Nokia, still stinging from the revelation it faked video that it implied was shot with its just-announced Lumia 920 Windows 8 phone, has revealed that it also used faked still images from that video in marketing material. And it's now conducting an ethics probe into the entire issue.
Last week, it was revealed that a video Nokia produced showing off the PureView video stabilization technology in the Lumia 920 was faked. In the ad, a man and a woman are riding bicycles side by side, with the man taking a video of the woman using the Lumia 920. The ad the displayed the videos the man supposedly took -- one using PureView, and one without. The one with PureView was startlingly clearer and with less shake. However, Nokia eventually admitted that the video was actually shot from a large van, not a bicycle, by a cameraman using a professional-looking video camera and lighting rig.
It turns out that the video wasn't the only thing faked. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nokia also faked still photos showing off PureView as well. CNet reports that Nokia has now apologized for that, saying: "Further misunderstanding has arisen about still photographs taken at night in the street in Helsinki. We want to be very clear that these still images were taken from the same video." In other words, they were taken from the faked video.
So Nokia is now launching an internal investigation into how and why the faked material was produced, according to Bloomberg.
This should do nothing to make anyone feel any better about the prospects of Nokia surviving. The Lumia 920 and its siblings and offspring may be Nokia's last best hope to forestall being cut into pieces or sold off. Its credit rating is now at junk bond status, and the stock price has been tanking.
If the new Lumia phones do not appeal to consumers when they are unveiled next Wednesday, it could mean the end for Nokia.
Faking videos and stills won't by itself mean the end of Nokia. But it will make consumers trust the company less. And without that trust, Nokia won't be able to be saved.
My guess is that a year from today, Nokia as we know it will be dead, and either all of it or a chunk of it will be owned by Microsoft.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.