Near the end of last week it finally started to look like the tide might be turning in favor of the Thunderbolt’s imminent release. We saw a tweet from an HTC manager mention March 17, followed by an official statement from the company promising that it would have launch dates available soon. Now a Verizon retail location has joined in on the tweets, proclaiming that it will have the smartphone for sale beginning on the 17th.
The Verizon store in Fishers, IN has been tweeting about the release all day, with the sort of enthusiasm befitting a phone we’ve been looking forward to for so long. News of March 17 marking the beginning of the Thunderbolt’s availability is “what we were told from big boss man today”, according to the messages. Now obviously, we should wait for HTC and Verizon’s official statements, but considering we have unofficial tweets coming out of both camps naming the same date, it feels like this may just be legit.
Add to that reports that customers who have pre-ordered the phone are receiving notification from Best Buy that their orders will be fulfilled on… yup, the 17th again, and we’ve got a powerful index of circumstance pointing to a Thursday release. If that really is the case, we’d expect that official statement to arrive in the next day or so, if not later on today.
Update: Now Wirefly is chiming in with the 17th, too. This looks solid. The company also notes that the phone’s ability to use voice and data simultaneously will be available over either 4G or 3G. This confirms earlier reports of 3G-only dual-mode connectivity, and suggests that the feature will also be available when connected solely over LTE.