The new handset is now available directly through the carrier and, for now, it's the only Windows Phone you can buy through Verizon.
Full, off-contract pricing is $192 while those that don't mind a two-year commitment can have the Lumia 735 for $79.99. Verizon is also offering the handset through its Edge program for $0 down and $8 a month for 24 months.
The handset isn't a flagship by any means; we're still waiting for Microsoft to announce a new one that will likely coincide with the Windows 10 launch in the coming months. Instead, the XLTE-ready Lumia 735 is squarely in the mid-range market with these hardware specifications:
4.7-inch 1280 x 720 ClearBlack OLED display
A 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU
1 GB RAM, 16 GB storage and microSD card slot
6.7 megapixel, f/1.9 rear camera with ZEISS optics, 5 megapixel front camera
802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
A removable 2200mAh battery and wireless charging
While Windows Phone continues to grow market share, particularly in the U.S., I can't help but wonder if the situation would be different with more support from Verizon and its large customer base.
Few Windows Phone handsets are offered by the carrier compared to other network providers, for example. And even when Verizon does sell a Microsoft-powered handset, it often seems like an afterthought when it comes to support.
Perhaps Verizon still feels stung by the great Microsoft Kin debacle of 2010? Or maybe the carrier simply doesn't want to invest too many resources towards marketing Windows Phones when demand is lacking.
Either way, it's not helping Microsoft; nor customers on Verizon's network that do desire a Windows Phone.