The tech industry moves at a fast pace. Faster, it seems, than even the hyperspeed at which Hollywood cranks out summer blockbusters. It’s easy to forget sometimes that the movies you saw just last week were in the works for years prior. That fact is rarely more apparent, though, than when we caught a glimpse of some Symbian-running, Nokia-branded handsets in the latest lens-flare-peppered, explosion-obsessed, theater-shaking Baygasm known as Transformers: Dark
Side of the Moon, like the above-pictured X7. Honestly, it felt a little sad.
For those who don’t follow movie production news, Transformers 3’s principle photography took place between May 17th and July 1st of 2010. Principal photography, for the layman, is the period of a production schedule where all the primary footage is shot. They’ll spend a few months shoving Shia LaBoof in front of green screens and putting obviously-branded cell phones in his hands, and then the next almost-year building Optimus Prime in a computer. Which means not only was the decision to put a Symbian device in one of the the biggest blockbuster movies of 2011 made several months before Microkia announced their fancy new partnership, it was already a done deal, shot and ready for post before the Nokia/WP7 strategy was even a glimmer in the rumor mill’s eye.
It’s kind of bittersweet. Obviously, the placement is dated. Not because Nokia’s not still selling Symbian phones (they are), but because it’s a reminder of the hope Nokia used to have for their platform(s). It wasn’t that long ago that Symbian was the world leading smartphone platform. Sure, it was dated, and growth was inexcusably slow while their competitors moved in from all sides. Still, Nokia (and Symbian fans) had hope. Hope enough that they felt their product deserve a prominent place in a June-launch summer movie! And the studios agreed! Summer blockbusters are the Super Bowl of movie product placement, and Symbian was set to be front and center in 2011.
Then February happened, and now we’re stuck in the middle. Symbian and Meego are dead, for better or worse, by virtue of being abandoned by their curators, yet we still wait for any of the WP7 products Nokia has promised we’ll get at some point this year. So, we’re left with the reminder of year old promises, broken dreams, and a mirage of a WP7 oasis off in the distance as we wander through the desert of Nokia’s 2011 product line.
Still, at least Shia seems happy with his phone.