Russian authorities are called in to collect a missing Nokia N8 prototype.
Nokia on Wednesday said it has sought help from Russian law enforcement to recover an unreleased smartphone from a Russian blogger.
On April 26, Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin published a detailed review of Nokia's unreleased N8 smartphone on his Web site mobile-review.com. He characterized the device as a disappointment.
The following day, Nokia responded in a blog post titled, "One of our children is missing." The post notes that "an early prototype [of the N8] made its way to someone that wasn’t supposed to have it." It skewers Murtazin's review for criticizing the unfinished nature of the device's software in light of the fact that prototypes by definition are unfinished.
Nokia insists that it's not trying to silence a critical blogger by involving Russian police. "At Nokia, we pride ourselves on being an open and transparent company," its July 7 blog post says. "However, the protection of our intellectual property is something we take very seriously."
Nokia's post suggests that Murtazin's consulting work for other international mobile handset manufacturers takes this case beyond issues of journalism and into the realm of theft of trade secrets.
In an article published by Russian news agency Interfax, Murtazin suggests Nokia's decision to involve Russian authorities may be motivated by the desire for publicity. The company, he says, is trying to stir up interest in its new phone.
In his recent Twitter posts and on the blog's Facebook page, Murtazin claims that Nokia is misrepresenting how it handled the situation.
Murtazin's criticism coincides with the dimming of Nokia's financial prospects. In June, Nokia lowered its second quarter financial estimate, citing the competitive environment at the high-end of the market -- where the N8, the iPhone, and various Android phones play.
Nokia is scheduled to report its Q2 results on July 22.
Nokia's situation is somewhat similar to that of Apple, which recently had to seek the return of a lost iPhone prototype that had been sold to tech blog Gizmodo. Apple too brought in the police in an effort to establish Gizmodo's improper involvement in an alleged theft.
Both cases underscore the demand for technical details about new smartphone models and the difficulty of keeping such valuable information secret.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
IT Strategies to Conquer the CloudChances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.