Best Buy's Sunday advertisement featured HTC's 4G Thunderbolt, which is capable of running Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) LTE network. The ad says the smartphone will be coming soon and invites consumers to pre-order the device with a $50 deposit.
While the ad did not give a date for the release of the LTE smartphone, the Facebook page of the Best Buy in Grand Rapids, Mich. did. According to that page, the Thunderbolt will be available Feb. 14, just a day after AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) highly touted HTC Inspire 4G smartphone, which runs on the operator's HSPA+ network, is available. The page also says that the Motorola (NYSE:MMI) Xoom LTE tablet will be available Feb. 24. In addition, the Samsung Presto Hotspot is expected to become available Feb. 17. The post has since been removed from Facebook.
A Verizon spokeswoman did not immediately respond a request for comment.
Last month during the Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon unveiled four LTE smartphones, two tablets, two mobile hotspots and two notebooks. Some devices were expected to be ready as early as March, but it appears that time line has moved up. All devices will be available by mid-year. The HTC Thunderbolt is expected to support simultaneous voice and data, a capability that has been heavily touted by AT&T as it battles against Verizon's sale of the iPhone Feb. 10. The CDMA iPhone does not support that capability.
The HTC Thunderbolt features a 4.3-inch screen, front and rear cameras, integrated DLNA support, Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon processor and the latest version of HTC Sense.
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