Been a VZW customer for over 10 years. Was practically insulted by a sales rep a year ago at the local store when I asked about a Windows phone. I finally bought a Trophy on ebay for far less than what VZW's store wanted and I've been pretty happy with it, for what the hardware is.
Went in to a store today to see what they could/would tell me about WP8. They didn't insult me this time, but had nothing to show - but said I can pre-order one sight unseen. Whoopee!! One block down the street is an AT&T store - so that's where I went. They have several Nokia 920s on display - white, black, and red, and at least one 820. Sales guy was gung ho on WP8 and clearly loved showing it off. The 920 is a really nice phone. REALLY. NICE. PHONE.
And here's the kicker: They're charging the same price for the 920 that VZW is for the 820 AND they'll throw in the wireless charging pad. Makes me feel that VZW will rip me off if I stay with them and get a new WP8 device.
So...one carrier is actively SELLING WP8, the other is almost ignoring it.
you do realize that at&t has 6 month exclusivity on the 920. If you don't want to wait 2 weeks until WP8 come out at Verizon by all means go with at&t. Not really sure what your hurry is.
My point it that Verizon really appears to not care about WP generally and WP8
Let's take your points in order:
AT&T exclusive - so VZW didn't fight hard/at all to get it and left it for AT&T = disinterest at worst, insufficient interest at best. Worse, VZW is pricing a lesser phone - the 820 - at an effectively higher price than AT&T is charging for the better phone - the 920 - because AT&T is tossing in the charging pad
Wait 2 weeks - how is it that AT&T has the Nokia phones and the HTC phone already?
My hurry? - not so much a hurry but intrigued and want to see how the WP system performs. I have a day off today and it's really convenient to go look - plus I've been sitting on an upgrade for months. I might have pre-ordered one today of they'd had one to touch and use.
Ummm VZW has all WP8 devices on pre-order so they will not be in the brick-and-mortar stores till they are actually available. AT&T started selling the devices last week so yes they are in the brick-and-mortar stores for you to take a look at..
VZW wants to push for the phones because it puts more money in their pockets than Andriod or iPhone does so they want it to succeed.
For them to have at least 3 devices before Christmas is a good sign vs. the 1 device when WP7 was released.
As much as I hate to defend Verizon on this issue there are valid answers to the questions you posed.
I suppose I can't really comment on your hurry, but I can understand as I have been a windows dev for over 8 years now and have been dying to have a decent phone that I can dev against in my natural environment. But the time is almost here and I'm getting pretty excited. Now I do believe that VZW really did drop the ball with windows phones up until now, but some of that is to be understood after the last windows phone go-around before WP7.
The wireless charging wasn't the largest issue bringing the 8x to VZW: The firmware had to be opened to allow Verizon to implement things like PRL Downloads and other wacky diagnostics. Nokia ALMOST didn't hit VZW because of that.
So...nobody is offended by VZW charging $99 for the 820 w/o the charging pad while AT&T charges the same price for the 920 WITH the charging pad?
Nope. Not even a little bit. You have to realize that AT&T only plays a small part in pricing the phone. Part of that is going to be rebates from the manufacturer. Lets face it. There is more room for margin on the 920 then there is in the 820. Not to mention that I could care less about the 820. So basically the 920 is being subsidized by AT&T, while Nokia is most likely offering an amount of rebate to AT&T as well. Does the 820 even offer wireless charging? I thought that was a 920 feature.
I understand your pain but here is the reality through Verizon's eyes
Verizon does not care about one bit about what phone is good or bad. To them, flagship phones will come and go, so having the best one is not that important. They only care about their network. Verizon believes if their network is the best, then people will automatically come to them regardless of what phones they offer. So instead of wasting money on phones, they use their money to make their network better. AT&T on the other thinks that if they have the best phones, most people will go to them for that.
If you look at AT&T LTE vs Verizon LTE, Verizon is ahead by a lot in getting up the LTE network across America. And Verizon alone in the Q3 of this year added over 650K+ new members to their network. So as you can see, people come to Verizon for their reliable network, not phones and this is the strategy that Verizon believes in and this is exactly whats happening