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HTC Thunderbolt finally gets Android 4.0 upgrade

Verizon confirms that it will begin pushing out the software in phases today.

Long-suffering HTC Thunderbolt owners will finally get Android 4.0, Verizon said today.

HTC Thunderbolt
HTC Thunderbolt Sarah Tew/CNET

The wireless carrier confirmed that it would begin rolling out Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, and that it would start pushing out the software in phases today.

The Thunderbolt was a highly coveted device when it came out, the first smartphone to run on Verizon's superfast 4G LTE network. But as with the early run of LTE phones, the Thunderbolt was plagued with bugs, and battery life was a serious problem.

In addition, the HTC Sense skin on top of the stock Android operating system meant the phone had more hurdles to clear when moving to a new version of Google's mobile operating system.

Even as other phones are moving to Android 4.1, known as Jelly Bean, the Thunderbolt is only now just getting Android 4.0.

The Thunderbolt came at a time when HTC was experimenting with too many products and lost its focus, causing Samsung Electronics to usurp its place as the premier Android smartphone manufacturer. Since then, HTC has been on a continued slide, with revenue and profits continuing to fall with each passing quarter. Yesterday, it warned of further declines for the first quarter.

The declines persist even as the company has tightened its focus and has actually churned out some pretty good smartphones. But critical praise hasn't translated into commercial success over the past year.