Let’s face it, you and everyone else with even a passing interest in cellphones has seen the HTC Merge before — branded, unbranded, in the wild, in leaked presentations, and courtesy of its user manual. So the appearance of press shots of this Android-powered QWERTY slider serve just once purpose: confirmation that Merge is poised to hit Verizon any day now (despite its curious absence on that alleged leaked roadmap we recently saw). In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the CDMA Desire Z hit shelves before the end of the week, especially since smaller regional carrier Alltel has already begun taking pre-orders on its own version of this 800MHz, 3.8-inch handset.
Amazon managed to get its new Appstore pre-loaded on that model, so it will be interesting to see if a similar deal with Big Red has been reached. (Considering that Verizon is pushing its own V-Cast mini-store, we’re not sure if it would want to confuse subscribers with yet another software depot.)