Nokia's Stephen Elop announces a camera

Ex-Microsoft man, Stephen Elop, has announced some new Nokia devices at MWC – including one camera which also doubles up as a phone.

While this time last year Elop was defending a round of enormous job cuts that swept the Finnish phonemaker, as well as batting away rumours about a Microsoft takeover, today he has been touting a Nokia handset as an amateur photographer’s wet dream.

Presumably named after the acid-house drum machine, the Nokia 808 Pureview boasts a huge 41 megapixel lens, which is a lot by most people’s standards. Many of the current camera phones on the market ship with 8 megapixels. Nokia has always been well known for making great hardware and its cameras are no exception. To prove it, Elop demonstrated the power of the 808 Pureview by taking an extreme close-up of the Beeb’s technology respondant Rory Cellan-Jones’ face, here, which he described as ‘uncomfortable’.  

Despite proclaiming the death of Nokia’s ill-fated Symbian OS, the 808 will not be a Windows Phone device. Microsoft’s favourite handset manufacturer will release the camera with Symbian because the technology had been in development for five years, Elop told the BBC. A puzzling move. We’re calling the decision the Symbian WTF.

If it was Nokia’s aim to confuse the industry, it seems to have succeeded. By making its 808 the focus of its announcements, Nokia has hacked open the corpse of Symbian and put a couple of new AAs into its pacemaker. How, exactly, are we to feel about a new Symbian phone? Device makers will agree that a phone’s success is largely about its ecosystem. That’s one of the reasons Blackberry is struggling so much. It will be confusing for the consumer and, as playing around with Voodoo is widely regarded, bad juju.

Nokia has had a hard time convincing the world that its products can cut it in an Android and iPhone world. But it has recently become the biggest manufacturer of Microsoft smartphones, thanks mainly to the relative success of its Lumia. Speaking of which, Elop also today announced the Lumia 610, a spin-off social media-centric phone which will be available in Nokia’s characteristically bright colours.