Verizon’s 4G LTE network is new enough that an outage this early in its life was probably expected, if not out-right anticipated. Obviously Verizon had tried to make sure nothing like that happened, but unfortunately for Big Red it did. And, coincidentally enough, it happened right around the time one of the wireless carrier’s newest 4G-enabled devices was about to hit store shelves. Those who were excited about the Samsung Droid Charge were ready to pick up the device just a couple days ago, but rumors now suggest that Verizon delayed the Droid Charge due to the 4G outage. But is that a good reason to delay such a high-profile device?
Some are calling it the “great Verizon LTE outage of 2011,” while others won’t even remember it happened come a few weeks from now. No matter how you look at it, Verizon’s network was rocked by the fact that the carrier’s LTE network was down for several hours. While they were quick to turn things around, it sounds like the Droid Charge was unable to find its way to customer’s hands due to the outage. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make much sense.
There’s no doubt that the 4G-enabled handset is one of the most anticipated devices coming to Verizon, even if marketing for the device hasn’t been all that stellar. With its 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 1GHz processor under the hood, and Android 2.2 running the show, the handset was at least worthy enough to obtain the DROID branding from Verizon (unlike the previously released Samsung Fascinate).
Delaying a device seems to be part of every manufacturer’s and carrier’s life, so it wasn’t all that surprising when the Droid Charge got delayed at all. Unfortunate, yes, but not shocking. The shocking part comes in the rumored reasoning behind the delay. It was apparently decided that due to the 4G outage happening across the United States, that the company should delay the release of the Droid Charge without mentioning when the device might ship at a later date. But, 4G isn’t available everywhere in the United States anyway, so what was the point of delaying the handset because the 4G network was down?
If the Droid Charge’s only asset was its 4G-connectivity, then I would say that delaying the handset due to the lack of a 4G network to connect to at launch would be a legitimate reason. But it isn’t. It’s just one bullet point among many that make the Droid Charge a worthwhile handset for consumers. And let’s face it; there are people who aren’t in 4G-covered areas that are going to pick up this handset just because they want it. So these folks who would have bought the handset on the 28th even though they aren’t in an area with LTE coverage are burned, and being forced to wait even longer, because a few other markets with 4G were down. Doesn’t make much sense, if you ask me.
Unless there’s one rumor among all the rest that is true. Reportedly, you can’t activate a 4G-enabled device without the 4G network up and running. If that’s the case, then obviously Verizon had no other choice than to delay the Charge. If that is the case, then it would be a simple thing for Verizon to just come out and say that -- and give those who want the Droid Charge a definitive release date, since the network is back up and running.
If Verizon did indeed delay the Charge due to the 4G outage, do you think that’s a legitimate reason to delay such a handset? And if you were going to pick up the Charge on the 28th, are you now looking to get your hands on another device due to the fact there’s no official release date? Let me know in the comments below.