By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: We were promised an “insight” into “Nokia’s aggressive renewal of its smartphone strategy” but all we know now is that the new N8 device has the best camera of any phone in the market – if it is actually a phone.

Amazingly, at the launch of this new mid-level smartphone in Sydney today, no call, messaging or email features were discussed, with Nokia Australia managing director Emile Baak and product demonstrator Stephen Wright instead dedicating virtually all of the presentation to the handset’s imaging capabilities.

A 12-megapixel camera and HD 720p video recording does not a good smartphone make, however, and the total lack of any strategy is alarming. The closest Wright and Baak came to discussing strategy was declaring that this phone will target price conscious consumers with an outright RRP of $749.

Other things we didn’t learn at this event include how popular the Ovi app store is in Australia and what products, if any, Nokia will be launching to target the high-end smartphone market now dominated, at least in the consumer mindspace, by Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy and various HTC models.

When asked directly if the lack of discussion about strategy was because there was none, Wright prevaricated, saying that this event was to launch the N8, and not to discuss strategy. This is surprising, since the invitation clearly says that two key insights set to be discussed were “Nokia’s aggressive renewal of its smartphone strategy” and “the company’s long-term platform strategy”.