Just days after announcing its full withdrawal (well, Vertu excepted) from the brutally competitive domestic Japanese phone market, what does Nokia do? It goes and announces a phone fully capable of hanging with the very best that the home field players like Sharp, Casio, and Toshiba have to offer on their own turf. That alone is kind of funny -- but the real irony here is that the N97's designer, Shunjiro Eguchi, is Japanese. We've heard of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," but we're not familiar with the "if you can't beat 'em, quit 'em and steal their talent" tactic. Pretty sneaky, Nokia -- pretty sneaky indeed -- but we've got to wonder why you think this beast of a phone wouldn't fly in Tokyo.

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