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HTC employee apologizes for the HTC ThunderBolt

Posted: , by Alan F.

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HTC employee apologizes for the HTC ThunderBolt
Can a smartphone ever be so bad that an employee for the manufacturer feels compelled to apologize for its existance? HTC's Erick Nielsen wants those who had a bad experience with the HTC ThunderBolt, to give the Taiwan based manufacturer another chance. As the first 4G LTE phone on Verizon's roster, expectations for the device were high. But a 1400mAh battery was way too light and battery life was very short. In addition, the HTC ThunderBolt received very little support after it launched with an update to Android 4.0 taking place only recently. Even Steve Wozniak, who has quite a collection of handsets, says that the HTC ThunderBolt was one of the worst phones that he ever owned.

The HTC ThunderBolt

The HTC ThunderBolt

On his Reddit post, Nielsen explains that he understands why HTC ThunderBolt owners feel the way they do. He says that he hopes that they will give the OEM another chance. Of course, with the far superior HTC One now available, giving the company another chance is a lot easier. At this point, with the launch of the HTC ThunderBolt a little more than 2 years ago, those who bought the phone on contract and held it for the entire 24 month period should start finding themselves free of those handcuffs that bound them to Verizon. How many of these ThunderBolt owners had such a miserable experience that it has left them scarred for life as far as HTC is concerned?

In this day and age when faceless corporations turn out products quickly and then move on to the next thing, it is nice to see some humanity in the form of an employee that actually cares what the public's experience was with a product made by the corporation he works for. Hopefully the information that Nielsen receives from his post will be used by HTC to keep making better and better handsets. HTC has come a long way from the HTC ThunderBolt to the HTC One. Can it continue moving ahead from the HTC One to its next Android flagship model?

source: Reddit via Phandroid

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posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:18 10

1. CivicSi89 (Posts: 348; Member since: 23 Jul 2011)


Yeah theres a problem with that though. The HTC ONE will not be available on VZW. So HTC. Your chance at Redemption with VZW Customers is the HTC DROID DNA. Which isnt a bad handset. But i wish we would get the one. We have so many customers with complaints about that damn T-Bolt.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:46 3

11. evarod48 (Posts: 137; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)


they already confirmed they will have a variant of the One

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:59 3

14. monomilkman (Posts: 25; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


when though?!?!?! I want it now!!!!! :)

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 18:40 11

25. DoctorPDA (Posts: 7; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


I still have the T-bolt. It's been a horrible phone, extremely slow at this point. Takes me 5-10 seconds to start a phone call. I decided to no longer buy HTC. I'm thinking of either S4, Nokia 928, or even the iPhone.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 22:16

39. DoctorPDA (Posts: 7; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)


I'll also note that my wife purchased a Samsung Fascinate at the same time I bought my T-bolt ~ 2 yrs ago, and her phone is even worse than mine now..... very slow....... I think both Samsung and HTC have improved their products significantly since then, so probably can't go wrong with either. Still, I feel like I should try something new.

I also don't like the idea of 2 year contracts, by 2 years I have a slow turtle phone.... I loved getting a new phone every year (actually upgrade at 10 months or so). I might keep my unlimited Verizon data, and try to purchase a phone at full price, maybe a cheaper phone, in hope that X phone at cheap price will come out soon (hopefully with LTE and Verizon frequencies!)

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 23:23 3

41. Muayyad (Posts: 102; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)


You can't go wrong with HTC One or S4, just see what you want from a phone. I mean, really important features that matter to the real life. As for speed, Sense 5.0 is much lighter that touchwiz. Samsung just put too much things, but you get the chance to turn them off.

posted on 01 May 2013, 01:42

43. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 294; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Speaking from personal experience as a Thunderbolt and Galaxy Note II owner, if the S4 is anything like it's big brother then you will be extremely happy with your purchase if you go with the S4.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 19:14 4

27. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6205; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


u guys have the DROID DNA. its the twin brother of the HTC ONE. Verizon wants too keep their DROID NAME/LOGO on their phones they will never get the HTC ONE. They may do a update with BEATS AUDIO but who knows. the THUNDERBOLT WAS THE worst phone on Verzion

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 19:41 2

30. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


it was also one of the most advertised xD

posted on 01 May 2013, 07:20

55. lsutigers (Posts: 708; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


Actually, I believe the Blackberry Storm takes the crown for worst phone on VZW but the Thunderbolt is close.

posted on 01 May 2013, 14:32

58. CivicSi89 (Posts: 348; Member since: 23 Jul 2011)


i 100% AGREE With this statement. The Storm was HORRIBLE!!

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 20:12 2

33. PAPINYC (Posts: 2229; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


Wrong!!! The problem with that is NOOOO MicroSD slot. Thank GOD & Mary I ditched that thing after two weeks!!!

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:22 3

2. dirtydirty00 (Posts: 248; Member since: 21 Jan 2011)


I still have the thunderbolt. bc of the battery life, ect, ive been planning to jump to the S4. I preordered my S4. I cannot switch from Verizon as my wife is still tied in, so itll be 2 years before we can leave.

Now im rethinking my preorder. I want to give HTC another try. I LOVED my HTC Incredible. I want the One. However they are not offering it...yet. I might cancel my preorder and hold off a bit and see what happens.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:24 2

3. darkkjedii (Posts: 10306; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Try the unlocked one straight from Htc.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:40 1

8. tedkord (Posts: 4465; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I don't think Verizon will allow it on their network, even if there us an unlocked One with Verizon frequencies.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:59 1

15. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


CDMA won't let you use the unlocked one.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:59

16. monomilkman (Posts: 25; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


if there is...I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 18:27 1

20. hemirt (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


i am in the same sit. as you ..i would not rethink it htc and verizon did nothing about the thunderbolt no updates no discounts ..i will not risk another 2 years with a htc product..i preordered my galaxy s4 i'm not looking back ..its easy to say your sorry after 2 years and they need us to buy again

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 18:33 1

22. 14545 (Posts: 1094; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


Smart move. The Tbolt and Rezound have confirmed my decision to move on.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 18:36

23. sharks (Posts: 164; Member since: 16 Feb 2013)


I'd advise you to wait for the HTC One. It's worlds apart from any previous HTC devices. Just holding it in my hands feels incredible and my experience with it has been stellar. My S4 is already on ebay.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:24 3

4. dirtydirty00 (Posts: 248; Member since: 21 Jan 2011)


i also wish Verizon would just release a phone like everyone else. not have to make them 'bigger, badder' and put a spin on everything like they do.

just give me the One. not the One+ or the DNA+ or the BLAH BLAH. not even the HTC Droid One. Just the plain old HTC One.

Thanks

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:26

5. chocolaking (Posts: 430; Member since: 22 May 2012)


It is nice to see an employee that actually cares what the public's experience was with a product made by the corporation he works for.
I respect you HTC.. sorry for the thunderbolt users.
my htc one is almost perfect that i have nthing to complain.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:44 1

10. JunitoNH (Posts: 862; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


Oh of course they are. I'm sure, if the one doesn't do well or meet company expectations, someone is going to lose their head. Why didn't they apologized when people started to complain?

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:26 5

6. SmartPhoneStream (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


HTC ThunderBolt 2:
Quad core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU
3 GB RAM
5-5.5 inch 1080p S-LCD 3 Screen
3000-4000 mah battery
32 GB storage with micro SD card
Android 5.0 and HTC Sense 5+ or 6
Stylus support
Dual front speakers
13 mp ultrapixel camera with dual xeon flash and HDR video
2 megapixel wide angle view front camera
capacative buttons (Sorry, I don't like on screen buttons)

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:31 7

7. HASHTAG (unregistered)


Those would be nice specs, but I don't think HTC will ever use the "Thunderbolt" name ever again.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 20:42

35. SmartPhoneStream (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


yeah, if these specs were to be ever used on an HTC Phone it would probably be the DNA plus or whatever they'll call the DNA's successor

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:42

9. yyuu1000 (Posts: 152; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


Will not happen but those specs look like the nexus 5, what is wrong with onscreen buttons. Love them on the nexus 4

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:48

12. HASHTAG (unregistered)


I like the onscreen buttons on the Nexus 4 as well. Doesn't even bother me when I'm using it.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 17:49

13. Jason2k13 (Posts: 633; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


u serious? huge battery, a micro SD card support and a stylus? ... all that reminds you of a low budget nexus phone? lol

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 18:01 2

17. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


The nexus 4 is not low budget at all, google just sells it on huge discount if you buy it from them.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 18:11

19. Jason2k13 (Posts: 633; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


well compare the prices of the nexus to other flagships like samsung, sony or HTC... thats what i mean by low budget. Thats why nexus phones never have SD card support, low internal memory and mediocre specs and camera.

posted on 01 May 2013, 02:04

47. rizevnarastek (Posts: 328; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Who the hell down-votes THIS?? What is wrong with yoou people??

I do believe something like this will be making it's way into my pocket somewhere around Q4 2013 in the form of rumored Butterfly 2.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 18:07

18. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


I had to return the Thunderbolt because of the battery life and get an iphone instead. It scared me from android a bit even. I would definitely give HTC another shot though. I really did like the thunderbolt though. Its kickstand was awesome. I wish the HTC one had it.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 19:07

26. Whateverman (Posts: 3187; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Not an HTC fan at all, but my wife likes noting but HTC. She just recently got the HTC One and I must admit, that is a damn good phone. It looks and feels great, its fast as all heck, and the features are even more impressive in person. There are some quirks that I find a bit annoying like the big menu bar you get when you use a third party launcher, the two button configuration and the the "dotted" grid over the caller id photos. But all in all, the HTC One is great phone! I think you'de really like it.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 20:16 1

34. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


I'm a big fan of HTC phone's. I really dig the design of the phone expect for the speaker *sigh*. The S4's plastic design really turns me off. So i'm waiting to see what moto comes out but I think my next phone is either the ONE or Iphone5s. Phone's have become scary how good they are.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 20:50

36. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


Just get a metal back replacement, benefits of having a removable back. They also make leathers ones and carbon fiber.

http://www.droid-life.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Galaxy-S4-Metal-Cover.png

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 21:50

38. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


When it isn't oem it isn't the same. Plus I love the unibody design. Half metal and akward seems doesn't appeal to me.

posted on 01 May 2013, 02:07

48. rizevnarastek (Posts: 328; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


Metal back may look bad but it blocks signal reception ; that's why they haven't put it on in the first place.

posted on 01 May 2013, 20:39

61. biophone (Posts: 1893; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


HTC put strips in the phone where the attenas are to prevent that

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 18:29 3

21. Synack (Posts: 661; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


The HTC Thunderbolt was the worst phone I have ever used, touched, and seen in my entire life.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 19:14

29. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6205; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


That is why i read bout the phone itselft before buying it or letting any consumer buy the THUNDERBOLT because of its poor battery life

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 18:40

24. joey_sfb (Posts: 2712; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


All those that bought the phone set and suffer the poor phone quality and htc service wasn't given a chance on trade in or refund.

Htc made poor business decision and are paying for it. Fair is fair.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 19:14 2

28. mikeguy1981 (Posts: 54; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


I had a thunderbolt for quite some time and was very happy with it, however i always had a 3500mah battery on it. But what keeps me away from HTC is i must have a phone with two things. Expandable storage memory and a removeable battery. If i cant have both of those then HTC will never see my buisness. FYI , HTC..... I just ordered a galaxy s4 with a 64gb SD card.

posted on 03 May 2013, 11:14

63. brd8951 (Posts: 23; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)


I would have to agree with mikeguy......I used the battery from the Rezound and loved the phone - used it for over 2 yrs. However, the upgrade to ICS REALLY bogged the phone down. I upgraded to the Note 2 (love the phone) a month ago and let the kids use my old Thunderbrick. HTC needs to listen up.......I won't buy a phone that doesn't have expandable memory....removable battery if up for debate if the original is adequate.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 19:47

31. ojdidit84 (Posts: 269; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


The Thunderbolt makes a great paperweight now though! Still get some use out of it!

I think the lesson here is that VZW needs to stop pigeon-holing OEM's into making carrier exclusives for them. It makes updates a chore (or sometimes non-existent) and screws customers over for upgrades when the ACTUAL flagship for that OEM finally hits the carrier.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 19:56

32. roscuthiii (Posts: 1785; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


This is why I always wait about 3 months for a phone to be available before I think of getting it. Enough time to get user reviews and company fixes/responses to any initial bugs and/or complaints.
If a company can't at least acknowledge an issue in three months... well, it just turns me off from that product.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 20:54

37. HDShatter (Posts: 1021; Member since: 17 Jan 2013)


General rule for me is wait a month-2 months for the manufacturing quality to be at its best. Usually the initial batches are rushed and have lots of defects.

posted on 30 Apr 2013, 23:14 1

40. speckledapple (Posts: 877; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


Oh this is one funny story. To think that someone actually had to apologize for a device that was just plain poor. As a former user of that, it turned me off to HTC completely. And in my opinion I do not think they have learned enough to be trusted again quite yet. They still produce phones with questionable battery life and even worse started to go the Apple route by sealing the battery away, not allowing any microSDs and other things that personally I find a problem with. On top of that they have yet to prove that they can support a device for an extended time period. Look at the first One devices. How long did they wait before releasing that One+ variant? and the one after that?

Until they get their act together, they will not be a company to ever be trusted with investing my money in over a two year period when I already am irriated by Verizon. Sorry but no thanks.

posted on 01 May 2013, 00:17

42. johnriii (Posts: 221; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


ahh yes, the thunderbolt. I had one for about a year and 2 months. it was my first LTE device, (there were only 3 at the time) and I got hoodwinked by the tv ads and it's potential. desperate to get away from the tiny HTC Eris, I took the dive. and initially, it was great. the speeds were blazing on Big Red's mighty network, and I netflicked all episodes of "24" on that device. however, I quickly realized that the battery life was....horrible. then, after an OTA update, it wouldn't hold a signal to save it's life. verizon was kind enough to refurb me twice, but the same issues. then they sent me a Rezound, which has worked great, but battery life was only slightly better. in 83 days, I say goodbye to HTC for at least two years. it's sad that a company has to apologize for a product, but I give props to the guy, that took guts.

posted on 01 May 2013, 01:48 1

44. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 294; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Although the battery life is horrible on the Thunderbolt and didn't get much better on the Rezound, unlocking the bootloaders and installing custom ROMs have made both phones tolerable.

posted on 01 May 2013, 01:54 1

45. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 294; Member since: 26 May 2011)


One of HTC's biggest problem is the fact that they continue to put these lower capacity batteries in their new products. Also the fact that they are starting to produce phones without removable batteries and SD slots is also going to hurt them down the road. HTC's past smartphone shortcomings has put HTC in a position where they can't afford to not give consumers what they want in a smartphone such as better than average battery life, SD card slots, etc.

posted on 01 May 2013, 01:56 2

46. Larry_ThaGr81 (Posts: 294; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I'm sure the new HTC One is the best smartphone HTC has ever produced, but I think for many consumers this particular product has come too late.

posted on 01 May 2013, 02:51

49. TheMan (Posts: 390; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


It's about time. I still have customers who refuse to consider HTC.

posted on 01 May 2013, 02:56

50. TheMan (Posts: 390; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


Of course, it's too little too late.

posted on 01 May 2013, 03:05

51. Gawain (Posts: 342; Member since: 15 Apr 2010)


I was one of the early adopters of the Thunderbolt and got the OEM extended battery for it. I think I was one of the few people that actually liked that thing...meh, I liked the BlackBerry Storm (1 and 2) too...lol

posted on 01 May 2013, 05:44 1

52. Martine (Posts: 102; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)


No matter how much hype the HTC One may get, it's just improbable anyone who ever bought HTC Thunderbolt would ever buy any HTC device again!

posted on 01 May 2013, 11:44

56. johnriii (Posts: 221; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


bingo!

posted on 01 May 2013, 07:14

53. DRAPicard (Posts: 24; Member since: 05 Nov 2011)


I still have the Thundebolt and I actually wrote into HTC to request some personal attention from them. I explained the horrible experience I had and went into great detail involving many paragraphs...I said I was definitely in the market for something new and was considering the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One, simply because my Thunderbolt is dying and won't make it to the next Nexus or Motorola X Phone or anything else...Then I requested a non-canned and "real" response to my letter. Why should I even consider buying the HTC One after this horrible experience? Everyone I know that has a Samsung Note 2 or an S3 loves them, so I am assuming the S4 will deliver similar feelings and loyalty. I told them I could read the specs on Phone Arena and wanted a real answer and this is what I got back within a couple of hours:

Thank you for contacting me at HTC support. I am sorry to hear about the issues you have encountered with your HTC Thunderbolt, Verizon's first 4G phone. I will be happy to provide you with some personal reasons why the HTC One will be your next Android Smartphone from HTC, minus all of the information you already have access to on our web page and from other places such as Facebook and our YouTube channel.

First I must state that HTC has specialized in creating smartphones from our inception, unlike other manufacturers who do not specialize in this arena of technology. HTC puts our customers at the center of our universe. This is reflected in the creation of our HTCdev.com web site due to customer feedback relating to having access to unlocking boot loaders and offering assistance to Android and Windows application developers. HTC manufactures our products in Taiwan which offers better labor laws and practices for their workers than other cell phone manufacturers who have their products made in countries where the fair treatment of workers could be easily debated. The HTC One was in the design and development phase for more than a year and kept under very tight wraps before it was even mentioned to anyone as a possible new device. Unlike other smartphones, the HTC One offers new custom features and a design concept you will not find anywhere else, such as our new Zoe camera capture and Blink Feed features as well as our custom ultra pixel camera which captures more light than a regular pixel used by others.
(1 of 2)

posted on 01 May 2013, 07:16

54. DRAPicard (Posts: 24; Member since: 05 Nov 2011)


(2 of 2)

Now, other devices could do the same however, they are just the same old, same old that other people have, nothing unique and brilliant like the HTC One. The double front facing stereo speakers with the dedicated Beats Audio sound chip means I do not have to use headphones anymore!

Alright, I will stop boring you with what I think! What really matters is your opinion, what you use your smartphone for the most and if you want to blend in with the crowd or stand out in a stunning way by pulling this unique phone out of your pocket. Thank you for taking the time to email me about your concern. Please feel free to email me anytime you have questions or concerns related to your phone and I will be happy to help you where I can. Thank you for being a part of the HTC community! I hope you are having a good start to your week.

Let me know if I have successfully answered your question, please click here to complete this.

To send a reply to this message, please click here.

Sincerely,

Robert
HTC

Although I was sincerely impressed with the response, it is still not enough for me to trust HTC again at this time and I have opted to grab the S4 at this time. Of course, I paid full price for the phone to keep my unlimited data with VZW and could theoretically upgrade again as soon as something better comes out later this year....but HTC would really have to show me something special to entice me back to them.

posted on 01 May 2013, 11:51

57. johnriii (Posts: 221; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


nice sentiment by "robert", but funny he didn't realize or ask if you were still with Verizon. if so, they are not offering the HTC One, at least at this time. I'm with you, HTC would really have to knock my socks off before I purchased another one, thanks to my experience with the Tbolt and Rezound. well built phones, yes. everything else, meh.

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