In the highly competitive tablet market, companies are keeping their innovations close to their vest, but Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s latest entrant may have been shared publicly a little too early.

Nokia tablet
Mockup Image.

At a recent Pakistan Nokia event to launch the Nokia 620 Windows 8 phone, an onstage screen showed an image of a tablet that appeared to be around seven inches. This was included with the new phone and a monitor–both run on Windows. Should this Nokia tablet really be this size, then it may incite interest for a less expensive Windows tablet option.

And with the alleged recent leak, it appeared that Nokia may have already made its mind up for the marketplace: a 7-inch Windows tablet.

But not so fast.

A Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) spokesperson shot down the rumor by saying to My Nokia blog on Wednesday, “That’s not a leak. That is a picture that simply shows WP UI alongside Win8 Tablet UI alongside Xbox UI. They are not Nokia specific products.”

For the sake of argument, let’s say it wasn’t a leak. What did the image look like?

The mystery tablet did show a Windows 8 start screen with live tiles, reported It also included identical rounded corners and the bright yellow casing usually seen in Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 handsets.

There have been a lot of rumors about a potential Nokia tablet. Back in December, there were rumors  coming from the supply chain of a February launch for a 10″ tablet. But it was delayed as Nokia decided to focus on its smartphones.

Then there’s the recent remarks by Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) CEO Stephen Elop. He suggested a few weeks ago, while visiting Sydney, Australia, that a Nokia tablet was in the works. He said at the time, “We haven’t announced tablets at this point, but it is something we are clearly looking at very closely. We are studying very closely the market right now as Microsoft has introduced the Surface tablet, so we are trying to learn from that and understand what the right way to participate would be and at what point in time.”

Elop didn’t rule out that the company would also consider an Android option for the tablet, but Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) seems like a natural partner. He added, “When you think about the Lumia 920 running on Windows Phone, having a Windows tablet or PC or Xbox is something that will give us the opportunity to have a pretty integrated experience.”

And just to add some more fuel to the fire for the tablet, there is the upcoming Mobile World Congress. It will take place from February 25-28. Rewind back to a year agom and Elop was already taking about a possible tablet.

Is 2013 the year it will be introduced?