Key marketing VP leaves Nokia ahead of Lumia 920 release following series of gaffes

Ilari Nurmi, former vice president of product marketing for Nokia, has reportedly left the company, though it's unclear why.

Nurmi (pictured, top), who was in charge of the Finnish handset maker's smartphone strategy and was a key spokesman at the unveiling of the Lumia 920 last month, told Reuters recently that he had parted ways with the company.

The news agency reported that both Nurmi and Nokia failed to offer any details about the senior executive's reasons for leaving, prompting ZDNet to question what isn't being said about such a high-profile departure ahead of a major, possible company-defining product launch.

According to them, Nurmi's departure is likely the cumulative result of three damaging events: a recent Nokia share price plunge, the embarrassment of a faked PureView demo video, and the ongoing dwindling of the company's market share.

It is also thought that the firm's investors were frustrated by the failure to identify a specific general release date for the new handsets, another gaffe Nurmi could have been held partly responsible for.

Last month, Nokia began taking pre-orders for its forthcoming Lumia 920 and the slightly lower-end Lumia 820 smartphones, but didn't name a precise release date for the devices other than to say they'll be available in November.

Pricing for the phones in the UK has not been officially announced, though at least one online retailer has used information released in countries like Russia and Italy as the basis for a speculative SIM-free price up of £470 for the Nokia Lumia 920.

Microsoft last week tipped 29 October for the official release of Windows Phone 8, its next-generation mobile operating system which for the first time is based on the same OS kernel as the software giant's flagship Windows OS for PCs and tablets.

As with the upcoming Windows 8 OS, Windows Phone 8 is a sharp departure from previous generations of Microsoft software. So much so that Microsoft announced a few months ago that older handsets running Windows Phone 7 won't be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8 — a sticky situation for Nokia, which has locked itself into Microsoft's unproven smartphone ecosystem and dutifully rolled out Lumia phones with Windows Phone 7 not so long ago.

The Lumia 920 features a 4.5in curved glass WXGA IPS LCD display that boasts what Nokia called PureMotion HD+, which the company said is "better than HD resolution." The Lumia 820, meanwhile, boasts a 4.3in, 800 x 400 pixel display, built-in NFC, a 1650 mAh battery, Nokia location services like City Lens, and Nokia Music.