First, a disclaimer: no one has come to us and said "Verizon will announce a Windows Phone from Nokia this year." In fact, we don't have any intel on new Windows Phones for Verizon at all right now, regardless of manufacturer - but what we do have is a bit of circumstantial evidence that's pointing in that direction.

We've learned from people familiar with the matter that the "Sea Ray" codename has an interesting history inside Nokia. The phone you see today - essentially a variation of the N9 industrial design running Windows Phone 7.5 - is very different from the original Sea Ray, a MeeGo-based device that had been tapped for Verizon. That alone is a pretty fascinating revelation: historically, Nokia doesn't have a reputation for supporting CDMA in its smartphone segment - much less a new, untested platform like MeeGo. Ultimately, though, Nokia must have known that it had no choice but to ramp up its CDMA game - China is still an enormous CDMA market, and the shift to LTE-only handsets for carriers like Verizon is still many years away. Nokia already had a budding relationship with Verizon in the feature phone segment, having contracted out a few devices (like the 7705 Twist) to an outside OEM; it only stands to reason that's a relationship the company was interested in growing, considering Verizon's buying power and consumer reach. Unfortunately, we don't know what that "original" Sea Ray looks like or what market segment it was intended to attack, and it's quite likely we never will.