Dec 31 AT 12:55 AM Taylor Wimberly 41 Comments

I wish these Thunderbolt specs were real

HTC has made some big claims for their upcoming Thunderbolt 4G saying “it’s not your dream phone, it’s the one after that“, but many of our readers were disappointed by the reports that it will feature a single-core CPU and ship with Android 2.2. The hardcore Android fans were hoping for a dual-core Snapdragon processor, but everything we have heard tells us that Qualcomm will not have those ready for several more months.

Today a German blog called HTC Inside posted a leaked slide for the Thunderbolt 4G that claims it features a dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon (MSM8960), 5 megapixel front-facing camera, and expandable storage up to 128 GB. If you think these specs sound too good to be true, that’s because they are.

Qualcomm’s MSM8960 CPU was first announced at MWC 2009, but the dual-core 28nm processor is not expected to begin sampling until mid 2011, which means it will most likely not appear in a phone until 2012. It should be an awesome CPU when it lands with its Adreno 3xx GPU (capable of PS3 graphics), but there is no way that you will see this chipset in a phone launching next week.

Another sign that this leak is only a dream is the fact that Qualcomm has not even announced the clock speeds for the MSM8960 CPU. The first dual-core Snapdragons are going to be clocked at 1.2 GHz, but those model numbers are MSM8260 and MSM8660.

Back in September I wondered aloud if Qualcomm was in trouble with their dual-core CPUs and it appears that is still the case. They were already delayed once and for whatever reason they are still not ready. Why do you think everyone went with the Tegra 2 processor for the next wave of devices? It’s the only dual-core CPU that is currently shipping in volume.

You can be sure that HTC will eventually launch a dual-core phone, but they will only do so when Qualcomm is ready. From what we are hearing, this might not happen till Q2 2011 or later.

Qualcomm invited me to a roundtable discussion during CES next week, so hopefully we will get some real answers on when to expect the first dual-core Snapdragon devices.

Hopefully we will see a phone with these specs by the end of 2011.

Via: Pocket Now

Source: HTC Inside

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website UniqueNate

    Everything could be possible besides the dual core and the 5mp front facing camera. all the other things are real on phones already. except the 1800mah battery. but they do have those for extra batteries. they need to be standard for the phones we use now.

    • http://Website oops

      Everything could be possible except for the most important selling points … ;)

    • http://Website HTC engineer

      come on, its a bloody FAKE. Remember the stories around the Nexus S??? and that turned out….

      • http://Website Dan Walsh

        Yeah, and can you imagine the battery life of the new android with a dual core processor and 1080p resolution 4.3 in screen. The thing will die in 1.5 hours instead of 3. You might as well walk around your yard with an extension cord and the damn thing plugged in all day. Forget your morning commute to work. The thing will be dead before you hit the office. There’s a lot of great stuff going on for the future of cellular devices, however, at this point right now, there is absolutely nothing that has me interested in a 2 year contract. Not Even a 3G CDMA Verizon IPhone 4. Why would I want to sign a 3G contract for 2 years?

  • http://Website AceoStar

    Taylor, you are by far my favorite Android blogger and for once, the wishful dreamer in me hopes you are wrong! :D

    • http://Website GamerCore (Chris Chavez)

      my hair defies gravity.


      • http://Website GamerCore (Chris Chavez)


        • http://Website Taylor Wimberly

          ….really? lol

          • http://Website Clark Wimberly


          • http://Website Christopher Chavez

            Nothin better than a wiener.

            Taylor knows what I mean.

  • Davids mom

    This makes me a little sad knowing that if HTC sticks with qaullcom they’ll eventually be a thing of the past(power wise)

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Qualcomm is one of the largest mobile chipset producers with about 70% market share of current Android phones. They might be late with dual-core CPUs, but they are not going anywhere.

      • geniusdog254

        Plus, they’re the only major maker of CDMA chipsets, and one of the major GSM chipset manufacturers. I don’t see the God knows how many people in Asia using CDMA and the 140+ million people in the USA & Canada using CDMA all switching to GSM overnight.

        Not to mention their HUGE patent portfolio and I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) spectrum holdings for their failed FloTV service.

      • http://Website 3622245

        Nokia still has 35% world market share, but its old, outdated crap.

      • http://Website Nick

        Taylor, I don’t want to ruin your doom and gloom outlook for HTC and Qualcomm, but didn’t qualcomm announce that they started sampling their 1.2 GHz dual-core MSM8260 processors back in June of 2010? They were all the buzz when rumors about project emerald (myTouch 4G) were still making the rounds.

        I don’t think the thunderbolt will have the MSM8260 dual-core processor, but I’m pretty sure we’ll see something form qualcomm and htc by MWC or CTIA.

  • http://Website dagamer34

    Does this really mean that HTC is going to step out of the performance limelight just to wait on Qualcomm to get its butt into gear? 6 months is FOREVER in the mobile space. Not having a dual-core smartphone is going to hurt HTC if they are basically releasing products with the same power as a year ago.

    It’s hard to defeat a tagline like this: “1080p on your motherf*$#ing phone”. =/

    • Taylor Wimberly

      HTC is tied at the hip to Qualcomm.

      • masterpfa

        Shame they didn’t have a watertight contract with Samsung for the AMOLED screens, but I digress. HTC will need to move with the times or they may lose their crown as others take up the gauntlet

  • http://Website tuminatr

    and it could easily be a single core 1.2ghz snapdragon

    • http://Website AdamJ

      Yep that’s what I’m thinking it will be.

  • http://Website Daniel

    Actually it says that chip is going to begin sampling in mid 2010, not 2011. Here is a direct quote from the link you sourced.

    “The MSM8960 is scheduled to sample in mid-2010.”

    • http://Website Taylor

      That press release is from 2009. These dual-core chips were delayed.

  • http://Website AdamJ

    I want to believe but I agree with you Taylor, too good to be true. Would be really nice to see a super impressive next gen Android phone on Verizon when the iPhone launches.

  • http://Website Scott Pilgrim

    Okay, can someone please make a dual-core phone with a solid build, high-res display, big screen and stock Android for me and release it in January? I want to buy a phone within the next month, and if nothing better running stock Android comes along I’m buying the Nexus S.

    • http://Website Brian Dameron

      And you can’t go wrong with the nexus s. Best android I’ve used so far. Not that big of a leap though, so it’ll be surpassed in months if not weeks

  • http://Website JM

    Taylor, you are correct in stating that Qualcomm’s first dual-CPU chipsets are the MSM8260 and MSM8660.

    Steve Mollenkopf (QCT Pres) stated this at recent earnings CC.
    Seeking alpha Transcript —

    “…….and devices based on our dual core products are expected to be available in the first half of calendar 2011.

    In terms of dual core, dual core, we have today over 10 different companies designing tablets on our dual core solutions. So we feel very good about where they’re going. And then also in the handset space, you’ll see that as well. That mix will start to happen through the year. “

    Qualcomm’ s PR announcing MSMs 8×60 (June 2010)


    “The MSM8260 for HSPA+ and MSM8660 for multi-mode HSPA+/CDMA2000® 1xEV-DO Rev. B feature two enhanced CPU cores running at up to 1.2GHz for high levels of Web application and multimedia performance, including a powerful GPU with 3D/2D acceleration engines for Open GLES 2.0 and Open VG 1.1 accelration, 1080p video encode/decode, dedicated low power audio engine, integrated low power GPS, and support for 24-bit WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution displays. “

  • http://Website Matthew

    If it does actually have these specs it won’t be my dream phone it will be the one after :-)

  • http://Website Gee

    People write off Qualcomm but of all the dual cores I’ve read about, the 28nm one from them seems to be the most ideal for a mobile phone. Its yet to be known but I got a strong feeling that this generation of 40-45nm dual cores will be better suited for tablets with bigger batteries. Qualcomm will be likely the first with a decent low powered dual.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see more single core cortex A9 phones in 2011 with only a few fringe dual core phones to prevent millions of everyday users from bringing down every OEM’s customer service because if complaints.

  • http://Website Zetterberg

    iPhone is better

    • http://Website Mike

      Better in what way? For once, the only thing that the iPhone has that is “better” is its slightly higher resolution display……………………that’s it.
      Almost all Androids have: removable batteries, SD card slot, Flash (majority of web videos/games used Flash, so stop whining Steve Jobs), higher resolution cameras, AMOLED displays, other androids also have gorilla glass, and HDMI ports. iPhone does not have one of these things, yet all crApple followers think their iPhone is better???? Give me a break. DId I also mention no “death-grip” with Androids? The majority of Android phones already kicks the crap out of the iPhone when it comes to functions, and durable designs (no back cover breaking when you put a case on it).

      And just wait till for the phones to be released/annouced next week. Dual Core, better screens, HDMI ports. I honestly don’t see how the hell Apple still has a market share, but I guess fanboys (Apple loving zombies) will always be fanboys. If you want to boast about how much you love your iPhone, then go and head over to CNET or Gizmodo. If a product doesn’t have an “i” infront of it, they thing it doesn’t deserve their worthless praise.

  • MC

    I just had to chuckle when I saw, “Verizon” on the phone. Lest we forget, Verizon also claims to have the fastest, “4G” (quotes intended) LTE network – but doesn’t offer a single handset that can prove that contention!
    LOWER-ing the credibility bar is a Verizon specialty!

  • http://Website Miguel

    “Qualcomm’s MSM8960 CPU was first announced at MWC 2009, but the dual-core 28nm processor is not expected to begin sampling until mid 2011, which means it will most likely not appear in a phone until 2012″

    “You can be sure that HTC will eventually launch a dual-core phone, but they will only do so when Qualcomm is ready. From what we are hearing, this might not happen till Q2 2011 or later.”

    These two statements in this article don’t square. If Qualcomm’s dual-core processor won’t appear until Mid-2012, then how will HTC launch a Qualcomm dual-core powered processor “Q2 2011″ or later? That’s literally 3 months away, which would put it on par with Motorola and Samsung’s roadmap anyway.

    Personally, I highly doubt HTC will allow itself to fall AN ENTIRE YEAR behind it’s competitors. Sure, it might have a cozy relationship with Qualcomm, but it also has shareholders to answer to in the end. I think these Thunderbolt specs are actually true. Why would HTC name the think “Thunderbolt” and say it”s not the phone of our dreams, but the one after that? These specs match those bold worlds.

    I think Qualcomm is ALOT FURTHER ALONG in dual core tech then is really known. We’ll see. If not, I fully expect HTC to go the Tegra route temporarily much as Samsung had to do. My goodness if Samsung chose a competitor OVER IT”S OWN PRODUCT to stay competitive, HTC will have to do a lot of explaining if it refuses to do the same over a product (Snapdragon) that it doesn’t even produce lol.

    • http://Website metafor

      There are many dual-core products that have been announced from qcom. The MSM8960 is a 28nm part that will not be seen until at least 2012. The MSM8260 and MSM8660 are both dual-core, 45nm parts that started sampling mid-June and should be available early 2011.

      The problem is, it may be too little too late. The 45nm part still uses the same CPU (Scorpion) and GPU (Adreno 205) as the other 45nm Snapdragons. They may be decent performers, but they’ll have a difficult time catching up to the Cortex A9′s and Geforce graphics of Tegra 2.

  • http://Website Terence G

    Dual core chips won’t be mainstream til the end of 2011 and even then, until the software is written to take advantage they won’t be THAT efficient…yet

    • masterpfa

      The demand and natural progression is there. Will, as always, we all debate to death the benefits and pitfalls of something i.e A Tablet only to watch Apple steal the thunder and market share, better displays with their retina display and as they produce their own chips who’s to say they don’t release a dual core or more efficient chip too.
      HTC cannot afford to wait basically and neither can Google, after all talk of Dual core phones have been around since 2009, sure the Android developers have had to have been considering this, haven’t they?

      • http://f Simon

        Uhm what?
        Apple produces their own chips`

        New one to me, Last i saw it was samsung producing them with an apple branding

        • http://Website Matt

          I think they are referring to Apply gobbling up a few chip designers in 2009 and 2010. Think this even included a startup local to them as well.

  • http://Website AR

    What would you guys recommend, Motorola Etna or Htc Thunderbolt? I know HTC Thunderbolt doesn’t have a duel core and Motorola will soon. But I still can’t figure out why Thunderbolt is so great. But that just me.

  • http://Website Penelope85

    im happy with my iPhone
    *kisses and hugs*


    • http://Website Vance

      And so you should be. My 4 year old niece is also happy with the training wheels on her bike. But when she becomes a big girl, she’ll upgrade to a real bike which she can ride greater distances, perform more complex maneuvers, and generally accomplish much, much more.
      Perhaps one day you, too, will graduate to the big leagues.

      • http://Website Cunninghams Future

        Cough cough … are Android apps in the big leauges yet?