The HTC Thunderbolt
may have been officially announced
way back at CES, but there's still quite a bit we don't know about the phone -- namely, a price or a release date. We now at least have what looks to be a fairly solid hint of the latter, however, courtesy of the above shot of a Best Buy inventory screen that lists an in stock date of February 14th. You'll note that the screen doesn't actually mention the HTC Thunderbolt anywhere, but some sleuthing by the folks at Android Central
reveals that the product code matches one found on a Thunderbolt box that turned up in a recent hands-on video. Joining that rumor is a separate one from Droid Life
, which has obtained some supposedly authentic Verizon materials that suggest the Thunderbolt won't be shipping with mobile hotspot functionality enabled at launch, and that Skype video chat won't be enabled initially either. No word on a reason for the delay (if there actually is one), but both features will seemingly be enabled at some point, and there will apparently be a placeholder icon in the case of Skype that will display a "coming soon" message if it's launched.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.