This feels like deja vu, except that this time the police are Russian, and the phone is a Nokia N8 and not an iPhone 4. The mobile giant Nokia has requested the assitance of the Russian police to reclaim “unauthorized Nokia property” from the blogger Eldar Murtazin who writes for Mobile-Review.com.
Nokia requested that he return certain phones to the company that are not yet released on the public market, and thus contain sensitive trade information. Eldar did not reply.
Mr. Murtazin, whose post on the N8 was based on a leaked prototype unit, represents the future of mobile reporting in ways that should both flatter and concern phone companies. Just a few days ago Murtizan leaked specifications for Android 3.0, the hotly anticipated next generation mobile operating system from Google. That along with his release of a review and specifications on a phone that should be under wraps, lock, and key signifies that information was once easily concealable is now no longer so.
Apple, a company of legendary secrecy, went through a similar drama as Nokia when a prototype iPhone 4 fell into the hands of the technology blog Gizmodo. Apple enlisted the help of the police in that situation as well, who searched the blogger’s house.
But this new situation with Nokia, the previous Apple story, and even the Android 3.0 leak all represent a single truth: people truly give a damn about the mobile market. Readers so want to read about what is coming next in the world of smartphones that the people who bring them the news are at war with each other to get something first. The exclusive is the prize.
And therefore yes, while we all groan when the police are enlisted to break down this blogger’s door and take a few pieces of cellular technology, it only represents the trend that a person’s mobile phone is an increasingly vital part of their digital life. So long as smartphones are popular, people such as Eldar Murtazin are going to fight tooth and nail to get the story first.
Given that even the mighty Apple has been cracked in this way, the smart money is on the bloggers winning, and indignant companies chasing after them with a mob of police backing them with truncheons. Good luck Eldar.