N8 / Symbian^3 reveal this morning was tarnished by Eldar Murtazin's harsh preview of the device and OS a few days ago: in a new Conversations blog post, the company says that Eldar's "salacious headlines" masked the fact that he was looking at a "very early, pre-production prototype with dated software that is not yet ready," and that it only ships products that are "refined, tested, re-tested, evaluated, [and] tested again." Now, Eldar says the devices he examined had the very latest hardware and software, so it's a bit of a he-said-she-said at this point, but there's no denying that Nokia's definitely shipped some not-quite-ready-for-prime-time devices lately -- the N900 and Maemo 5 shipped in pretty roughed-out form, and the company itself has said the N97 was a "tremendous disappointment." How that recent history reflects on Symbian^3 and the N8 remains to be seen, but it's clear that Nokia's feeling pretty defensive about things; Eldar's been scooping Espoo's gear for years now and the company's never made a peep about it. Either that, or someone at Nokia is just trying to cash in on all this iPhone 4 drama by saying things like "we want our prototype back" and "we are not the Secret Police, and we want to maintain our culture of openness," but come on -- that would be a pretty crass publicity stunt, right? We want to believe.