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Dell Venue Pro Windows Phone 7 handset 'delayed indefinitely' in the UK

Dell's Venue Pro was tipped as the business star of Windows Phone 7's launch line-up, with a slide-out physical keyboard. Retailer Expansys, however, says it's now delayed indefinitely.

Dell's Venue Pro might not have been the sexiest handset in the Windows Phone 7 launch lineup -- it may have the most boring name of any phone ever -- but it was the most likely to appeal to heavy emailers. It's still not on sale, however, and according to online retailer Expansys, has now been delayed indefinitely here in the UK.

Yesterday, rival UK site Clove updated its listing for the Venue Pro to say that, "First stock delayed until early March," as noticed by PocketNow. Expansys told us in an email, however, that it's "been told that the Dell Venue Pro has been delayed indefinitely".

The handset went on sale in the US at the start of December, SIM-locked to T-Mobile USA's network, and at the time Dell said that "In some locations, we do plan to sell an unlocked version outside the US". Its physical Qwerty keypad was the main selling point, along with a 4.1-inch WVGA AMOLED touchscreen, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and a 5-megapixel camera.

We'd already got our hands on the Venue Pro at the UK launch of Windows Phone 7 in October, and noted that its chunkiness and corporate look might restrict its appeal to non-business users, although we liked the keyboard and the inclusion of Gorilla Glass to make the screen more scratch-resistant.

Later that month, Expansys listed the handset with an 8 November release date, and a SIM-free price of £499.99, although at the time there was still no information on which (if any) UK operators would sell the Venue Pro.

Dell has certainly been confident about its debut Windows Phone 7 smart phone: in November, it even told its 25,000 staff to ditch their corporate BlackBerrys and use the Venue Pro instead. But with the ongoing delays for its launch here in the UK, there has to be some doubt over whether people here who don't work for Dell will ever get their hands on it.

Update: Good news, be-suited Dell fans. Expansys tells us the the Venue Pro is back, arriving on 7 March.