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Cava 22 is pictured, the tequila bar where the latest iPhone prototype was supposedly lost at.  (Source: James Martin/CNET)
Phone was electronically traced to man's house, but police search revealed nothing

Either Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is conducting some highly sneaky guerrilla marketing, or the company needs to start giving out mandatory Alcoholics Anonymous sessions with its iPhone prototypes.

About a year and a half ago, the last new iPhone -- the iPhone 4 -- was lost by an Apple employee at a bar in California.  The phone was sold and wound up in the hands of Gizmodo triggering police raids and a maelstrom of excited blogosphere activity.

Now it's Deja Vu all over again as CNET is reporting that a prototype of Apple's new iPhone has been lost at the Cava 22 bar in San Francisco, California, a tequila lounge also known for its prized lime-marinated shrimp ceviche.

CNET's source claims:
Apple representatives contacted San Francisco police, saying the device was priceless and the company was desperate to secure its safe return.
According to CNET, Apple and the police used the phone's GPS signal to track it to a house in the city's Bernal Heights neighborhood.  Police spoke with a man in his 20s who acknowledged being at Cava 22 that night, but denied having found the iPhone.  He consented to a police search, but the cops found nothing.  At that point Apple reportedly offered him a large sum of money, no questions asked, but he declined.

If the man does possess the iPhone prototype, he might want to beware selling it to journalists.  One California law on missing property, drafted in 1872, warns that any person who finds missing property and has a good idea who the owner is, but "appropriates such property to his own use" anyways is guilty of theft.  And a second law warns that anybody receiving stolen property can be imprisoned for up to one year.

Apple eventually declined to pursue charges against the Gizmodo editor, Jason Chen, who allegedly purchased the prototype.  The two men who sold him the prototype -- Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower -- were both charged with criminal misdemeanors.  Their arraignments are set for today.

Apple commonly tests prototypes of its digital devices, but declined to comment in this new case.  A spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department said that Apple had not filed a police report, but declined to say if Apple had contacted them or if the supposed search occurred.

Contacted by CNET the bar's co-owner Jose Valle said he did not remember the police or Apple contacting him.  But he said he did recall a man calling multiple times earlier that month about a lost iPhone.  He said he would call the man back if he found it.  He quipped, ""I guess I have to make my drinks a little less strong."

Apple is rumored to be releasing its next generation iPhone, which some are referring to as the iPhone 5, at the end of this month.  The phone marks the first time Apple has broken from a once-a-year release schedule, this time taking an extra 3 months.  Despite that, the upcoming release is rumored to be more of an iterative design, with a more ambitious rewrite following on a shortened schedule in the Spring.


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Psssh.
By th3pwn3r on 9/1/2011 8:59:07 AM , Rating: 4
I hope it was smashed.




RE: Psssh.
By quiksilvr on 9/1/2011 9:53:26 AM , Rating: 2
Same. Last thing we need is for Gizmodo to receive highly undeserved attention.


RE: Psssh.
By AMDftw on 9/1/2011 10:10:56 AM , Rating: 3
pissed on and lit on fire.


RE: Psssh.
By aharris02 on 9/1/2011 10:23:30 AM , Rating: 1
Makes me wonder: what are the chances that the phone that was lost is the iPhone 6, not the 5?


RE: Psssh.
By drycrust3 on 9/1/2011 11:36:19 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe it was an "experimental" version which uses ... Android!!!


RE: Psssh.
By JW.C on 9/3/2011 5:25:08 AM , Rating: 2
The guy got smart and didnt sell it to any news types, he went right to the android developers and said, "Have I got a deal for you!"


RE: Psssh.
By sorry dog on 9/3/2011 1:15:49 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly...I'd have a ticket to Taiwan... to take a "tour" of HTC facilities.


...
By karndog on 9/1/2011 9:38:42 AM , Rating: 2
"Apple and the police used the phone's GPS signal to track it to a house"

Something future iphone 5 owners have to look forward to?




RE: ...
By RamarC on 9/1/2011 9:55:05 AM , Rating: 2
so, the next time i lose my phone, i can call the *police* and get them to track it down for me?


RE: ...
By sprockkets on 9/1/2011 10:14:03 AM , Rating: 2
If this is any indication, probably not. Nifty tool though.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/08/how-pl...


RE: ...
By karndog on 9/1/2011 10:18:25 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm yes! And for that reason and that reason alone will Apple be tracking and keeping records of every single movement your Iphone makes!

*shifty eyes*


RE: ...
By KillerNoodle on 9/1/2011 10:47:23 AM , Rating: 2
But you, unlike Apple, will probably have to file a police report before the police will actually attempt to search for it.


RE: ...
By Yames on 9/1/2011 11:16:21 AM , Rating: 2
All you have to do it tell them "it's priceless"


RE: ...
By HrilL on 9/1/2011 11:19:52 AM , Rating: 3
More like the police will be like "Umm, sucks to be you" and never do anything about it. Its like having your bike stolen. They just don't care.


RE: ...
By Fritzr on 9/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: ...
By chathuragune on 9/2/2011 1:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
Apple needs stop tracking phones. I hate big brother watching us stuff....

http://appsforfree.org


coincidence?
By laweijfmvo on 9/1/2011 9:35:27 AM , Rating: 4
Apple eventually declined to pursue charges against the Gizmodo editor, Jason Chen, who allegedly purchased the prototype. The two men who sold him the prototype -- Brian Hogan and Sage Wallower -- were both charged with criminal misdemeanors. Their arraignments are set for today .

today? really? their arraignment is set for the exact day next year's model is lost?




RE: coincidence?
By quiksilvr on 9/1/2011 9:56:25 AM , Rating: 5
They forgot about them and this incident reminded them.


Large sum of money
By VahnTitrio on 9/1/2011 10:32:49 AM , Rating: 2
Unless you are already made of money take the cash. Even if you no longer possess the device a simple photo of it could be sold for another good chunk of money (assuming the first lump of cash didn't come with terms and conditions).

Secondly: why is Apple even letting these prototypes leave an Apple facility? The iPhone isn't a product slipping under the CEOs radar there, I would imagine they have very specific knowledge of how many units are built and where every one of them should be.




RE: Large sum of money
By Dr of crap on 9/1/2011 10:46:39 AM , Rating: 3
It's called PR!

You think they LOST it by accident?

And this isn't the first time.


RE: Large sum of money
By jimbojimbo on 9/2/2011 2:06:18 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously. They lost it one day before the people that sold the last phone go to court. Coincidental or pure publicity stunt? It's not chance.


Later in the news...
By masamasa on 9/1/2011 11:01:29 AM , Rating: 5
...it was reported that the phone was found in the toilet, where it belonged.




RE: Later in the news...
By Gondor on 9/2/2011 8:49:31 AM , Rating: 1
U cab't up-rate you any further but this is hands down the funniest thing I've ever read on this site :)


By danjw1 on 9/1/2011 11:12:32 AM , Rating: 3
Apples police state mentality about its prototypes is ridiculous. They need to glue these things to the employees that they give them to. They should start firing the employees that lose these things and stop going after people who pick them up. Fire enough the drunken idiots, and maybe their employees will stop losing their prototypes.




Tim Cook:
By sprockkets on 9/1/2011 10:11:24 AM , Rating: 2
LOST! LOST!




Can't wait
By fic2 on 9/1/2011 12:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
Until next years story about an Apple employee who lost an iPhone 5 prototype in a bar.

I think we should start a pool - everyone kick in $1 and name the bar that it will be lost in.




So...
By smithb115 on 9/1/2011 1:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
An Apple employee walks into a bar with an iPhone prototype...(insert punchline here)




You're holding it wrong
By Tyhr on 9/1/2011 1:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
Steve Jobs: "You're holding it wrong!"

"But it'll slip out of my hand if I hold it your way Mr. Jobs"




Social training
By LBID on 9/1/2011 2:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
Apple needs to consider letting its employees out into the wild once in a while. If you don't socialize much, you can't hold your liquor, and then you have shenanigans like this...!




Must be good!
By MrWho on 9/1/2011 4:58:44 PM , Rating: 2
I really really need to know that bar. They must serve some very good and stiff drinks!




They weren't kidding
By TheSchnoz on 9/1/2011 5:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Apple was serious when they said things wouldn't change with a new CEO. Just a week in and already losing phones. Bravo, sir, bravo! You really are the best replacement for fuhrer Jobs.




In other reports.....
By theapparition on 9/1/2011 9:30:18 AM , Rating: 1
There have been two photos of supposed cases leaked to the interwebs. I find this interesting because they are different sizes, and the rumor was that one case was similar to the iPhone4, possibly the iterative design known as the iPhone4S, with upgraded processor and antenna. The other larger design was supposedly for the iPhone5, which would have a larger screen.

Wonder which one was lost?




"According to CNET..."
By Subzero0000 on 9/1/2011 9:16:51 PM , Rating: 1
So these are all based on what CNET said... and since then everyone start their speculation. Amazing !




Who Cares?
By Flunk on 9/1/11, Rating: 0
"lost at"???
By GrammarNazi999 on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: "lost at"???
By inighthawki on 9/1/2011 9:38:00 AM , Rating: 4
Would it be considered ironic that you're the asshole in your story.


RE: "lost at"???
By 91TTZ on 9/1/2011 10:00:01 AM , Rating: 4
You can't honestly blame a guy named "GrammarNazi" for being a Grammar Nazi. That's like blaming a dog for barking or a fish for swimming.


RE: "lost at"???
By catdogwasawesome on 9/1/2011 10:16:11 AM , Rating: 4
or a murder for murdering a child molester for molesting little kids ... point being just because one is something doesn't make it right


RE: "lost at"???
By IcePickFreak on 9/1/2011 11:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, because proper grammar is much like murdering or molesting.


RE: "lost at"???
By mindless1 on 9/1/2011 5:06:42 PM , Rating: 2
worse for being premeditated, some grammar nazis don't go to the trouble of making a forum handle for it.

I DO always love the silly argument though, that something is ok or excusable because there is something worse in the world.


"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs














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