Verizons HTC ThunderBolt, Shrouded in Mystery, Breaks Pre-Order Record

Verizon Wireless might not let you pre-order the HTC ThunderBolt online, but is, and breaking records in the process.

Wirefly started taking pre-orders for the highly anticipated smartphone Tuesday morning. When the day was over, the company says the ThunderBolt beat its eight-year-old sales record. While not releasing the exact number of phones sold, Wirefly says sales were 400-percent higher than any other pre-sale device.

Wirefly, which will continue offering pre-orders of the smartphone, is selling the ThunderBolt for $199.99 thats $50 less than what youll pay online through the Verizon Wireless site or at Verizon Wireless retail outlets.

The ThunderBolts release date has been shrouded in mystery for months. Verizon Wireless has been widely criticized for failing to launch a 4G smartphone sooner, drawing frustration online even after the carrier announced Tuesday that the Bolt would go on sale tomorrow, March 17. A story we posted yesterday drew numerous comments like Ill believe it when I see it.” One reader even compared the idea of a Thursday release to the arrival of the Easter Bunny.

This sales news certainly bodes well for Verizon, which just broke AT&Ts stranglehold on the iPhone and now appears to be the leader of the pack in Android phones.

The ThunderBolt It runs on Android 2.2 and sports a 1GHz Snapdragon processor. Verizons network promises download speeds of between 5 and 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps if youre in a 4G coverage area. The display is 4.3 inches and the device features two cameras the rear-facing one is 8MP and shoots 720p video; the front-facing camera enables video chat. The phone comes with mobile hotspot capability, 8GB of onboard memory and a pre-installed 32GB microSD card.

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