Verizon: With Friends Like This Who Needs Enemies.
I'm watching TV and on most channels I watch every 20 minutes or so an ad for the Lumia Icon blasts. Nokia Lumia Icon just launched in the US on Verizon Wireless and it is the highest end phone on the carrier (both in terms of processor and camera). Yes a Windows Phone is currently the most high end phone on the largest carrier in the United States; amazing how the times have changed.
Microsoft TV ad for Lumia Icon
So you would think Verizon would want to get the word out and excite people about a new quad core phone with 5" 1080p screen and wireless charging that costs less than $200 on contract. Nope. Go to Verizon's webpage on either Firefox or IE (it's a different design) and you will see no mention of the Lumia Icon. On Firefox the site promotes iPhone heavily with 2 featured sections and a separate section for iPhones apart from the common man's "smartphone" section. In IE the website only promotes Droid and iPhone on the front page.
Firefox: Front Page. No Lumia Icon.
Firefox: Windows Phone buried at bottom of the site long past where the navigation bar ends.
Now click through on the Verizon Smartphone section on either browser and the Lumia Icon is hidden all the way down at the bottom of the page. In Firefox the phones are arranged in sections with Windows Phones all the way at the very bottom (it's not an alphabetical list). In IE by default you see phones organized from lowest-highest price so the old Lumia 928 shows up on top because it is free. Well that's good you might think except the Lumia 928 review score is listed as having a 1-star out of 5 average with almost 600 user reviews posted. Wait what?!?!? That cannot be right, people love that phone and no phone on Verizon has a review average that low. Click through on the Lumia 928 page and it says once again 1-star average with several hundred reviews. Now click on on the review section and it shows that the phone actually has a 4-star average with over 600 reviews.
IE: Verizon mistakenly lists Lumia 928 with 1-star review average.
IE: The details page. Verizon also lists Lumia 928 as 1-star.
IE: Only when you click through on the reviews do you see the real user rating is 4-stars.
Okay great so the Verizon website is doing everything to keep people away from buying Lumia; partly do to incompetence and partly due to apathy. So now how about a fun anecdote of the Verizon in-store experience. Mary Jo Foley on Windows Weekly conveyed yet another depressing tale of her recent retail experience at her local New York City Verizon store. After buying a Lumia Icon, Mary Jo inquired as to the low signal bars of her Lumia Icon. According to her, the Verizon staff explained that the Verizon cell towers are configured to work better with better reception on iPhone and Android and not for BlackBerry or Windows Phone. She says otherwise the staff was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the product and was an improvement from her previous experiences there. Sad that telling people these phones get inferior reception on Verizon's network represents an improvement in a Verizon retail experience.