HTC is purported to have the Thunderbolt's successor in its pipeline.

It's been more than five years since the HTC Thunderbolt's release back in 2011. It is mostly remembered as the first to sport LTE connectivity among Verizon's smartphone offerings. The handheld went on to have a strong start but struggled to get a firm footing in the smartphone market because of various technical issues that plagued it.

Not much has been heard regarding HTC's plans for the Thunderbolt smartphone line — if it even existed — until last week when the phonemaker was revealed to have filed a trademark for "HTC Bolt." Most believe that Bolt is the Thunderbolt's successor.

This week, known leakster Evan Blass (@evleaks) went on Twitter and said that the HTC Bolt will be released by Sprint next month. Together with the statement, Blass posted a link to a tweet by TheDroidGuy (@RealTDG) about an article that alleges the Bolt as HTC's new flagship smartphone.

Details regarding the purported HTC Bolt are scarce at the moment. HTC is yet to release a statement to confirm the speculations. There's no tangible evidence that supports the device's existence.

Other suggest that the "HTC Bolt" trademark could just be for an accessory or other consumer devices under HTC's wing. Another possibility is that it's just a code name for another smartphone that HTC is planning to release under the HTC One series.

Some reason that it would be awkward to name the next flagship HTC 11, which is a possibility since the current one is HTC 10, and thus, the company will be better off using the HTC Bolt trademark.

A few purport that HTC will indeed release the Bolt, but for the mid-range smartphone market and not as a flagship device.

The Thunderbolt had a $250 price tag for its most basic configuration back when it first got released. The 4.3-inch handheld was fitted with a Snapdragon S2 processor clocked at 1 MHz, 750 MB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. Plenty of consumers back then have expressed their interest in the Thunderbolt and went on to preorder the device. In fact, the Thunderbolt beat prior pre-sale records set at Wirefly, which then functioned as a retailer.

However, the release date was pushed back by a month from February to March 2011. The delays in both the release and updates, as well as complaints about frequent reboots and battery life, crippled the Thunderbolt's momentum.

Photo: Intel Free Press | Flickr 

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