Jan 29 AT 9:08 PM Sean Riley 16 Comments

HTC Thunderbolt to launch without mobile hotspot or Skype video chat

The HTC Thunderbolt may have the privilege of being the first 4G phone to launch on Verizon, but according to some information received by our friends at Droid-Life it will be launching without two significant benefactors of that extra “G.”

The first feature that will be tardy for the party is Mobile Hotspot, which of course is that bit of software that allows you to share that powerful 4G connection with up to 8 other devices. We had seen another recent leak indicate that this feature might not be available at launch and this unfortunately confirms it.

The second casualty is the Skype mobile with video app. According to the screen shot there will be a placeholder Skype mobile icon on the second home screen (apparently to taunt you), but it will only pop-up a helpful little “Coming Soon” message if you try to launch it. We spoke to the Skype team at CES and they were quite adamant that the app was all but done and would be ready to launch with the Thunderbolt, so it’s a little disconcerting to see that they apparently ran into problems with it at this late date. While the utility of video chat on a phone may still be questionable it is a feature that the competition is pushing hard and launching without an app to support it on the phone is disappointing to say the least and likely will be a source of frustration for early adopters.

No word on when either of the features will be enabled, but for the Thunderbolt’s sake it better be pretty quick as it already has the deck stacked against it with the dual-core Droid Bionic and a slew of other 4G phones hot on its heels (oh yeah, that 3G phone from Cupertino too).

To avoid being all doom and gloom let me point out that the leak does reiterate that the Thunderbolt will have the ability to use simultaneous voice and data over 3G (even if it isn’t an experience consistent with the Verizon brand).

Are you surprised that Verizon is going to go ahead and launch the Thunderbolt with these features missing or is just getting a 4G phone on the market as soon as possible more important than ensuring a completely fleshed out experience?

HTC Thunderbolt launching without Skype or Mobile Hotspot

Via: Droid-Life

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • http://Website durango jim

    The Skype thing is pretty lame that it won’t be available at launch, especially since the iPhone will have it. I was looking forward to using it with my wide and kids.

  • http://Website Drizzle

    Really Skype not a big deal. Tango works great…what’s the problem?

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      I’m not suggesting that there aren’t other options that people can go find, but the point is that they do have to go out and find them. To add insult to injury here Verizon is putting what is essentially a dead icon on the users screen. It just makes for a bad first impression.

    • http://Website jessie

      Most people dont use tango. That said, it would be nice to have other chat options. I have the tbolt now. And, when I invited my cousin to tango, it didnt work. He signed up..but everytime we would try to invite to talk..it just gives the invite message again? I have no idea how to invite to video chat. There was no option on tango to connect. Also, the invite message is always listed everytime I bring up his name to text him. I have to delete it every time. Dont get me wrong, I do like the tbolt. However, battery is horrible. It does not last the day when I am at work. The phone is great and I might keep it but gees. You can buy a extended battery for it. However, they should have already had that installed for us. Since the current battery will drain in a matter of a few hours

      But seriously thinking about taking it back and switching it with the iphone 4. Android is way behind on apps. Heck you can skype with the iphone now, and my brother is getting some really cool games on it..that I can not get on android. Again cool phone, but iphone lasts long and is updated with all the cool apps. Android takes forever. One of my radio talk show favorites was suppose to launch a app on android a while ago (already on iphone) and it still is not out. Here is the run down for you on my android phone. Great gps/size of the screen on the tbolt is nice/kickstand cool /its nice looking. However, what is wrong with it… battery is very bad/missing a lot of nice apps.

  • http://Website Mark

    The G2 didn’t launch with mobile hotspot either but got it in a future update. Maybe that will be the case of this phone? As for Skype, I never understood what was so big a deal of front facing camera. I text most of the time and rarely call. Why would I want to see faces when I don’t even wanna hear their voice in the first place. Of course, that’s just me but for others, like the person above me, Tango works just fine. The odd times that I have had to use video call, I simply stand in front of the mirror as my G2 doesn’t have a front facing camera. lol.

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      The hotspot feature will absolutely be activated in time, it’s just a little surprising to see a phone launch without it now. As you say the G2 has it now after launching without it, but when it first came out that it wouldn’t have tethering at launch people were less than thrilled.

  • http://Website Richard

    It’s never a good sign when at launch features that was made so much of a big deal at ces is not in place and working when the device is launched… CLASSIC VERIZON… This may be a blatant attempt to allow the focus to be on the Iphone4… There already kissing APPLE…”Ass”… I see that carrier going out of the way to adjust carrier plans and making promises for all iphone4 potential customers..Then they pull this GARBAGE on HTC… If I was Mr. Peter Chou I would not produce another handset for Verizon from this day forward… Htc and Sprint rules anyway and they have a great working relationships you would never see this FLIM FLAM GARAGE ON SPRINT that is why the Evo is better than any device Verizon has today

  • http://Website Eli

    That’s it? No Skype and no hotspots? What’s the big deal. There are plenty of other Skype alternatives, tango being one like mentioned before, and hotspot, well that’s why there is rooting. Im good with that, where do I sign for my thunderbolt.

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      I realize that the lack of hotspot isn’t a concern for most of our readers, but we can’t completely ignore those that choose to stick with the stock experience. :)

      • http://Website Jon Oexner

        Is there at least a temp r00t that’s likely to run on it yet?

  • http://Website ahodge007

    I really don’t see the big deal about not having a hotspot. I think having the skype issue is more important to most users. I know it would come in handy for the deaf and mute communities being able to utilities thier phones like that.

  • http://Website PaulB

    I can partially agree with Richard but I think it also is to stagger the network tasking. Remember not only are they launching iphone with unlimited data they also are giving all those users hot spot as well. Some might say wait maybe they are having problems with it working with the LTE network. I would think not so much and if so they still could roll it out and say only 3G hot for now. Also if the rumors are true and it goes in sale on the 16th then definitely they would not want to steel any thunder (no pun intended) from the iphone. So I do think they are waiting because of capacity questions with the launch of the iphone still in its infancy and possibly not wanting to take sales away from the iphone

  • http://www.i-4net.blogspot.com mobile android

    Skype becoming very popular, this is good news from HTC

  • http://Website snowbdr89

    Who gives a rats ass about skype or mobile hot spot once rooted id delete that worthless shit anyways : )

  • Vinnyj

    My Nexus One at T-Mobile has tethering and Mobile Hot Spot. My DL speeds are over 6.2mb and my UL speeds are a solid 1.5mb
    I also have the new MyTouch 4G, my speeds are even faster and I also have tethering, mobile hot spot and my FFC gives me video chat over the 4G Network or WIFI and it is crystal clear.

    Thank You T-Mobile, The best Carrier

  • http://Website Jimmy

    I have the Thunderbolt, and yes, it does have mobile hotspot that works. But no, Skype isn’t up to video chat just yet. Mobile hotspot is free until May 15th, and then they will start charging (for new customers) Those who got a thunderbolt before May 15th will be grandfathered into the free hotspot.

    I just switched from the T-Mo and Moto liars, which literally took a few letters to Attorney Generals in a couple states.