htc-thunderboltIf you’re curious where the HTC ThunderBolt is, it’s apparently connected to a charger somewhere.  According to our source that shared the Samsung Stealth with us, the ThunderBolt is indeed coming, but it’s having major issues with the 4G aspects draining its battery power.  After testing the phone for themselves, our source said that with normal use and the 4G turned on, they would see the battery drain by 1 PM after having been turned on at 8 AM.  A mere five hours of battery life isn’t going to please any one.  Considering the same individual got 8 to 10 hours of life from the same style of use on the Samsung Stealth, something definitely seems awry.

Apparently HTC has been pushing out almost daily updates to the firmware in an effort to fix the issues, but still no luck on getting it to work the way it’s supposed to.  There is currently no definite date for its launch, and even when it does launch, it seems that it may come without Skype video calling as some thought it might.  Perhaps no one wants all of that LTE bandwidth being soaked up by people video chatting while sitting in a coffee shop?  The Skype issue is not definite yet, and seeing as this is still very much a part of the Samsung Stealth system, Verizon may change its mind prior to launching the phone, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Considering that Best Buy has pushed back the ThunderBolt’s release multiple times (funny, a few weeks ago their internal system was saying March 10th), and Verizon CTO Tony Melone is saying the LTE phones are creating battery issues, who knows when we’ll actually see this handset.  When we had some ThunderBolt hands-on time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Jan., it sure felt like it was ready to go, but apparently these battery issues really are the fly in the ointment.

Speaking of updates, what about the situation with the Motorola Xoom having to be sent in to be upgraded to 4G?  According to our talkative friend, it’s not a hardware issue that is causing the Xoom to be sent in for the upgrade, but is instead a firmware flash.  To be honest, this makes things even a bit more confusing.  Why not just send out an over the air update or allow people to take the tablet to the nearest Verizon store to have it done on site?  Why make them ship it back and be without the tablet for six days just to flash the memory?  We’ve reached out to Motorola for comment, but have not received anything back as of yet.

What do you think?  When will we finally see the ThunderBolt?  What is the reason for the Xoom upgrade?