device like the HTC Desire HD.

Though, I’m Still Worried

That doesn’t mean that it’s all unicorns, sundaes and rainbows over here though. Even if HTC and Verizon do manage to get the Ice Cream Sandwich update out to the HTC ThunderBolt, something just tells me that it’s going to have some issues. ICS paired with HTC Sense will need a lot of horsepower, horsepower that the ThunderBolt doesn’t really have.

768MB and a single-core processor were good a year ago, but those are last-generation specifications. I worry that HTC Sense might cause problems here as it can be a hardware hog.

My brain also isn’t helped by the fact that the Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX ICS updates brought a ton of issues along with them and those are current-generation smartphones.

Sorry for the pessimism but I think it’s warranted here.

Only A Few Truly Know What’s Going On

For some reason, I get the feeling that no one really knows what’s going with the HTC ThunderBolt ICS update save for a few people. The reason I’ve come to this conclusion is that over the past few days, I’ve heard conflicting information.

We’ve heard that there is a 95% chance that it might not roll out. This is from a source that has been reliable in the past. However, I’ve also heard from a couple of people who say that they’ve talked to HTC and that the company says it has ‘good news’ about the ThunderBolt coming next week. Customer service representatives are not always the most trustworthy sources of information as was clear with the Droid RAZR ICS roll out so I can’t believe that just yet.

That being said, it doesn’t look like an official decision has been made. Remember, they have until the end of August so they could

Tired of Promises

HTC Desire HD owners will be the first to tell you that they are sick and tired of the promises that manufacturers and carriers make in regards to Android updates. I am too.

Read: Motorola to Appease Droid Bionic Owners with Early Ice Cream Sandwich Release?

Yes HTC. It’s a great idea to confirm the update, then confirm two possible launch months, and then stay completely silent about any sort of progress in regards to the update. If there is even the slightest chance that the update might not roll out, don’t confirm anything, don’t release any launch months.

If Any Deserves Good News, It’s ThunderBolt Owners

The header says it all. The HTC ThunderBolt has seen its fair share of shenanigans over the last year or so starting with its ridiculous release which was followed by those nasty random reboots that took months on end to fix.

It’s my belief that early adopters should be rewarded, remember the HTC ThunderBolt was the first 4G LTE smartphone, ThunderBolt owners have seemingly been let down time and time again.

The least HTC and Verizon can do is grace the device with one major Android update. It would go a long way with owners I’m sure.


  1. Adam Irslinger

    07/27/2012 at 1:33 pm

    I’m going with a big negative and switching to a motorola device next upgrade I’m tired of htcs promises. A year and a half to fix random reboot and a cycling antenna software that still plagues the phone. Wtf


  2. Brandon

    07/27/2012 at 2:04 pm

    I’m about to get my 5th thunderbolt from Verizon. Data dropping and random reboots started up again.


  3. Kevin Keenan

    07/27/2012 at 2:42 pm

    It’s a great phone, when you’re not using Verizon’s ROM. the BAMF Forever and Cubed ROM’s are awesome with this phone. I prefer cubed as I get the same performance without a crazy custom kernel and overclocking.

    It would be nice to have ICS though on this phone that us early adopters paid a buttload of cash for even under contract


  4. Stsiemons

    07/27/2012 at 7:01 pm

    Part of my reason for reacting quickly when the Tbolt first arrived was the promise of the unlimited data from Verizon. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit of if no additional updates materialized…. we will be quicker to move to newer technology out of necessity and probably lose what we were promised.


  5. Dan Benz

    07/28/2012 at 5:29 pm

    I’m one of those early Thunderbolt adopters, and I’m counting the days until I am eligible to upgrade my phone for the discount price (January 2013…).
    One of the worst purchases I’ve ever made. Lately it’s been doing this thing where it’ll have 3 bars of 4G for 20 seconds, then no signal for the next 20 seconds. So I have to time my web browsing so that I hit refresh during the right 20 second period.
    I would be the least-surprised person in the world if HTC announced they’ve cancelled the update.


  6. Ira Minor

    07/28/2012 at 11:48 pm

    I don’t want ICS on my Thunderbolt, I want Jelly Bean and will get it one way or another.


  7. John

    07/29/2012 at 7:46 am

    Adam Mills, you need to get your shit together. i’ve seen 3 different articles from you speculating the release of ICS on the thunderbolt in the past 10 days. maybe you should wait and collect some details on this before you go spouting off a new article every 3 days or so?

    also, the irrelevant videos in the middle of this article is a particularly nice touch, i must say. big thumbs up on that.


    • Andrew

      07/29/2012 at 5:28 pm

      Very well put John. ADAM THE NEXT POST NEEDS TO CONTAIN FACTS, NOT SPECULATION. I use GottaBeMobile as a fairly reliable source of information, but lately, you’ve been full of $hit and it’s getting annoying. Come back with facts or quit posting your bullcrap opinion.


  8. Bill Webb

    07/30/2012 at 8:31 am

    This isn’t 5 thoughts, it’s the same couple of thoughts rehashed without including any useful information. Publish or perish, I guess.

    That said, from the perspective of a professional writer, let me add a thought from a satisfied TBolt owner.

    I had my phone rooted and tried three different ICS builds. Nonetheless of them performed as well as 2.3. I think the Desire decision was a good one, and I expect the same for the 6400. The more.ore complex rom simply needs more RAM than the Thunderbolt can deliver. Delivering an OTA upgrade that would break most users phones… or wipe them, if it re-partitioned the “drive”, would be a nightmare for both VZW and HTC.

    You can’t make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear. The Bolt is a decent phone, but only a dreamer who knows little about coding could imagine that ICS would ever perform well on it. It might run, but without room to work it would have all the spoiled children whining even louder.

    My wife got a Rezound for free from VZW last month. She loves it, and it runs Ice Cream Sandwich just fine. Me, I’m waiting to see what miracles the OEM’s have wrought when I’m due next Feb. In the meantime I’m not reading any more prognostications nor the comments thereto. I’m tired of children whining because Christmas wasn’t exactly what the Santa at the mall promised them.

    (Written on my old, outdated but still perfectly serviceable ATR6400L using Android 2.3..)


    • bammaster

      08/02/2012 at 7:29 pm

      The problem isn’t ice cream sandwich but rather sense. Whatever ics rom you were using you either flashed dirty or was crap in the first place. Ics from my experience runs a lot smoother than older versions of android.


  9. c davenport

    09/08/2012 at 12:53 pm

    I would never but another htc product. You live or die by your actions. Htc is a company you just can’t count on.


  10. jimmietv

    09/13/2012 at 5:10 am

    I am done with my thunderbolt .I got this phone on the day came out and wish I never did I will now be getting an iPhone 5 I’ll be done with my phone problems


  11. Joseph M.

    10/26/2012 at 2:20 pm

    I got tired of waiting… and waiting… and waiting.

    VZW was recently selling the Samsung Galaxy Nexus certified pre-owned for $230 full retail on their website, so I bought one.


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