Verizon Branded Apps Hitting Windows Phone 7 Marketplace

Rest assured that Verizon will soon start selling WP7 smart phones. This enough evidence for you?

So far, Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system has only been released on two carriers—AT&T and T-Mobile—but that is all expected to change very soon. Both AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM technology to power their networks but the next two carriers expected to get into the WP7 game—Verizon Wireless and Sprint—have CDMA technology behind theirs. Hints and rumors have been swirling since WP7 was first announced by Microsoft that Verizon would eventually receive the new OS with most pointing towards January 2011. Guess what? The wait is almost over.

Apps with Verizon’s name all over them are starting to appear in the WP7 Marketplace. Netflix and Slacker Radio are just two of what have appeared. It looks like the 1.5+ million WP7 powered smart phones sold number that Microsoft has started touting could quickly jump upward. Adding Verizon (and Sprint as well obviously, since phones that work on Verizon work on Sprint and vice-versa) will instantly increase the number of available customers by a significant amount and help sales.

The biggest problem facing a Verizon launch of WP7 is Apple, Microsoft’s old nemesis. Apple is expected to announce a Verizon compatible version of its iPhone 4 as early as this coming January, which could take most of the wind out of WP7’s sails. Microsoft needs to sell units to keep its strong developer support for apps. More apps then mean more sales. It’s kind of a catch-22: no sales means no apps and no apps means no sales.

With Verizon branded apps hitting the market however, an imminent release of CDMA compatible WP7 phones hitting Big Red is a certainty. The Consumer Electronics Show 2011 in Las Vegas this January would be the perfect place, especially when you consider that Verizon will be speaking. Announcement time!

Of course, the Verizon branded apps appear no different than the regular versions available for WP7 but speculation is that they’re the versions that will come pre-installed on Verizon phones. With the net neutrality nonsense going on at the FCC right now, Verizon might be working out some type of special deal with content providers to get them to pay some of the costs associated with the bandwidth used by streaming content. It’s only a guess but I wouldn’t put it past the cutthroat wireless industry. Repeat after me: wireless carriers are not your friend.

Anyone looking forward to finally getting in on the Windows Phone 7 fun via Verizon? More interested in WP7 on Sprint? Let me know what you’re thinking.

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