By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Nokia staff has refused to comment on the availability of the new Tube device, a model that features prominently in current release film The Dark Knight. Speaking at the Finnish company’s Sydney offices, various members of staff all responded with the same rehearsed line when questioned about the handset.

Aside from a collection of local product managers, also avoiding question on the Tube was Nokia vice president, industry liaison and collaborations, Mark Selby, who had flown in from his native England to speak with assembled members of the press.

When asked about the Tube, a handset that Nokia positioned in the latest Batman movie as part of a product placement deal, Selby gave an identical answer to his Sydney colleagues.

“We can’t speculate on the models that may be released in the future,” said Selby.

Interest in this model has been growing at a rapid pace since the film’s launch, and a scan of internet sites reveals a first quarter 2009 release of the model if you want to trust blind sources.

Selby did speak at length, however, about product placement in films generally. He reported that the company was greatly surprised by the success of the Nokia 8110 after it was used by Neo in the original Matrix film. When asked about whether there were any other product placement arrangements in upcoming movies, Selby offered a slightly modified version of his earlier quotation.