Verizon to offer a Windows Phone 7 device sooner rather than later?

Is Verizon about to launch its first WP7 handset, the HTC 7 Trophy?

WinRumors reported last week that Verizon was poised to announce its first Windows Phone 7 device, possibly as soon as this week. In spite of Verizon's claim that it "had not set a date for a (WP7) device launch," there may be some of the expected Verizon HTC 7 Trophy devices floating around.

On February 28, Engadget posted a screen shot of the purported Verizon Trophy handset. And on February 25, PPC Geeks posted a screen shot, also said to be of a Verizon HTC 7 Trophy. The PPC Geeks shot showed an alleged shot of the handset running the Windows Phone OS 7 build number 7.0.7355.0.

(The PPC Geeks screen shot is at right. Click on it to enlarge.)

As Istartedsomething's Long Zheng noted, that particular build is not the "NoDo" update for Windows Phone 7, which Microsoft officials have said they plan to roll out in early March. Instead, Zheng said, the 7355 build is an interim build, which might be a pre-RTM build of NoDo. (NoDo, by the way, is the Windows Phone OS release that adds support for CDMA -- which Verizon requires -- among other features.)

The HTC 7 Trophy features a 3.8 inch screen, a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, and 5 megapixel camera. MobileTechWorld.com has a walkthrough of the HTC 7 Trophy device.

Microsoft officials are not offering any new clues or updates about Verizon's planned Windows Phone 7 launch. "We have nothing further to share beyond our earlier statement: 'Verizon announced they will bring Windows Phone 7 to market in the first half of 2011,'" a spokesperson repeated when I asked.

WinRumors said last week that Verizon is expected to make the first WP7 Trophies available in late March. Sprint, the other U.S. carrier that only last week unveiled its first CDMA WP7 handset, is going to start shipping the WP7 HTC Arrive devices on March 20 for $199.

In related news, there is still no refreshed release available from Microsoft of the first OS update for Samsung WP7 handsets. Microsoft ended up yanking the version of the update for Samsung handsets last week after complaints by some users of a variety of problems, including some that bricked their handsets. This first OS update is the precursor to the coming NoDo refresh.

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