A recent listing on Chinese eBay-equivalent Taobao has caught the attention of smartphone aficionados around the world.
The listing put a mystery Microsoft Lumia device up for sale, though it’s unclear whether the device, which is heavily marked with indicators of its prototype status, is one we haven’t yet seen, or one which we never will.
The device, which was listed as a “Nokia RM-1052”, features an aluminium chassis and is said to pack a 5-inch 1080p Full HD screen, 2GB RAM, a quad-core processor and 32GB of storage, though the most striking feature is the gargantuan camera bump, which suggests the finished article was (or is) set for something special in the camera stakes.
There are a few red flags which could be indicators of the device actually being a hoax, such as the LED flash rather than Xenon, incongruous on-screen keys and the lack of a mechanical shutter, but these issues could simply be attributed to the prototype being an early version or the design direction being employed on newer Lumias.
The fact that the listing has been pulled from the site since Microsoft was notified of its existence could hint at its authenticity too, though it wouldn’t be unusual for a high-profile fake to be nixed just as briskly, in order to minimise bad publicity.
One suggestion is that the phone is actually an early prototype of the now canned Microsoft McLaren, the Lumia 1020 successor which was intended to showcase the company’s Kinect-like technology by offering advanced 3D gesture control. It also is one of the few Lumias to combine polycarbonate and metal in its bodywork, much like the Lumia 925 and more recently the 830 and 930.
As you would expect, there has been no official comment on the listing as-yet, and if it’s something which was never intended for public consumption there likely won’t be, but there’s every chance the device is one which could be headed for market in the future.