Last night at CES, we managed to chat up some people with Microsoft, specifically about the Verizon incident and Lumia phones. Starting yesterday, Verizon apparently pulled listings for their Lumia phones on the Verizon Wireless site. Granted, those phones – the Lumia 822 and Lumia 928 – are both aging Windows Phones to begin with, still, it did not look good for Microsoft.
However, Verizon is now saying that the reason those phones are not listed online is due to them being out of stock. Certainly the production of those devices is probably at an all-time low, and stock would be a little bit more difficult to procure versus a newer Lumia 830. The phones though are reportedly still available in physical stores, although local stock and availability will likely vary.
Accepting Verizon's answer on the matter (and they are adamant this is accurate), it is still a rather odd tactic. It seems common practice online that when stock is no longer available for a device that a 'temporarily unavailable' warning is placed on the ordering page. This both informs the customer that they cannot order it, but it should be back at some time in the future. Likewise, it would still allow customers to use the valuable 'local lookup' to see if a person's local Verizon store has the phone available for direct pickup.
Regardless, we'll leave Verizon's marketing practices to them and just accept their 'out of stock' reasoning for now. There is no word on when the Lumia 822 or Lumia 928 will be back in stock though we will keep an eye out for when that happens.
In terms of the Lumia 735, which has never been announced by Verizon, its future is still uncertain at this point. The US carrier was rumored to get the phone late last year but was pushed back for unknown reasons.