The day has finally come, Verizon Wireless has made the HTC ThunderBolt handset officially official. We’ve seen leak after leak — and even an authorized third-party provider announcement — but now, straight from the horse’s mouth, the handset has been anointed with a March 17th release date and $249.99 price tag. LTE data plans, which have been the topic of much discussion, will retail for the same price as their 3G counterparts — $29.99 per month for unlimited use. Verizon is also providing mobile hotspot capabilities to all ThunderBolt owners for free until May 15th. Get those credit cards ready, Thursday is the day. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Citing industry sources, Taiwan Economic News reports that HTC has high hopes for its debut tablet, the HTC Flyer. Announced at Mobile World Congress last month, the HTC Flyer is an Android 2.4-powered slate with a 7-inch touchscreen display, a 1.5GHz processor, 32GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling. Despite a tremendous amount of competition expected this year, HTC has reportedly placed an initial order with manufacturers for over 1 million units of its Flyer tablet. This seems like a massive first order for HTC, which is also expected to launch two more Android tablets in the first half or 2011 according to the report. Taiwan Economic News states that the 3G-enabled Flyer will retail for approximately $600 off contract, which would make it over $100 less expensive than the 32GB iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G model from Apple. More →
Following our report from Thursday morning suggesting Verizon Wireless is preparing to launch the HTC ThunderBolt next week, an earlier tweet from a California Best Buy store may confirm the device’s launch timing. A Roseville California store tweeted on Wednesday that the “HTC Thunderbolt launch has been delayed :( It looks like it may launch on Thursday, March 4th. Stay tuned for more info.” In line with our earlier report, there is still confusion as to the exact date of the supposed launch, since the tweet mentions March 4th but it incorrectly calls it a Thursday. As such, it looks like the highly anticipated Android phone could launch on Thursday March 3rd, or Friday March 4th. The Roseville Best Buy location has since deleted the aforementioned post from its Twitter account. More →
In a forthcoming Best Buy mobile buying guide for the month of March, the popular nationwide retailer has revealed the price of Verizon Wireless’ upcoming HTC ThunderBolt smartphone to be a lofty $299.99. Interestingly, Best Buy has also revealed the ThunderBolt’s price to be a slightly less lofty $249.99 in a separate flyer dated Sunday, February 20th. The latter price point jibes with earlier reports suggesting that the upcoming smartphone would launch later this week for $249.99. Verizon Wireless has not yet confirmed either price point, but unless there was a complete breakdown within Best Buy’s marketing team, we can likely expect at least one of the aforementioned price tags to be accurate. The HTC ThunderBolt features a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, an 8-megapixel camera and 4G LTE connectivity. Hit the break for shots of both Best Buy flyers. More →
Following our report from earlier this morning suggesting the Motorola ATRIX 4G would become available on February 22nd, AT&T has reached out to clarify launch details surrounding the anticipated device. Motorola’s ATRIX 4G will indeed launch on February 22nd in AT&T stores across the country for $199.99. Pre-sales of the Motorola ATRIX 4G began earlier this week on February 13th, and customers who pre-ordered the phone for home delivery will see their orders ship on February 21st. Customers who pre-ordered their phones and opted to have them shipped to a local AT&T store will be able to pick them up on February 21st, one day ahead of general availability. The Motorola ATRIX 4G, which BGR reviewed earlier this month, features a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, a 4-inch qHD touchscreen display, 1GB of RAM and version 2.2 of Google’s Android operating system.
AT&T is hitting the market aggressively with Android this year — for obvious reasons — and with deals like this one from AmazonWireless, AT&T subscribers are going to have an easy time moving over to the Android platform. Amazon is now offering the recently released HTC Inspire 4G at the incredibly reasonable price of $69.99 for current AT&T subscribers and $59.99 for new customers. The online retail giant is also offering free two-day shipping. No expiration is listed for for the deal, though it is possible that this is a limited time offer. The HTC Inspire 4G is an Android 2.2 phone that features a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 768MB of RAM and an 8-megapixel camera. More →
HTC announced its first tablet device — the HTC Flyer — at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday, though the company was mum on pricing and specific availability. An apparent slip up on the German Amazon website may shed some light on pricing, however, and we hope our European friends are sitting down. According to the product page, which has not yet been taken down as of the time of this writing, the HTC Flyer will retail for a whopping €669 off contract, or just over $900 at today’s exchange rate. Of course, that includes Europe’s VAT tax and pricing varies between markets so we obviously shouldn’t expect to see the Flyer launch at $900 here in the U.S., but that’s quite a price to pay for a slate that doesn’t even include Google’s tablet OS, Honeycomb. The HTC Flyer will feature Google’s Android 2.4 operating system along with a custom HTC Sense UI, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, micro-SD card slot, HDMI-out and DLNA support. Don’t forget to check out our HTC Flyer hands-on impressions and gallery for more on HTC’s upcoming virgin tablet offering. More →
HTC announced two new smartphones at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday that are equipped with dedicated Facebook buttons. The HTC Chacha and HTC Salsa are each Android-based smartphones that are the cell phone maker’s first offerings to feature its new enhanced Facebook experience. To the chagrin of countless Facebook addicts across the country, however, HTC made no mention of U.S. carrier partners when it announced the devices this morning. Fortunately, AT&T has reportedly confirmed that it will carry two Facebook phones from HTC, though it did not say specifically that they would be the Chacha and Salsa. The carrier did confirm that they will feature similar capabilities along with the same context-aware Facebook buttons, however. “In the U.S., AT&T and HTC are exclusively bringing this unique user experience to the market later this year,” an AT&T spokesperson told Mobilized. “It goes without saying this is part of our commitment to have the industry’s best Android portfolio this year.” More →
Your friends over at AT&T have added a new, full-touchscreen, quick messaging device, based on the Brew mobile platform, to their handset lineup. Say hello to the the HTC Freestyle. The Freestyle sports a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 3.2 megapixel camera with video recording capabilities, micro-SD card slot (support for up to a 32GB card), 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo Bluetooth, and the HTC Sense UI. The device will cost $99.99 with a signed two-year contract (after a $50 mail-in rebate). The Freestyle will be available in AT&T retail stores and online beginning February 13th. Not sure why you would pay $99 for this HTC set when you can get the Inspire — also launching February 13th – for the same price. Hit the jump to check out the full press release. More →
With all the time, effort, and, to be frank, money that HTC has invested into its Sense UI and now Sense services, it was a bit of a surprise to see the company take a hands-off approach to Windows Phone 7. The operating system’s reprieve may be, however, only temporary. In an interview with Forbes Mobilized blog, HTC’s head of user experience, Drew Bamford, noted that his company has a good working relationship with Microsoft and that it “expects to do more over time” with the Windows Phone 7 user interface.
“HTC’s goal is for the Sense experience to span all of our products,” said Mr. Bamford. “Microsoft has its own goal of consistency across Windows Phone 7 products. I think it comes down to working closely with Microsoft to do as much as we can.”
One of the beauties of WP7 is, in our opinion, the consistency that Bamford mentions. Hopefully, his company can add its own flair to the user experience without affecting the timeliness and delivery of operating system updates. More →
In an interview with Forbes on Thursday, HTC’s head of User Experience Drew Bamford provided some insight into where the company’s Sense product is headed in the near future. Sense started as a UI overlay placed atop various platforms on HTC devices. While the UI aspects of the product remain a central focus, HTC will continue to expand Sense in several areas off the device. The recently launched HTCSense.com portal is one example of Sense’s departure from phones, though it remains underutilized and confined to just two devices for the time being. Bramford says several services are on their way to Sense, however, including music and video content services as well as access to newspapers, magazines and eBooks. HTC already launched an eBook service in Europe that it plans to expand to other regions in 2011. HTC also plans to launch its own video chat service akin to Apple’s FaceTime, along with several services that focus on home entertainment. These and other services will be made possible by the continued transition to faster 4G cellular data networks. “At some point, you can imagine replacing your home Internet service with your 4G phone,” Bramford said. “I think we’re on the cusp of that transformation where mobile products and living room life collide.” More →
If you live across the pond, and have picked yourself up an HTC Desire Z or Desire HD, you might want to hit up htcsense.com. The site, which allows users to backup and manage their HTC handset from the web, has officially opened its doors for business. You can read more about exactly what HTC’s web portal does here. If you set up an account, let us know what you think. More →
HTC’s CEO, Peter Chou, was speaking with FierceWireless when he spoke the following words: “I don’t think we would do complete Sense UI on Windows Phone 7. However, I will say that we will innovate differently to improve the experience and to get some HTC unique and differentiated experience on Windows Phone 7 in the future.” A company spokesperson clarified some of Mr. Chou’s remarks: “Sense, by definition, is a way for HTC to improve the user experience in both big and small ways–which we will certainly work to do with Windows Phone 7 devices. But, if this does not include a fully revised user interface, that does not mean that it doesn’t have a form of the Sense experience–it may just be expressed in ways that do not include the interface.” It certainly will be interesting to see how HTC puts its own touches on future WP7 devices without the full Sense UI as we know it. More →