The first pictures of the clamshell version of the LG Chocolate phone—the LG VX8600 for those keeping score at home— have hit the Web. LG is looking to squeeze as much money out its Chocolate line of cellphones as possible and since Americans love the clamshell (more so than any other market, cellphone reps have told me on numerous occasions), LG is only more than happy to oblige.

Looking at these first pictures, which are only just slightly less blurry than the Zapruder film, you can immediately tell that LG is doing away with the whole "red=sexy" motif found in the currently available domestic slider Chocolate. Also of note is the move from a circular, iPod-wannabe directional pad to a rectangular pad, found in overseas versions of the Chocolate.

The clamshell Chocolate by LG is expected to launch later this year on Verizon Wireless.

LG VX-8600 Chocolate live photos [phoneArena]