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[Click to enlarge] Leaked images reveal that the HTC Trophy will be one of Verizon's first Windows Phone 7 models to launch in January.  (Source: Engadget)

Sprint will also reportedly air handsets in January  (Source: LISA POOLE/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Sales haven't been great, but WP7's slow and methodical approach reminds one of Android

One underemphasized point during the launch of Microsoft's much ballyhooed Windows Phone 7 operating system was that it was only available at launch on two networks in the U.S. -- T-Mobile (America's fourth largest carrier) and AT&T (America's second largest carrier).  Noticeably absent were WP7 offerings from Verizon (America's largest carrier) or Sprint (America's third largest carrier).

But the good news for prospective buyers is that according to Neowin.net, sources are confirming that WP7 will become available in January to Sprint and Verizon's 100 million+ customers. 

A leaked Verizon ad shows one of the phones to be released will be the HTC Trophy, which packs a 3.8-inch touch screen, 16.5 GB of Flash memory, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a 5 MP camera.

WP7 handsets on Sprint and Verizon will have to be reengineered to include CDMA (3G) receivers.  T-Mobile and AT&T operate on a different 3G standard, GSM.  It is highly likely that some of the coming WP7 models will feature both types of 3G receiver hardware.  Indeed the HTC Trophy flier bills it as a "quad band global phone", which means both CDMA and GSM are likely included.

It'd be far too easy to criticize Microsoft for not launching simultaneously on all carriers.  However, while initial sales reportedly have left something to be desired, WP7 reminds us of an early Android.  Much like Android gained steam through a methodical schedule of hardware and software releases, WP7 is looking to pull off a similar feat.

Microsoft is reportedly going to unleash a pair of major OS updates in January and February, which should bring the OS up to speed with its next-gen competitors.  With a slick look, growing list of carriers, and growing selection of hardware, don't be surprised if WP7 bumps Apple to third place, sometime in the 2012-2013 time frame.




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