HTC ThunderBolt at Best Buy

We've seen a number of rumored launch dates come and go for the HTC ThunderBolt -- the upcoming LTE Android smartphone on Verizon. But rumor after rumor has offered little in the way of proof. But we now have some evidence that appears to connect a few dots -- dots that we've been discussing in the Android Central Forums for a day or so now. Check this out:

HTC ThunderBolt boxWe were sent the screen shot you see above earlier this week. Note that it's a Verizon device, with an in-stock date of Feb. 14 (1). Now note that the model is listed as BBY60LD (2). Best Buy does that so we can't (easily) know what device is listed ahead of time. That doesn't tell us much, now does it? But don't worry about it. It's a red herring.

Now look at the number we've circled at the top left (3) -- 044476816574 -- With us so far?

HTC ThunderBolt boxLater Friday, a video hands-on of the Thunderbolt appeared on YouTube, purportedly made by someone at HTC. The video has since been removed, but not before Android Central Forums member paulmike3 noticed that number -- 44476816574 -- on the proof of purchase attached to the box from which the ThunderBolt was pulled. It's grainy. It's blurry. But it's definitely there. And it's more than a coincidence.

So you've got the number on the Best Buy leak. And you've got it on the ThunderBolt box proof of purchase. We've connected some major dots here, and it indeed looks as if Best Buy plans to have the HTC ThunderBolt in stock on Feb. 14. Happy Valentine's Day.

Some questions still remain. When will it be available on Verizon? (Feb. 11 has been rumored in the forums.) And is that Best Buy date real, or another placeholder? And how much is the phone going to cost? Big questions, all. And if you've got the answer, you know where to find us. Thanks, Paul, and Fire Dude!


Reader comments

Screen shot, leaked (and pulled) video point to possible Feb. 14 Best Buy launch of the HTC ThunderBolt


Hasn't Verizon and Best Buy hooked up in the past to have Best Buy offer a phone before it goes on sale with Verizon? I remember a story about Best Buy having an exclusive on the Thunderbolt.

hmmmmm... ONE prob. The screenshot says the dimensions of the box are 5.6 inches by 5.6 inches by 2.3... (square). But the unboxing box doesn't fit those dimensions. What say you?

What it means when Best Buy has an "exclusive" on a phone, is that only best buy and verizon stores will sell it. In other words, there are lots of 3rd party retailers that sell phones.. amazon etc. so Best Buy would be the only 3rd party retailer to get it. By no means does that mean that verizon themselves wont carry the phone too.

And I'm not saying that this rumor is true or false because we don't know.

Technically yes and technically no. Tegra 2 only really improves with gaming right now and I'm sorry with batteries the way they are, gaming isn't huge on phones and has a long way to go to be huge. Phones first use is still and always will be calling.

Can we please put a plug on this no Tegra2=Fail Bull$hit?

First off, this things launches with 2.2, doesn't support multi-core.

When, and if it receives Gingerbread in the future, assuming it will since HTC actually updates their important phones, such as this one is. It still won't support multi-core processing. Having a Tegra2 running in 2.2-2.3 and probably even 2.4 is like running 8GB of DDR3 RAM in your desktop with 32-Bit Windows 7.. you're only using 3.5GB of it, because of the restraints of the OS. That is unless your only priority to having a Tegra2 is for the Tegra Game Center, then by all means, go right on ahead and buy those mobile games that will suck the life out of your Dual-Core phone, because even though in theory the Dual-Core technology of the Tegra2 is supposed to save battery life, in that case, the only situation for now where you'd actually be able to put a Tegra to use, it won't. The games will look great, run awesome, and still eat battery like crazy, because, regardless of chipset 1Ghz vs 1Ghzx2 the latter will use more battery life under heavy load.

When Android itself is optimized to distribute the load between the two cores for multi-app processing and data/media management, then your point will make sense. For now though, forget about it.

You forgot full 1080p playback both on phone and output to TV.

Yes phones' primary use is for calling, but come on now. I bet 99% of the people today spend more time doing EVERYTHING ELSE besides making calls.

Web, email, chat, txt, stocks, games, etc.

So don't give me that 1ghz single-core bullsht about it being a better phone. You want a phone with good battery life for calls, get a non-smartphone.

I'd love to put up a poll of all the people with HDMI out capable devices and ask how many people actually use it for real world applications, slim to none I'm sure. Sure 1080p video capture.. a fuking joke if you ask me. We can barely call what 720p on current devices now true HD because there's more to high def than resolution ... video shot with our phones at 720 is jerky/pixelated/artifacted... somehow I imagine that 1080p with the same image sensors essentially will be no better, just larger. Making both of your additional features nothing more than bulletpoints on a keynote. Useless, but there so they can grow it out there. And seriously.. you're going to tout 1080p playback on a phone with a resolution that's half the resolution of full HD?

People do spend more time doing all that you mentioned but the only one of those things that will benefit from the Tegra2 in current and future versions of Android on phones, is gaming. As well as apps written for use of the dual cores, which I'm not even entirely sure is possible or even useful.

My 1ghz single core with 512 ram running vanilla android with an unlocked bootloader will last two days on light-average use with my seidio 1750mAh battery.

It has nothing to do with seeking out ultimate battery life.. its seeking out a balance between bull$hit useless hype and actual pheasible and useful advances in technology. Something also tells me you're one of those Kanye-like Evo users. Just as bad as the iZombies living on the words and rumors of what could and might be.

Bottom line.. Until Android, the whole GD operating system supports Multi-core processing.. you're tegragoddamn2 wont do an effin thing other than make the newer, in depth, battery eating games run prettier and smoother, on paper at least.

End of line.

Who are half of you, you apple trash? This is an Android site and your bashing each other. Pay attention to the facts not the "flash"

Sore enough that someone 3-Starred my comment.

I'm not sore, I'm just tired of righteous zealot'd fanboys on either side, blinding standing for something without a just cause behind it. Much like Go-Tegra or Go-Home guys.. I would love a Tegra phone if it simply made sense at this point in Android's lifespan, but for the most part it doesn't. That's fact.

By that logic, you might as well go back to 600mhz D1.

To many, Android is about being on the cutting edge--hardware and software. If I wanted the same hardware available last year in this price range I'd just go buy an iPhone. Look at how many stupid remakes HTC has done using the same form factor, same hardware, but rebranded with a new name and carrier.

If you want to go on about how Android doesn't support dual-cores, have you even bothered to check AndroidCentral's home page? There's this little thing about google announcing Honeycomb which DOES SUPPORT DUAL-CORES. Wow, who would've figured out reading a webpage could reveal this! AMAZING! *sarcasm*

If you want to be a sheep and nod yes to what's presented to you, by all means go right ahead!

The Tegra2 is out and available, honeycomb is right around the corner, it's HTC's fault for being so damn lazy and relying on sheep like you.

Congratulations for being herded into the pile of believers.

Funny enough, I know tons of people running Froyo on the OC'd from 1-1.2Ghz on their OG Moto-Droids and they're still quite happy with them.

I agree, Android is on the bleeding edge of hardware/software/technology, but I think you're missing the fact that Honeycomb is for tablets, not phones.. We still have to get all the current devices from 2.1 and 2.2 to 2.3 then 2.4 before we can cross that line, which is a good 12-16 months from now, SO even after that hurdle is crossed, we'll still be on Gingerbread. Which DOES NOT support Multi-core processing natively in the OS.

I imagine that by the time Android for Phones, not tablets supports multi-core, we'll be into the quadcore sector and your whining fanboyisms will fade back into well the Tegra2 was nice, but not implemented at the right time in Androids timeframe.

You dare call me a sheep, when you're the one following the Tegra because its an nVidia product, which hasn't built up a place in the phone market, so its a completely new product that nobody knows what to expect with. Yes I know its in the GTablet, and a few other select devices out right now, but until the software fully takes advantage of that, it really doesn't matter. I don't know why that's so hard to get through you and all of the other nVidia fanboy's thick skulls.

HTC builds quality devices with great software, they're not relying on anyone other than happy, satisfied customers.

Congratulations for being a completely an total fool.

how many people really use their phones for gaming when they have a psp for on the go and can easily play games on a widescreen television at home. if hardcore gaming is what the main selling point will be when it comes to dual core then the sales based on that alone won't be as high as you think. certainly not enough to dissuade people from buying the thunderbolt.

there is still something to be said for build quality and a superior ui.

I can barely find any enjoyable games to play on the market. When I think games on a phone at this point, I think puzzle games and such. Not full blown PSP type games. Plus with no keyboard and such, controlling games on a touchscreen phone has limits. I work all day M-F and no time to play games there. When I get home I can enjoy a game on XBOX 360 or PS3.

i have literally never ever found a need to play games on my phone. i didn't pay $300+ for my xbox and games so i could watch it gather dust while playing angry birds. i have the OG droid and its more than capable of running any games you can throw at it (i've tried angry birds, need for speed, the sims, etc). its stock overclocked to 1ghz. this will be WAAAYYY more than decent with a single core processor, no one NEEDS a dual core processor yet. my single core 600mhz overclocked processer is perfect, there's nary a hiccup.

How about a Price on what LTE will cost? you have a little over 2 weeks and yet nothing has been leaked. I think that this will come out much later (end of Feb.), there isn't even an ad out yet for it.

Right now verizon reps are saying the prices will stay the same for now as 3G. So $30 right now....

Just read the forums here with regards to the device. Plenty of folks have been hounding the reps online chat

Facetime is Apple marketing.

But if it can install Skype (which, yes, does include the iPhone and the Evo), it can do videochat with that device.

I don't get why Verizon just doesn't say the damn date. Especially if it's 2 weeks out. I mean you Told everyone well in advance when the iPhone release was whats the big secret with this phone.

I was at a best buy mobile store earlier today and they confirmed 2/14 is when it will come out and the data plan will be same as 3G.

I'm sorry, I know this isn't relevant, and should be in a forum post, but I was just wondering if the TB will be global?

I am wondering is Apple paid off VZW to "Hold Back" on marketing for LTE devices so their product wouldn't be over shadowed. Why else would we still not have anything official if it is that close.

I'm excited about this device, but I'm not touching it til its been out for a month or so, and has been fully-rooted with S-OFF, and has promise of having Cyanogen ported to it with working LTE, I know how long EVO owners waited for WiMax support, not gonna be me. Nothing against Sense, but its a lot of UI bloat that I don't utilize, so I don't need it sucking up resources on my phone.

Looking forward to hearing about LTE pricing, I sincerely hope they don't jack the prices for data through the roof, and hopefully they'll have the phone setup to where if you do not live in an LTE area, they can disable the LTE radio more or less, so you're not paying a premium, rather just using their already nationwide CDMA 3G network.

Ill wait for the incredible 2 or one of the new droids. To me if 4g is anymore than 3g its not worth it since 4g isnt in my area I will be fine with my unlimited 3g for awhile

Root won't be that long, what a few weeks, maybe a month the devs are finished with the Evo Shift 4G. I agree, Sense is nice, but I prefer AOSP and will run a different ADW Launcher EX instead.

Yeah running a different launcher is just like putting a LeBra on a LeBaron.. it looks nicer and classier til you realize its just a pig in lipstick. The Sense bulk isn't so much the launcher because honestly I'm happy with a portrait only homescreen. Its just the menus and the extra special version of Facebook and all those social Widgets and nonsense. AOSP or button for me from now on.

In theory root will be done the day its official.. which will be cool, but I like the easy one-click type methods. I really wanted to see the Optiulmus 2X come to VZW not so much for the dual-core but rather the aesthetics of the phone.. its gorgeous.

It is a great device. If someone wants to pass because the hardware isn't tegra 2, that is phenomenal. For a bunch of people to come in a grab cheese with their wine is fine too. But to F*** and s*** that make you sound like a baby.

I hope this is true. I stopped in Verizon and asked an employee about this. They said it was originally supposed to come out "sometime in february", but might be pushed back to March because of the iPhone.

THIS PHONE IS DOA theres no dual-core!!! FAIL!!! Why would i wast money on a phone that doesn't have a dual-core at the very lest!!. I'm not getting another phone until it has a Quad-Core!!! and unlimited battery life!!! Boyah take that SON!! Everyone just needs to shut the F up already. This phone is far from DOA on arrival. You cant always wait for the next thing to come out. By the time any dual-core phone drops their will be something bigger and better out there. This phone meets my requirements 4g, front facing camera, big screen,..good processor,..good amount of ram. You know I could wait till June,..but then OH!! something better will be coming out so I should wait till November instead. O well damn CES is around the corner I'm not getting a phone till I see what CES has to offer for 2012. Come on, with the mind sets people on here have nothing will ever be good enough. This phone is relevant and will be for a long time. Can't wait to get one, root it, and have free 4g tethering,..Suck it ;)

My upgrade is quickly getting closer and closer to expiration. And I don't feel like shelling out $600 for a phone when I can get a very capable 4G HTC for less than half of that. The 4G tethering is what I want too. Not so much for gaming.

For the people saying it's crap because it's not a T2 processor- What about the fact that T3 processors are in the works? Doesn't that make the T2 processor crap to?