Nokia pulls an Apple, enlists police to retrieve prototype N8 smartphone from blogger

It seems like enlisting the help of authorities may be the new modus operandi for device manufacturers when their prototypes get leaked to gadget blogs. In a story that’s reminiscent of the recent lost iPhone fiasco, Nokia announced today that it has asked Russian authorities for help with retrieving a prototype of its upcoming N8 smartphone from Eldar Murtazin, editor-in-chief of the Russian gadget site Mobile-Review.

Murtazin ran a detailed overview of the N8 a few months ago, and Nokia responded dramatically with a blog post entitled “One of our children is missing.” The company requested that the unit — which it says was a “very early, pre-production prototype with very dated software” — be returned. Now, after months of supposedly no response, it’s proceeding with legal action.

According to some blog posts by Murtazin, however, it appears that he’s attempted to contact Nokia and never heard back, reports the technology site TechCrunch. In an email to TechCrunch, Murtazin went on to say that he never received any direct communication from Nokia, and reiterated that he received no response to repeated communications to Nokia’s public relations team.

This story likely won’t escalate to the heights of the iPhone 4 fiasco, wherein police kicked down a Gizmodo editor’s door and requisitioned his computing equipment. But if device manufacturers have learned anything from the iPhone situation (in addition to better securing big products from potential leaks), it’s that they shouldn’t be shy about getting their prototypes back from information-hungry bloggers. And while it may not be their intent, the ensuing drama also helps to further awareness of the stolen device.

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