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Nokia CEO dodges premium Lumia questions, throws iPhone

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop was supposed to talk about the company's recently-launched low-cost Lumia devices, but instead he wound up dodging questions and tossing an iPhone to the floor.



Appearing on commercial TV station MTV3 in Finland, Elop faced questions from the show's host, Hjallis Harkimo, on the particulars of the Lumia 928, an as-yet-unannounced Lumia 920 variant. Harkimo pressed Elop on what consumers might expect from the handset.

"I don't know," Elop responded, laughing, "because we haven't announced a Lumia 928."

Elop then tried to steer the conversation back toward Nokia's newest offerings, a line of low-cost Lumia handsets meant to appeal to developing markets and entry-level consumers.

Elop appeared to be preparing to make a statement on future Nokia products when the Harkimo produced an iPhone from his coat pocket.

"I have an iPhone," he said, holding it up to Elop, "I don't want to have an iPhone."

As Harkimo explained that he wanted to have a Nokia phone, Elop seized the moment, and the iPhone. He tossed the device to the floor, proclaiming "it's gone."

Following up with Harkimo on Friday, Finnish blog Tietoviikko confirmed that the host's iPhone suffered no damage from being tossed. Harkimo says he has yet to receive a Nokia phone to replace the iPhone, which Elop promised him during the interview.

The 928 is said to feature an aluminum body instead of the polycarbonate frame that has typified Nokia's Lumia line. Along with the aluminum body, the 928 is said to feature a xenon and LED flash combination, and Nokia's purported goal is to position the device as a premium handset in the vein of Apple's iPhone or HTC's One flagship.

Unveiled last year with the launch of Windows Phone 8, Nokia's Lumia line has a lot riding on it for both Nokia and Microsoft. Lumias have become the de facto standard bearers for WP8, which is Microsoft's latest push to make an impact in the smartphone segment.

For Nokia, the handsets are an attempt at grabbing back some of the mobile phone market share that the company has lost to iOS and Android manufacturers, particularly Samsung. The line has sold relatively well since its release, moving 4.4 million units in the most recent quarter — up from 2.9 million for the quarter previous — and earning Nokia its first quarterly profit in some time.