If you were wondering why Nokia was missing from the Wild West list, wonder no more. By now everyone has seen the X5, announced this week at Nokia Connection 2010. It appears to not be a joke. Daring Fireball, Boing Boing, even the WSJ have already weighed in.

The problem here goes beyond the product itself. The X5 is clearly a low-to-midrange model that complements the much more interesting N8, and Nokia has always been a volume player. What’s truly remarkable is the communication: why make such a confused, tainted announcement at your own event? Here are a few things everybody should be talking about in the wake of Connection 2010, taken from Nokia’s own N8 site:

  • HD video recording
  • Symbian^3
  • Facebook integration
  • Live, customizable home screen features
  • HDMI output

Instead, we’re talking about a pink parts bin offering. Keep in mind the N8 is still not in the hands of consumers. It has enjoyed zero real hours of flagship status, and is already losing airtime to a lesser product.

Given the competition of late, it’s hard to believe the X5 is receiving any kind of spotlight. Nokia should be pushing the N8 nonstop — until it ships, and for at least a few months beyond that. Go ahead and release the X5 quietly at any point afterwards. Nokia needs to highlight compelling products, not cheap ones. They’re already on the ropes in terms of mindshare; market share and revenue may not be far behind.

Related: The Ovi Maps service is billed as “For free. Forever,” where “forever” actually means “as long as Ovi and/or Nokia survive.”