It wouldn't surprise me if it's true. Myself, I've always been highly skeptical of how well the Thunderbolt may perform on ICS. Newer software does not always perform well on older hardware; something I've seen and experienced many times over the years in the IT (Information Technology) field.
GottaBeMobile posted the HTC rep's response in its entirety (link )
Thank you for contacting HTC. I understand you are wanting the update for the Thunderbolt and will be more than happy to provide you with the appropriate information on why your device has not been updated. The reason the Thunderbolt never received ICS is because when we tested the software on one of our Thunderbolts, the phone was bogged down and started running a lot slower. Verizon decided that the phone functioned better without the ICS update.
I apologize for any inconvenience this causes you XXXXXXXXX. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to send us another email or give us a call between the hours of 6 AM and 1 AM EST at 1-866-449-8358. Thank you for being a valued member of the HTC community and I hope you have a wonderful week!
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1) People forget about the ICS update for the TB
2) Those who have the ability to, end up rooting their phones and getting ICS another way
3) Current TB owners' contract is up and they will entice you to get something newer.
Its just a watiing game. ICS is never coming, they just sting all current owners along until they have a new shiny phone.
You have to remember that 95% of TB owners don't even know what ICS is and could care less. Their phone works and thats all they care about until the next phone comes along. There is only a small group of "phone enthusiasts" who are waiting for ICS and verizon is just waiting it out until the noise dies down.
The phone is too "old" by now for Verizon to care or even assign resources to ICS for the TB. They have shelved the updated until "whenever they get around to it"... In essence it is vaporware. They wont cancel the update, they will just let the thought of ICS on the TB die a slow death. eventually the relatively few TB owners waiting for an ICS update will give up when they move on to their shiny new Quad core phone..
Well, at this point I may just wait until my contract is up and get a new phone (in March). Most likely I'll go to an N4 and leave Verizion behind. Once the contract is up, I'll more than likely root the TBolt, install ICS, and just use the phone as an MP3 player and gaming device. IF the official update does make it through, though, I will welcome it.