One of the most telling omissions of Nokia's Lumia 920 & 820 announcements last week was the absence of any hard details with regard to pricing or availability. Subsequent reports online have tipped a November release for US and European markets, but as yet there's no word on when we'll see the devices in Australia nor how much they're expected to cost. But this marketing blind-spot palls into insignificance beside an advertising implosion that has sucked much of the attention away from the smartphones themselves.
As originally spotted by The Verge, a Nokia advertisement promoting the supposedly shake-free properties of the Lumia 920's “floating lens” optical image stabilisation system reveals an astonishing blooper: a reflected image in the video clearly gives away a film crew shooting the scene, whereas it's otherwise implied that what you're looking at is a non-simulated capture from from the Lumia 920 itself. While the gaffe could be swept aside as a trademark piece of advertising puffery, it's worth noting that the original advertisement doesn't contain any disclaimers to indicate that what you're looking at isn't a valid simulation of the technology. After the trickery was revealed, a red-faced Nokia announced a prompt apology and has now gone as far as to state it is conducting an independent ethics review looking into the affair.
None of this is a great look for the company, which is banking on the success of the new Lumias to stave off market obliteration at the hands of surging Android and iOS competition. But the early signs aren't promising. Even disregarding the ad scandal (and a generally positive reception to the new devices from the media), an early report indicated Nokia's shares still dropped on the day of the launch, simply concluding: “The market’s response is plain: What Nokia announced was insufficient, and perhaps even disappointing.”