Nokia sets Russian plod on blogger
Wants its phones back
Nokia has formally requested the return of prototype phones from off-message Russian website operator Eldar Murtazin. Nokia says it doesn't want to close down the long-running site Mobile-Review, but ominously says it has asked the Russian authorities for assistance. Which means Eldar could be being getting ready for a swim in this season's least desirable fashion accessory - a concrete bathing suit.
Murtazin is the most vocal of a number of former "social media" fan sites that have deserted the Nokia cause. Once well known for his exhaustive, photo-heavy reviews of Symbian smartphones, usually translated into a unique dialect of English, Mobile Review has become sharply critical of the company, using early Nokia prototypes to illustrate his case.
Nokia has now issued a legal statement via its Conversations site:
"Several weeks back, we formally requested the return of all unauthorized Nokia property from Mr. Murtazin and he declined to respond. As a result, we have contacted the Russian authorities to assist us in the return of all unauthorised Nokia property," writes the company.
Nokia also suggests ulterior motives:
"While this individual does operate a blog, he is also very public about being a ‘consultant’ to other international mobile manufacturers… Whether Mr. Murtazin’s actions were as a blogger, or whether he is acting in the capacity of a consultant in order to provide information to his clients is an open question.
"We’re not able to comment on what would or would not happen if the unauthorised property were returned."
(The word 'glug' appeared on our page at this point - although we may have imagined this.)
While Nokia bends over backwards to accommodate amateur fansites, it's arguable whether it was ever worth the effort. Marketing agencies have shaken down companies for a fortune, pushing the idea that where bloggers lead, the public then follows - and so at great expense, the amateurs are coddled as lovingly as Zsa Zsa Gabor's poodle.
But the logic here is questionable, as sites typically reflect opinion rather than lead it (with the exception of other amateur sites), and a sophisticated public now takes anything on the interwebs with a large sack of salt. For example, Mobile Review posted a much-quoted and highly critical review of the company's N8 phone in April, forcing the company into a premature announcement. But it was widely ignored, and much of the criticism indeed proved to be unfounded - after recent official previews the phone has been generally well received. ®
mobile-review has always been a no nonsense site. Nokia continue to release sporadic de-centralised crap. It's not surprising the two (specialist web sites and Nokia(tm)) have fallen out.
We'll send you 10 iPhones
In exchange for our (4) Nokias.
a couple of things ...
James 47 ... I think they meant Nokia is Finnish :-)
kurtus: when Apple "lost" that iPhone 4 and the pictures appeared all over the web revealing details of functionality that Apple was testing for inclusion in their final release iPhone 4, it led to a lot of rushing around in Apple about how to handle that sort of thing ... with the N8 I'm sure it was very similar ... that in the six months before a phone is officially released, a lot of functionality is tested on pre-release phones, and (one hopes) anything particularly buggy is dropped from the final release phone, colours change, different screen finishes are tried etc. so while Nokia may or may not have been about to announce the N8 (I have no idea), it's very likely that the phone they were going to announce wouldn't have all the same features (and same bugs!) as the one that our Russian friend "leaked".
Having worked in a similar industry, I know that these prototype phones tend to be full of debugging code (and so run much slower and using more memory) and that the chips inside may well also be prototype chips (graphics accelerators, bluetooth radios etc.) which are being tested too ... and if they fail, then there is a backup plan of changing the hardware back to a slightly older but reliable chip, and adjusting the code accordingly.
Having published a "highly critical" review of a prototype, I'm guessing Nokia had to jump forward with damage limitation ... and in a market where phones are mostly popular for only a few months before the next "best phone ever" shows up ... premature (and bad) publicity could kill a phone.
Being a Fan of Mobile-Review.com ,actually his latest blog did say how the dude had actually been on holiday recently Finnish or not - also he has saved me so much money over the years with his reviews and also helped me find some real nice phones
They want their loaned kit back
So they hand out gear for p/review. So they send a mail asking for it back, implicitly or explicitly "revoking authorization". So they claim it is "unauthorized" because he didn't respond to the email, saying he "declined to respond".
What the true story is, including whether and if so how they determined all that, is left as an excercise. So far they're making waves, perhaps trusting nobody will do any fact checking.