File this story under 'likely', but a few photos of the display bezel for a Lumia phone are making the rounds. Although factory parts are run of the mill, this one is unique since it allegedly sports Microsoft near the top instead of Nokia.
The photos were obtained by French site Nowhereelse.fr a "few weeks ago," although they supposedly held back on them due to lack of corroborating evidence. Yesterday, Geeks on Gadgets gave them that confirmation as they reportedly got their hands on an internal document revealing the phasing out of Nokia in exchange for Microsoft in the coming months, with Lumia being the brand name going forward.
The photos themselves are of decent quality but grainy. Still, running the image through Fotoforensics.com did not reveal any anomalies or obvious manipulation of the photo, suggesting it is real.
Quite possibly, this is simply a prototype as Microsoft begins to explore options for branding on the phone. Everything from font sizes, location, and even the name itself are likely to be considered when Microsoft moves forward with these plans, and this could serve merely as a sample.
As to which phone the bezel belongs to, it is hard to tell. The bezel-style with speaker, front-facing camera, and sensors match the Lumia 930, Lumia 830 and Lumia 73x. However, due to the thinness near the bottom (see on photos from the source), it suggests that this phone employs on-screen keys rather than one imprinted on the bezel itself. Because of that, we are leaning on a Lumia 73x bezel, even it does look rather large for a 4.7-inch device.
Alternatively, it is simply a phone we have never seen before and an early prototype.
One other possible explanation is when this phone goes on sale in the US, as we reported yesterday for Verizon Wireless the Lumia 735 may take on Microsoft branding. The US market seems more accustomed to Microsoft than Nokia as a brand for smartphones, and this may be the first test case for the company.