Since CEO Stephen Elop confirmed early this month that Nokia was still planning on a Q4 launch of their first WP7 phones, the rumor mill has been cranking.  Friday brought us word that 6 European countries would be the first to see the new devices.  Now, rumor has it, that those 6 nations will have to split up the paltry sum of 125,000 units.  According to a Tweet by Eldar Murtazin, Editor in Chief of Mobile-Review, that is how many handsets Nokia plans to manufacture for Q4.

For Nokia, who has doubled down on WP7 as their smartphone future, 125,000 seems incredibly low, and risky at best.  It invites the question of whether or not this, and other recent rumors, can be trusted.  With the well-being of the company on the line, Nokia has allegedly gone into Apple-mode, keeping their cards close to the vest and clamping down on how much information gets out there.  In a piece he wrote for Slashgear, Chris Davis put it this way:

"Talk to anybody in Nokia, and it’s clear they’re aware of the potential if they can only get the first Windows Phone launch right. That’s why the iron shutters are down around development: as one of the product team told me yesterday, it’s “Apple-style” secrecy right now. Well known industry players are finding their sources inside the company drying up. The 12-18 month long development cycles of before – during which time leaks were pretty much the rule and not the exception – have been clamped down upon, hurried up and shrouded in a new level of secrecy."

It only makes sense that Nokia wants to seal leaks and build anticipation, and Apple has made a way of life out of it.  Through intense secrecy and iron-fisted control, they have been able to create their own media destiny.  The world champs at the bit to get any scrap of information they can, and thus, the hype builds up.  It's a model that Nokia will need to pay off for them as they head into an uncertain make-or-break future.

Sources: Eldar Murtazin, SlashGear; Via: IntoMobile, WPSauce