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Nokia asks ever so nicely for return of missing prototype

'We are not the Secret Police'

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A Russian website famous for for getting its mitts on re-production versions of mobile phones has stolen some of Nokia's N8 launch day thunder.

Making its debut today, the N8 is the first mobile phone anywhere built on the Symbian S3 platform - and it's very big news for Nokia.

But Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin had already obtained a prototype of the N8 and published a savage assault on his website Mobile Review, in which he accused Nokia of sabotaging its own brand (Google translation here).

Murtazin's preview picked up a lot of link traffic, if not at the insane levels that Gizmodo experienced with its recent found-in-the-bar iPhone 4 scoop.

And Nokia's response? No police raid and no firings.

Just a mild mannered riposte, entitled One of our children is missing, via the company blog, "Doug" writes: "So now that the official news is out, we’d like our prototype back. Please."

Not unnaturally, Doug points out that the software on the pre-production prototype is decidedly unfinished.

When it goes on sale this summer, we’re confident that the N8 is going stand out for its ability to create and consume media, and stay connected with social networks. We’re also confident that the products that make their way to our customers are going to be the best possible quality: Refined, tested, re-tested, evaluated, tested again, and then – once we’re all perfectly happy – shipped.

Nokia is hunting for the source of the leak to Mobile Review - which it does not mention by name, but notes that this "particular site openly flaunts its ability to acquire our property".

But, and here is where it gets really interesting, Doug writes:

However, whilst we are determined to protect our intellectual property and maintain the surprise when a shiny new gadget is introduced, we are not going to do so at the expense of the working conditions we enjoy here at Nokia. We are not the Secret Police, and we want to maintain our culture of openness. We won’t let days like yesterday alter that.

A whiff of a hint of a sub-text, possibly?

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