"I am going to just ask everybody to put away your cameras and turn off your recording device..." said Stephen Elop, president and CEO of Nokia, who appeared on stage for a staff meeting right after CMMA 2011.
He then took out a WP7 handset, which looks very similar to the just-announced N9, and unveiled that the handset is with the code name "Sea Ray". The phone, which has almost all design details of N9 - unibody design, curved screen, pillow shaped back,8MP Carl Zeiss lens, and no buttons on the front. The only difference that Elop spotted was the extra camera button on the side.
Although Elop urged the audience switch off cameras to prevent the leak, a video recorder, apparently the official one,was still running. The whole presentation, with "Sea Ray" demos, WP7 Mango sneak peek, and a brief speech given by Elop to restate the company direction, has been recorded, and been shared online by a technology website
In the speech, Elop said that the reason for launching N9 in the transition is that the user experience and industrial design "live on" to Nokia handsets in the future. No matter if one can really justify what Elop said, N9, right now, to me, has been officially regarded as a interim solution to sustain the business, and as a leverage to future Nokia models. This is actually not appealing to developers, and surely not appealing to other future stakeholder whom are interested in Nokia MeeGo.
On the other hand, I can see in the presentation, and from the launch of N9 that, both handsets are so ready, as if they can be launched very soon. If Nokia was able to prepare two mature phones for two platforms, why wasn't N9 announced earlier, say, in MWC? The model "N9" has rumored for over a year, and the N950 (developer version of N9, with sliding hardware keyboard) has been leaked for a year too. It's not hard to understand the phone has entered the "ready to market" stage for longer then expected, and we just don't know the reason for delaying the handset.
Elop closed the presentation by a short speech. He outlined 4 priority for the company, namely sustain, transition, delivery and launch, and "changing how we work". He suggested that an open environment is important for the company to move forward, and went quite upset when he said "The pain we suffered a few weeks ago about the earnings would not have happened if people in this company have shared the bad news earlier". I agreed in certain extend, but I also think trust and understanding is the key to open environment in the first place. Nokia, in my opinion, has just start a long and tough transition after Elop took the hot seat a few months ago. Every step and decision matters, and the leaders' capability to inspire the employees is vital.