Nokia and Microsoft's first collaboration generated a substantial amount of buzz this week after a video of the smartphone appeared on a Hungarian web site -- the kind of buzz Windows Phone 7 will need to gain traction in the smartphone market. The device, code-named Sea Ray, was unveiled at a Nokia Connections event in Singapore by CEO Stephen Elop and Jukka Kiiskinen, a Nokia sales manager.
"This is something that is super-confidential and we don't want to see it out on the blogosphere," Elop said.
Someone in the audience had other ideas.
A crystal-clear video with clear sound from what seems to be a fixed high-quality camera found its way onto Technet.hu, and then quickly made its way to tech sites around the world.
Struggling to catch up to Apple's iPhone and Google 's Android-powered devices, Nokia and Microsoft, who recently announced a major collaboration, can use all the publicity they can get to create a bigger market for the Windows Phone 7 devices they will release this fall, observers say.
"One thing Apple fans do for Apple and Android fans do [for Google] is create publicity," said Strategy Analytics wireless analyst Alex Spektor. "It would serve Microsoft well and serve Nokia well to build similar buzz since those are the ecosystems they are trying to fight in that space."
Photos of, and details about, Apple and Android products are routinely leaked to tech blogs. The most famous recent example is the iPhone 4 prototype that ended up on Engadget and Gizmodo last year, months ahead of release. The companies involved routinely decline to comment on "rumors," but in this case there is no disputing the leak since Elop is seen holding the phone in the video.
While Nokia may not have deliberately leaked the video, it clearly didn't make a serious effort to keep the device under wraps, Spektor said.