In a bizarre repeat of a high-profile incident last year, an Apple employee once again appears to have lost an unreleased iPhone in a bar.
The iPhone 4 leak story
Last year, an iPhone 4 prototype was bought by Gizmodo that paid $5,000 in cash, making hundreds of thousands of hits on the website and the iPhone 4 story from Gizmodo made it an instant hit . After last year’s embarrassing loss, Apple reportedly has taken extraordinary steps to protect its prototype devices from leaks. Last year’s prototype iPhone went missing when Robert Gray Powell, an Apple computer engineer who was 28 years old at the time, left it in a German beer garden in Redwood City, Calif.
Prosecutors obtained a warrant to search the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen, and indicated they might prosecute Gizmodo, but eventually decided not to file charges. Under a California law dating back to 1872, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be–but “appropriates such property to his own use”–is guilty of theft. In addition, a second state law says any person who knowingly receives property that has been obtained illegally can be imprisoned for up to one year.
The current story
This year’s lost phone seems to be had found in a Mexican restaurant and bar and details about the device are still unclear. There isn’t any information on what version of iOS operating system it runs, whether it has a 3.5 or a 4 inch screen, what it looks like or its NFC capabilities.
Next-generation iPhones are sent to carriers for testing “inside locked and sealed boxes so that the carriers can carry out checks on their network compatibility in their labs,” according to the Guardian.
Apple’s Smart Move
It is reported that apple developers have been given new iPhones with an upgraded processor, most probably the iPhone 5 or 4S, whatever it would be called and it would come with a processor that’s used in the iPad 2, a dual core 1 Ghz A5 chip. But reports say that the leaked device “is virtually identical to the iPhone 4, and there is no way anyone can tell it’s not an iPhone 4 based on the phone’s exterior,” a report at 9to5Mac.com says. But, Apple is pretty smart about this. Even last year’s prototype was enclosed in a case designed to make it look like an iPhone 3GS, and Gizmodo had to rip it apart to actually find out about it.
Apple declined to comment after being contacted this morning. A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department said the company did not file a police report based on the loss at the bar. Apple has always been known for smart moves and its excellent secrecy capabilities which ensure no device of theirs is leaked any moment before the official announcement, thus gathering a lot of interest among the public and blogosphere, which in turn affects the sales numbers positively.
While we wonder what Apple is up to this time, San Francisco police and Apple’s investigators visited a house, they spoke with a man in his twenties who acknowledged being at Cava 22 on the night the device went missing. But he denied knowing anything about the phone. The man gave police permission to search the house, and they found nothing, the source said. Before leaving the house, the Apple employees offered the man money for the phone no questions asked, the source said, adding that the man continued to deny he had knowledge of the phone.