You have to begin to wonder whether Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop understands the way technology works. Having attracted the ire of a senior Nokia software engineer for dumping MeeGo, the former Microsoft employee has now inadvertently given us a look at the first Windows Phone handset from the Finnish manufacturers.
Elop was speaking in front of a group of journalists and bloggers, when he asked everyone to turn off their recording devices and warned them not to take any pictures. However, instead of waiting to make sure that his request was being complied with, Elop produced from his suit pocket what he called a “super confidential” handset codenamed “Sea Ray”. Instead of immediately shutting down their cameras, the guys at Hungarian tech site technet.hu kept the film rolling and captured Elop putting the handset on the overhead camera and showing off what looks almost identical to the Meego-running N9, announced earlier this week. The only discernible differences we can see immediately is that the LED flash on the rear is in line with the 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens and there is an extra physical button alongside the camera button and volume rocker.
Of course if this is a Windows Phone handset, another difference between it and the N9 will be the hardware platform, as Windows Phone does not support the OMAP 3 platform currently residing inside the N9. As Windows Phone only supports some of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, one of these will be sitting inside the Sea Ray, if it is the real deal. With initial reaction to the N9 overwhelmingly positive, on both the hardware and software sides, Nokia could certainly do worse than combine Windows software with the N9 hardware.
Of course Nokia is not admitting that this is going to be the launch Windows Phone handset, the fact the leaked pictures shows it running Windows Phone Mango makes it fairly obvious. Nokia will be holding its Nokia World conference in London on 26 October and it could be a likely date for the official unveiling of the first Windows Phone. Nokia has said it will be bringing ten new Symbian phones to market in the next 12 months so it could be a bumper conference for Nokia and we’ll be there for every minute of it.
We realise this whole charade could be a bit of distraction from Nokia but we suspect that this is a mistake from Elop, who should have known better. He seems to be like a child who had a new toy they couldn’t wait to show off and a misstep like this is not what Nokia needs at the moment.