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Picture too perfect: Nokia says sorry after faking new camera feature

Viewers call bluff on promotional video that mobile giant said was shot on new smartphone

Nokia has been forced to issue an apology for faking promotional footage within hours of unveiling a new smartphone camera feature.

The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer announced that one of its new features was a facility to reduce camera shake, and issued a video to illustrate how effective it was.

The video followed a woman on a bike as a man supposedly used a new Nokia mobile, the Lumia 920, to capture her coquettish ride.

Sharp-eyed viewers, however, soon realised, courtesy of a reflection in a car window, that the footage they were watching had been recorded by a professional camera crew, complete with cameraman and expensive equipment in a moving van.

Nokia, which once led the way in the mobile phone market, has seen its share price plunge in recent months amid doubts about its ability to keep up with rivals Apple and Samsung. It had hoped for a flurry of enthusiastic praise for its 'PureView' technology on the social networking sites but instead found itself subjected to ridicule.

The company was driven to issue an online apology in which it admitted that it had not used the mobile phone camera to record the footage but had instead resorted to simulating what it will be able to do for users.

Heidi Lemmetyinen, editor-in-chief of Nokia's official blog, wrote on the site: "In an effort to demonstrate the benefits of optical image stabilization (which eliminates blurry images and improves pictures shot in low light conditions), we produced a video that simulates what we will be able to deliver with OIS.

"Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but we should have posted a disclaimer stating this was a representation of OIS only. This was not shot with a Lumia 920. At least, not yet. We apologize for the confusion we created."

The bungle intensified criticism of Nokia which has already come under media fire for its failure to come up with a firm launch date for the new phone or to say what it will cost.

Nokia is hoping the new model will put the firm back on top of the mobile smartphone market, having dramatically lost ground to competitors in recent years.

The phone uses Windows Phone 8 software and its new features include a "floating lens" surrounded by springs and wireless battery charging. But the public unveiling at a press conference in New York has done little to boost market confidence so far.

In February last year Nokia's chief executive, Stephen Elop, warned staff the company faced a battle of survival and compared the business to a man "standing on a burning platform" who had to risk jumping or be consumed by the flames. Moreover, he was critical of Nokia's approach, saying: "We're not fighting with the right weapons."