Best Buy is doing whatever they can to throw us off of the release date trail for the HTC Thunderbolt, and even I’ll admit that they have done a pretty good job so far. Rumors and screenshots from our friends on the inside have been bouncing all over the place, but in the end we always seem to come back to a couple of specific dates: February 14 and 24. We’ve stood by word that the 24th will indeed be the day that the phone hits store shelves and if we look at this latest shot showing that the pre-sale for it ends on 2/23/2011, we’re sticking with that idea.
To give you a little background on the shots above, BBY60LD is the internal code name for the Thunderbolt and SKU 1974324 matches the pre-sale number we saw in the new BBY ad from this morning. So when we see 2/23 and that SKU, we can only assume 2/24 should be the day, right?
Here is our proposed timeline of events for the TBolt:
- Friday, February 11: Verizon will announce a release date of February 24. As you all know, February 10 is the day that the i*hone hits VZW stores, so a day after announcement could easily happen. I can’t imagine that they would announce a new phone of this magnitude any time before the i*hone is in the hands of customers, meaning I’m doubting that it’ll happen on February 6 as many are speculating. Also on the 11th, Best Buy will announce that they will be selling the phone (possibly exclusively) with a pre-sale starting February 14.
- Monday, February 14th: Pre-sale goes live for Best Buy and will run for 10 days until February 23.
- Thursday, February 24th: Pre-sale at Best Buy ends; TBolt goes on sale at all Verizon and BBY stores. This is also exactly 14 days after the i*hone has been in the hands of customers which means they cannot return them under the new return policy. VZW also loves Thursdays. Lastly, we begin our new lives with the first 4G LTE device.
And of course, I could be 100% wrong and would gladly accept the TBolt to land in my hands on February 14 which is 10 days sooner than we’re expecting.