updated 09:50 pm EST, Fri February 25, 2011
HTC Thunderbolt delay blamed on battery
The HTC Thunderbolt's ongoing delays may be attributable to battery life based on tips from sources on Friday. Verizon's headlining 4G phone is reportedly supposed to have battery life poor enough that it can drain out in two to three hours, or even more aggressively than the Evo 4G's WiMAX did at first. Firmware was said to blame by Engadget's informers and could see the issue fixed in software.
Without a fix, however, Verizon has reportedly had to delay the Thunderbolt's official launch date six times, helping to explain the multiple release dates that have surfaced, even with just days to go for some of them. Many had suspected that the Thunderbolt was to have launched side-by-side with the Motorola Xoom as an Android-based 4G phone and tablet combo.
The design is relatively conservative for HTC and is largely just an upgrade to the Desire HD with an LTE modem. Most LTE hardware is both large and battery hungry and has led to a large number of LTE phones having screens over four inches as well as very high-capacity batteries. Apple deliberately avoided an LTE iPhone 4 as the thin, small design would have had to be changed just to accommodate the extra demands of current 4G technology.