The drama-filled timeline of rumors leading up to the HTC Thunderbolt's release on Verizon is a tale whose final chapter has yet to be written -- we still don't know when Big Red's first LTE handset is actually going to be on shelves, after all. That fateful day is drawing a little closer, though, on word from one of our trusted sources today that the device has received "conditional approval" from the carrier. Theoretically, that means the phone could be released any minute now -- but first, the retail launch is dependent on HTC agreeing to Verizon's requested changes and fixes for the first and second firmware maintenance releases. We're told that process typically takes two to four weeks -- so realistically, we're looking at a launch within a month. Stay strong, folks!

[Thanks, HTC Kid]