What happened to Thunderbolt’s ICS update?

Verizon’s flagship 4G LTE smartphone still hasn’t been upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Despite being a landmark product for Verizon and HTC, the device is still running on the increasingly outdated Android 2.3, also known as Gingerbread.

The Thunderbolt, or 4.0, update, was promised to phone owners in the late summer but so far no official update has been rolled out.

According to Verizon, the new software has been in the testing stages since August, but there have been repeated issues that have caused the carrier to prevent it from going live.

There have been multiple leaks of the new Thunderbolt firmware, but Verizon says it just isn’t ready for public consumption yet. The carrier is still pledging to upgrade the phone, which was released in March 2011.

Ice Cream Sandwich is one of the biggest updates to Android yet, and includes such features as scanning your face to unlock the phone, a much more robust speech-to-text software program, and an entire platform of data sharing that focuses on Near Field Communication (NFC).

Several other manufacturers have pledged support for the new update, and a bunch of phones currently running an older version of Android.

Ice Cream Sandwich is now powering a decent amount of active Android devices, despite having a slow initial rollout in the early part of the year.

Google saw Android 4.0 as a big reset button on the mobile platform, since it has much stricter hardware guidelines that it hopes will help prevent fragmentation in the future.

Of course, the release of Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, sort of quashes those hopes. Around 2% of all Android devices are already running the Jelly Bean software.