HTC confirms Ice Cream Sandwich for the Thunderbolt? Not exactly

By JR Raphael (@jr_raphael)

Boy, January is sure shaping up to be a month of Android-based myth-busting. Last week alone, we had to clear up misconceptions over Samsung's Galaxy S Ice Cream Sandwich plans and then tackle a storm of misinformation surrounding an alleged "Google Nexus tablet." Today, there's another piece of poorly sourced information that desperately needs debunking.

HTC Thunderbolt Ice Cream Sandwich

This one involves the HTC Thunderbolt and the status of its upgrade to Android 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich. Reports are popping up around the Web this morning that HTC has officially confirmed plans to upgrade the Thunderbolt to ICS. Hang on, though: You may not want to start celebrating just yet.

[NOTE: The Thunderbolt's ICS status has changed since the publication of this story. See the message at the end of the story for an update.]

Let's break it down: The HTC Thunderbolt-Ice Cream Sandwich story appears to have originated with a German HTC fan blog called HTCInside. The blog noticed a post on the Facebook page of HTC's Turkey division with information about ICS upgrade timing for various HTC devices. Among the devices mentioned was the HTC Thunderbolt, which was said to be in line for a first-quarter upgrade. The story got picked up by various U.S.-based blogs, with the trusty ol' echo chamber effect propelling it further by the hour.

So what's the problem? Simple: Contrary to what HTCInside originally reported (and what the various other blogs subsequently repeated), the posting on HTC Turkey's Facebook page was not actually made by anyone at HTC Turkey. Look closely. The chart everyone is citing was posted by a guy named Muhammed Musa Güngör. Anyone can post to a company's Facebook page, and by default, Facebook shows you all of those posts when you visit the page.

(Muhammed Musa Güngör's own Facebook page, by the way, gives no indication that he is affiliated in any way with HTC; by all accounts; he's just some random guy who liked HTC Turkey's page and then posted on its wall.)

So stand down, gang: There's absolutely nothing official about this "announcement" (and yes, those are heavily exaggerated air quotes I'm using there). As it stands right now, HTC has confirmed plans to upgrade eight of its handsets to Ice Cream Sandwich. The Thunderbolt is not among those handsets. That's not to say it definitely won't receive ICS; HTC just hasn't said anything either way yet. Sorry to be the bearer of anticlimactic (though actually accurate) news.

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One thing I can assure you: If/when any info becomes available about the Thunderbolt's ICS upgrade status, you'll be able to find it in my Android 4.0 upgrade list. That list is always kept up-to-date with the latest upgrade info available for all Android devices; the moment there's anything legitimate to say about the Thunderbolt's future, it'll be added onto that page.    

UPDATE: HTC officially confirmed its plans to upgrade the Thunderbolt to ICS in mid-February. In early March, meanwhile, Verizon chimed in with its own confirmation. Click over to the Android 4.0 upgrade list for the latest information.

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Article copyright 2012 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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