A lot of people have a problem with Nokia, and it's simply this: Nokia, and by extension many of its supporters, are in denial about the company's true position in the mobile pecking order these days.
Now I'm not saying a word on the merits, or otherwise, of such an attitude. But I will say this: those Nokia naysayers will probably be having a field day right now over reports quoting Nokia design chief Marko Ahtisaari as saying the iPhone is “poorly designed” and that the Finns have a new device up their sleeves that will blow us away.
On first impressions Ahtisaari comes across as a fairly outspoken chap – after all, wasn't it just the other day that we were reporting his comments that Nokia is indeed working on a tablet, and that it would be something special?
And now he's saying other class-leading devices are effectively rubbish, and that Nokia has a smartphone to blow them all away? Just who is this guy anyway, and where are all these comments coming from?
Turns out it's all from the same interview – one given recently to Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti's Optio magazine. Throw in the vagaries of translations, the wide range of supporting material a detailed interview like this is likely to call on as background, and the fact that as head of design someone like Ahtisaari is always going to have a fairly narrow view focused on their specific field anyway (as opposed to a balanced view of the industry as a whole), and the whole issue kind of loses its momentum.
But still, we'll dutifully report that Ahtisaari is down as saying the iPhone's user interface is “poorly designed” and convoluted in that “the road from the kitchen into the dining room is always through the front door”.
He reportedly says operating systems such as Symbian and Android are more like “dollhouses” with furniture users can pick and choose, and arrange as they please (plus they can also put the kitchen and dining room where they please, no doubt).
We're also told that impressed though you may be (or may not be) by the Lumia 800 and the forthcoming Lumia 900, Nokia has something even better on the horizon, a futuristic device featuring “breakthrough” and “revolutionary” technology on the user experience front, suggesting that users may not have to even touch the screen to operate it.
It's the kind of thing that has got tongues wagging, as you'd imagine, and various sites across the tech spectrum have been reporting variations on the same basic info for a day or two now.
The version we've chosen to pay most attention to, which comes courtesy of BGR, helpfully now also includes an update to reveal that Nokia has clarified that most of the interface-related remarks are concepts Ahtisaari has been discussing openly since December 2010. Oh.
So where does this leave us? Who the hell knows? It seems the news is that following ambiguous translations of comments in a magazine interview, some people are choosing to believe that Nokia has a secret weapon up its sleeve that will show the mobile industry just where it's going wrong, while others are choosing to believe Nokia is bonkers and hurtling rapidly towards an overdue demise.
In other words, the news is no news at all, really.