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Windows Phone 7: Verizon supposedly has cold feet?

So even though Verizon was listed as a launch-partner for Windows Phone 7 back in February at Mobile World Congress, a rumor is now going around that they won't be carrying any devices featuring Redmond's new OS. Why?

A few days ago, BGR revealed what is suppose to be Verizon's road map for device launches for 2010/2011. It was chock full of Android and LTE information but there was zero mention of any Windows Phone 7 devices--not even the HTC Spark_W. (Dun dun dun)

Forget about the fact that BGR's Verizon roadmap also omits the following, according to MediaBistro

  • There is no mention of the iPhone being sold by Verizon in 2011
  • There is no mention of any Microsoft Windows Phone 7 based smartphones
  • There is no mention of any BlackBerry devices
  • There is no mention of any webOS based tablets from HP

...the notion is that Verizon is dropping everyone and just going 100% Android? While we have no doubts Verizon is doing a big push with Google, we find it hard to believe that they have no use for RIM's Blackberry anymore, let alone Windows Phone 7.

However, there is this quote from Engadget on June 30th talking about Verizon and the KIN:

Our source says that the fallout from this troubled partnership is that Microsoft has backed away from Verizon as a Windows Phone 7 launch partner, claiming that the first handsets you see won't be offered on the CDMA carrier -- rather that we should expect GSM partners to get first crack.

In this case, the tables are reversed with Microsoft being the one to back away from Verizon, partially due to their poor handling of the KIN (e.g. jacking up the cost on the data plan).

Our thoughts? Sure, anything is possible. Verizon is clearly in love with Android, but their "roadmap" seems incomplete to our eyes. We also think that sales make the deal and if Windows Phone 7 does well, Microsoft and Verizon will warm up to each other and work out their differences. After all, not everyone was thrilled with Android either. Finally, the lack of evidence doesn't mean we can just fill in the blanks with our own speculation. Lets wait and see what happens, eh?

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

43 Comments
  • I will be both upset and suprised to see Verizon not have some Windows Phone 7 devices this fall. Please Verizon don't let me down!
  • I want a WP7. If Verizon doesn't have it, I will jump wagon.
  • Wow, that would drive me away from Verizon if that rumor is true. I already hate Google with a passion
  • Makes you wonder if that joint net neutrality bit they did with Google a few days ago makes comes into play here? If true Verizon can go jump off a bridge and take google and their BS "net neutrality" ideas with them.
  • I was thinking the same thing; I don't really think it's a great idea for all of us for them to be tucked in bed together.
  • The only reason I care about Verizon having Windows Phone 7 is for market share increases that improve developer interest. The more carriers the better. However, what I really want to hear is what T-Mobile is doing?
  • I'd like to see Sprint pick up the slack if this is true, and offer WP7 and iPhone's. What a nicely stocked cell phone choice this would make.
  • That was my first thought in regards to Verizon not being an early partner for WP7. I'm thinking andy CDMA phone leak is more than likely for Sprint and HTC! WooHoo!!
  • I have 4 lines that will be moving to a different carrier after 10 years with vzw if this is the case...
  • I will leave Verizon if they don't get WP7 early on. But I think the reason it's not on the roadmap is because the OS isn't out yet and phones are still being developed so they're not ready to commit to specific dates and/or tip their hand too early. If Windows Phone 7 comes out in November I expect Verizon to have at least a couple phones in November. I'm not worried.
  • Sounds pretty anticompetitive if Verizon did that. This would be like a residential broadband provider telling you that you have to use a Mac.
  • Good analogy
  • Without "net neutrality" they soon will. Google and Verizon in fact were the authors of the current anti- net neutral proposal negotiated in secret. So your analogy is very interesting indeed.
  • I will leave Verizon forever if this is true. I like the service, I like the coverage but Verizon never has the best hardware. I will have a Windows Phone 7 one way or another. If it is with Verizon I will be happy. If its with AT&T I will be happy with the phone and disappointed with Verizon.
  • Verizon should now be associated with "fools drunk off the Android Kool-aid", or "The red-colored carrier full of Google's brown." I am a Verizon customer disgusted with the over-indulgance of Android devices. I'm ready to switch to another carrier because of this.
  • i'd definitely take a "wait and see" approach to this news. Relying on any one smartphone platform is a potential recipe for disaster. As one of the big two carriers here, they undoubtedly have millions of Blackberry users who'd have to switch carriers to continue using their devices. As best i can recall, AT&T has the biggest selection of Blackberries. And they'd be the only carrier to have four smartphone platforms on their network. Color me skeptical.
  • Hello, just arriving. It seems to me that the posters here are all working at Redmond. No one to speak about android or iphone. Only Windaube moba
  • No one speaks about iPhone or Android? Really? I just read several posts about Android phones right above your post. And, please take note Captain, this is, after all, the "Windows Mobile Experts" site. We talk about Windows Phones at the Windows Mobile site. Fancy that!
  • You're an idiot and anyone who types "M$" isn't worth paying much attention to. Shows your intelligence level.
  • Strange - I didn't realize CEO's also code and design operating systems these days? Also, if you read the previews from a "beta" phone, the WP7 is a positive experience. Sorry VZW, going to cancel in October and move away - enjoy Google.
  • What an idiot.
  • You can actually give Verizon direct feedback, by answering their one question survey at the link below. Every response is looked at. If you are on Verizon, tell them you want WP7. Survey
  • speculation at this point. i doubt verizon would skip on the opportunity to pick up all the early adopters to new two year contracts.
  • I've been waiting a long time for a new OS from MS and will definetly be switching carriers if Verizon doesn't have Phone 7 at launch. 5 lines to the carrier with Phone 7 any takers?
  • Just like almost everyone here...The anticipation and the excitement of getting this phone will be a serious let down if Verizon don't launch WP7 this year. I will definitely switch over if that is the case to another carrier most likely AT&T.
  • I think they think the iPhone might compensate. But if (hopefully: when) WP7 picks up momentum in sales, they might make more urgent requests for CDMA devices.
  • One word... Kin. Isn't it obvious guys?
  • Really??? I have a KIN and I assure you - the WP7 handsets are NOT KINS - stop trying to to tie the 2 together...
  • Windows phone 7 has what it takes to be the best mobile in the world. Even I am gonna buy it.
  • these reports can't be right. there's zero possibility that verizon is going to dump everybody and go strictly android. verizon doesn't believe in putting everything behind one platform because it would give too much leverage to that one partner. verizon owns the corporate world which is dominated by blackberry. so you can be sure that both windows phone 7 and blackberry will be there.
  • Well I've always been with Verizon but if they don't offer the new Windows Phone 7, I'll be going to AT&T. Simple as that.
  • no,no, no. Verizon, I'm counting on you to have Windows phone. I don't want to change carriers, and I don't want an Android.
  • See this doesn't really surprise me. I really never liked Verizon offerings for Windows Mobile in the past. I am just not a CDMA fan. I like GSM where I can use what ever phone I want. Yes, I know, as long as it is carrier unlocked and has the correct feq. This just gives me som much more freedom. What ever happened to Verizon's open movement?
  • I have no doubts that Verizon is dragging their feet. They always seem to be the last to carry any "good" phones. While I love the coverage, their dominance over phone manufacturers in the US is getting old. I can't stand always being the last to get the latest and greatest WM phone when all the other carriers already have it. Damn their R&D department.
  • VERIZON CAN SUCK MY DONKEY SPHERES!!! i cant wait to play with the new software. better make it a android killer or sumthin
  • MS really screwed Verizon over (putting it the nice way) with the KIN so I'm glad they're telling Ballmer and company to take a flying leap for now.
  • Hate to break it to you, but it was Verizon's fault just as much as it was Microsoft's. Did you see the data plan pricing? Of course no one would buy a mid-tier feature phone with the expensive recurring monthly payments. MS pissed them off by delaying launch and putting a half-assed effort into it, and Verizon dealt the deathblow by making it too expensive for anyone moderately sane to want to pay for it. So keep it cool on the blame game, eh?
  • +1
  • Why would you be glad for some people not to be able to get their desired phone on their desired carrier? How does that benefit you? How does it benefit anyone except Google, Apple, and RIM?
  • Let's not jump all over a rumor and start VZW smack without cause. For one thing, like it or not right now VZW has VERY advanced smartphones (in fact the three most advanced phones out there are Verizon - The Droid X, Droid 2 and Droid Incredible). All three are more powerful and more capable than the iPhone 4 or any of the current Win mobile or RIM units. That said, I think that VZW will have WP7 phones. What they won't have are older Win mobile or RIM units, and that is in large part because of the LTE rollout. They also have most of their Android phones marked EOL in Q2 of 2011. IMHO what they are doing is getting ready to roll their smartphone lineup over to LTE capable handsets. And I also don't expect a Verizon iPhone. They have poured a lot of funds into what has been a VERY successful anti-iPhone marketing campaign, and are setting themselves up as the alternative to being trapped inside Apple's ecosystem.
  • Just got a Droid X, and my company just switched to Macbook laptops. Both great little machines that do lots of cool stuff but the bottom line is that Exchange rules the corporate email/calendar/contacts/tasks market and both of these devices are lacking seriously in some very basic integration points that make my life harder, not easier. Liek when I get an invite it tells me there's a conflict, takes me there, and let;s me resolve it. Or when I create a meeting it automatically populates the Calendar. Don't get me started on their lack of integration for GoToMeeting of Adobe Connect, two apps that I use extensively. To top it off I work in the Federal government market, there are 0 Macs or Android phones in the federal government. Unfortunately, or fortunetaly, the Macs they gave us include Fusion and their answer when I asked if I could trade my Mac for a win machine was that Windows 7 was already loaded in a Fusion VM instance so I could use that for everything. Which begs the question - Why did we buy the Macs in the first place. I could get a sick win laptop for the price they paid for our Macbook pros. As soon as a W7 mobile device is available from Verizon I am giving my Droid X to my Daughter and buying one. MS has done a good job of keeping some very key and critical hooks out of the hands of third party developers, after all, if they were able to integrate to the same level they would. It's not a matter of begin technically possible, it's a mater of MS owning the intellectual right to the technology. You will never see the same level of integration on Android, iPhone, BB, or whoever, only on a windows device.
  • Did I mention I do not like the kb? Maybe it takes some getting used to but I've been using it for 3 weeks and I swear my error rate has doubled... and that I need to push the keys down harder than on my old win dell laptop...
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