If we could bet on phone launches the same way we put money down on horse races or slot machines, we'd lose our shirts on the HTC Merge. Like a ghost, this elusive Android smartphone has an innate ability to pop up from out of nowhere and disappear just as quickly. Over the last few months we've seen this repeated multiple times on both Verizon's and US Cellular's ends -- until yesterday, that is, when the latter finally ended its part of the charade by announcing a launch date. Taking on Facebook, the regional carrier officially committed the Merge to a May 31st launch, selling for $250 with contract before $100 rebate. Oddly, the date won't matter much since store reps have the go-ahead to sell it as soon as it's in stock (according to the screenshot below), and the Facebook post reveals that shipments should begin arriving as early as today. If you've been wanting a Merge and are up to the task, we invite you -- nay, we challenge you -- to go to your local store this morning and see if your rep got the memo.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]