Verizon, Sprint Not Getting Win Phone 7 Until 2011

Verizon yesterday confirmed to Bloomberg that it wouldn't be offering Windows Phone 7 devices until 2011, despite the fact that Microsoft is expected to launch the OS in October. In an interview with Business Week, Verizon's Brenda Raney said the carrier does plan to support the new operating system and will probably release a phone in 2011.

The news was surprising, considering Verizon was the first to offer Microsoft's Kin One and Kin Two. At first we figured this revelation about not supporting WP7 until 2011 had something to do with Verizon's lack of confidence in Redmond. After all, the Kin had to be pulled two weeks after it launched. However, it turns out that's not the case after all. Speaking to CNet, product manager Greg Sullivan said that Windows Phone 7 devices would be GSM only until 2011.

"We had to make some trade-offs," Sullivan told CNET. "Even Microsoft doesn't have unlimited resources. We had to prioritize doing fewer things, really, really well."

Microsoft decided to focus on GSM handsets because it’s the dominant standard in the worldwide market.

"For the worldwide market, the vast majority of phones are GSM phones, so we focused on GSM first and then plan to deliver an update that will have great CDMA support in the first half of 2011," Sullivan said. "That's device availability in the first half and we're very confident of that. That's probably a conservative estimate."

Sullivan likened the decision to do GSM only for 2010 to the decision to omit copy/paste.

"It's exactly the same decision dynamic," he said. "Look, we could do more things, or we could do fewer things really, really well. We chose intentionally to do fewer things really, really well."

So no Windows Phone 7 devices for Sprint or Verizon until sometime next year. Are you willing to change to AT&T or T-Mobile just to get one? Let us know in the comments below!

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • blackbyron
    I would care less about WP7 since Microsoft is strict on porn and violence.
  • IM0001
    Seriously stinks for those of us who don't want to hop on the AT&T Monopoly train which is overloaded and overpriced as it is. T-Mobile might counter it a bit but Sprint really should have worked themselves with HTC to get a 4G device out the door on launch day.
  • scook9
    Disappointing news for Verizon and Sprint users waiting for Windows Phone 7 to launch before they upgrade: Neither will actually have the phones when the new OS launches this fall.

    The more I read about WP7.....the less disappointing it is
  • sabot00
    Or you could do a few things really well but nobody cares about the stuff thats "well".
  • IM0001
    The one good thing I can see coming of this is AT&T can demo a lot of the early devices and such, and hopefully Sprint will pick up something along the lines of the HD3's Supposed specs (1.5Ghz Duel Core, 1GB Ram, etc). Only time will tell but either way WP7 will be sweet, I just won't be able to be an early adopter and promoter when it's on such a expensive and awful network (at my location).
  • TheKurrgan
    The GSM only argument makes sense, however seeing as how Microsoft as far as I know was only responsible for the software, it would seem to me that a platform could have been just as readily available from HTC to work on a CDMA platform as the GSM one. However, it doesn't matter anyway, because this is likely to be just another epic failure. In my travels the main reason Windows mobile users keep windows mobile as opposed to moving over to other technologies is because the newer stuff abandons styluses. They are addicted to that way of doing things, and dont want to learn the touch screen keyboard and stuff. However, this appears to be so far removed from WinMO prior, that even their loyalists will likely re-examine other technologies since it is basically a late copy of other things in existence on all carriers. My opinion is Ballmer just hopes he can throw up a whole bunch of smoke and mirrors and herd the dumber users like sheep to their product.
    Only time will tell I suppose.
    Android FTW.
  • Major fail. If a company like Microsoft can't come up with resources to do CDMA, that tells you a lot about the future of WinPhone7 and their team. Sorry, can't do that. Repeat after me...
  • dallaswits
    I have the Evo 4G, so i will wait until 2011 and then pass the Evo to my wife and get a Win 7 phone. As a freelance IT guy I try to have first hand experience with most OS's i might have to admin...
    I'm related news, jailbreaking your phone has been legalized in 2010.
  • Windows Phone 7 is a closed system.

    No Jailbraking allowed. The OS contains DRM to stop you jailbraking.