updated 03:30 pm EST, Mon March 7, 2011
Leak has iPad 2 pushing Thunderbolt launch out
The iPad 2 launch may have scuppered the launch plans for the HTC Thunderbolt this week, according to an unearthed memo. A roadmap showing "the next big thing" at the carrier has the company's attentions devoted all to the Apple tablet's release this week. The Thunderbolt was next in the Droid-Life shot but didn't have a timetable attached.
The 4G Android headliner had been unofficially penned for March 10 and may have even been ready to ship, but its release timing has always been vague and may have been pushed back multiple times due to poor battery life. The delays may have led the Thunderbolt into an unintentional collision course with Apple by putting its readiness too close to the iPad's and creating the risk of its launch being overshadowed.
Verizon has been known to overlap launch dates on purpose and is widely known to have buried the BlackBerry Storm2 by launching the much higher-profile Droid the same day, making sure that the BlackBerry wouldn't get attention. However, the Thunderbolt isn't likely to have faced the same fate as it was one of Verizon's halo 4G phones at CES in January and should be the first one to ship.
The iPad 2 is both one of the most anticipated Apple devices of the year but also Verizon's first Apple product to be launching on its network at the same time as it is elsewhere. It's consequently an experiment for the company and would give it an incentive to keep the iPad 2 by itself on the schedule to see the effects.