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Brian Lam wasn't exactly forthcoming when Jobs contacted him

And you thought that whole iPhone 4G/HD saga was over? CNET News has just posted excerpts from an affidavit for the search warrant used to raid Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's house.

If you may recall, an Apple engineer lost a prototype iPhone in a bar, a man by the name of Brian Hogan found the phone, and an unnamed third person then sold the phone to Gizmodo for $5,000. Once Gizmodo came into possession of the phone, the biggest tech news story of 2010 was upon us.

We are now learning, thanks to CNET, that none other than the big man himself, Steve Jobs, contacted Brian Lam and requested the return of the iPhone prototype. Steve Jobs is known to get rather upset and tyrannical with his own employees, so one must wonder how that conversation went.

It was also revealed that Apple pushed police to investigate the case. CNET provides this excerpt from the affidavit:

Sewell told me that after released its story regarding the iPhone prototype on or about 4/19/2010, Steve Jobs (Apple CEO) contacted the editor of, Brian Lam. Jobs requested that Lam return the phone to Apple. Lam responded via the e-mail address...that he would return the iPhone on the condition that Apple provided him with a letter stating the iPhone belonged to Apple.

According to CNET, even after Steve Jobs contacted Brian Lam requesting the return of the iPhone, he still wasn't satisfied. In fact, Lam went on to respond stating that he wanted "confirmation that it is real, from Apple, officially."

Lam continued, stating, "Right now, we have nothing to lose. The thing is, Apple PR has been cold to us lately. It affected my ability to do my job right at iPad launch. So we had to go outside and find our stories like this one, very aggressively."

As we all know, Brian Lam did get an official response from Apple in the form of a letter from Apple's legal department on April 20.

The full 19-page search warrant is expected to be made public before 5pm EST today.

Updated 5/14/2010 @ 4:48pm

You can find the previously sealed documents (search warrant, affidavit, etc.) here.

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By JasonMick on 5/14/2010 3:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
According to CNET, even after Steve Jobs contacted Brian Lam requesting the return of the iPhone, he still wasn't satisfied. In fact, Lam went on to respond stating that he wanted "confirmation that it is real, from Apple, officially."

As I've said before I'm no fan of Apple's tactics, but Gizmodo seems to have made some bad decisions here.

When someone contacts you about their lost or stolen property you don't start making demands, you give them their property back.

RE: Interesting
By inighthawki on 5/14/2010 3:48:01 PM , Rating: 5
Uh, typically I like to make sure it belongs to the person asking for it before I blindly hand something over. While it was likely an exploitative attempt on Gizmodo's part to get proof that it was real, I don't see how it is unreasonable to provide proof that that something belongs to you before someone gives it back.

RE: Interesting
By Luticus on 5/14/2010 3:53:17 PM , Rating: 3
While i'm usually not very pro-apple, i'm with them on this one... i mean seriously, the phone was reported by Gizmondo as an apple iphone 4g device and then Steve himself calls and asks for it... who else's is it!? they should have just taken the phone call and demand for return of the device as circumstantial proof that it's probably real and published that story, had they turned the device over to begin with and published the story like that then perhaps they wouldn't look so bad now.

RE: Interesting
By inighthawki on 5/14/2010 3:54:59 PM , Rating: 4
That's a fair assumption, but legally, for example, that is not proof. Steve jobs asking for a device back that is labeled as an iphone 4g does not provide any real evidence that it actually belongs to Apple.

RE: Interesting
By Luticus on 5/14/2010 3:59:43 PM , Rating: 3
Then they should have done the smart thing and turned it into the authorities and let them sort the mess out. Either way, what they did is stupid. They got greedy when they should have just taken their story and ditched the device...

RE: Interesting
By JasonMick on 5/14/10, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting
By deeznuts on 5/14/2010 4:29:58 PM , Rating: 5
Hi Jason, this is steve jobs. No really it is.

RE: Interesting
By Iaiken on 5/14/2010 4:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
YOU aren't Steve Jobs, I'M Steve Jobs!

RE: Interesting
By JasonMick on 5/14/2010 4:56:32 PM , Rating: 1
At least one of you must be the Fake Steve Jobs ;)

RE: Interesting
By just4U on 5/14/2010 10:57:07 PM , Rating: 3
Steve's the type that would have multiple user accounts I think!

RE: Interesting
By jbwhite99 on 5/17/2010 5:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
multiple accounts - one for each personality?

RE: Interesting
By lexluthermiester on 5/18/2010 4:40:36 AM , Rating: 2
Ummm, Yes!

RE: Interesting
By Makaveli on 5/14/2010 6:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
i'm gonna sue you both for using my name. You're not smug enough to be me!

Even my greatest enemy bill isn't stupid enough to try and be me there can only be one.

RE: Interesting
By Inspector2211 on 5/14/2010 6:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, you know what? You claim you're Steve Jobs?
Look, here's what I'm gonna do:
Give me your land line phone number and I'll look up "Jobs, Steve" in the White Pages to make sure this is really you, and I'll call you right back.

Oh, you have an unlisted number?
Why the h*** would you do that?

RE: Interesting
By xsilver on 5/15/2010 2:04:26 AM , Rating: 5
ok steve to prove you're real im going to fedex you a dog turd - now if you can polish it up so good that someone is willing to pay money for it I'll believe you...

RE: Interesting
By quiksilvr on 5/14/2010 11:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
Don't act all high and mighty, Jason. Do you really think we don't see through YOUR little ruses when it comes to your sensationalist article titles? You have no right to judge on Gizmodo's practices when:

1) You don't have the facts straight. For all we know Gizmodo could be innocent or Apple guilty (or the other way around, or somewhere in the middle).
2) You are a hypocrite.

RE: Interesting
By icanhascpu on 5/14/2010 4:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, obviously there was some confusion over who the iPhone belonged to. Lets disregard that Gizmodo themselves prove in their very own article that is was indeed Apples and indeed authentic.

How about some of you let your common sense and rationality overcome your hate for Apple? Because you're starting to sound like the people you hate.

RE: Interesting
By XZerg on 5/15/2010 8:48:58 AM , Rating: 2
Just a thought - since Stevie contacted him via email, wouldn't the email address be a quick giveaway that it was from iStevie iJobs?

RE: Interesting
By Camikazi on 5/15/2010 1:00:56 PM , Rating: 3
iCan spoof rather easily :)

RE: Interesting
By rcc on 5/19/2010 10:01:36 AM , Rating: 2
The were willing to pay $5000 for it. They knew it was real.

Not to mention they were willing to pay $5000 for what amounted to stolen property.

RE: Interesting
By spread on 5/14/2010 3:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well, he was asking for confirmation that it WAS indeed Apple's property.

RE: Interesting
By whiskerwill on 5/14/2010 5:29:39 PM , Rating: 5
Well, he was asking for confirmation that it WAS indeed Apple's property.
No he was asking for a letter he could post on his sites for extra hits.

RE: Interesting
By eskimospy on 5/14/2010 6:13:28 PM , Rating: 3
And if Apple had a brain in their head they would have printed him a 3 sentence letter saying exactly what everyone already knew, thus avoiding a colossal PR SNAFU.

Yeap, he was being a douche trying to get a letter out of them, but Apple's response of 'okay, instead of a letter we will involve the police' was every bit as ridiculous. Ah well, all parties involved are getting what they deserved.

RE: Interesting
By whiskerwill on 5/14/2010 6:18:00 PM , Rating: 1
The difference is they were the ones with the stolen property, not Apple.

And the only people this is a "colossal snafu" to are the usual Apple haters. No one else really cares one way or another.

RE: Interesting
By teng029 on 5/14/2010 7:05:10 PM , Rating: 2
agreed. i sincerely doubt apple's sales will be affected by this one way or another.

RE: Interesting
By eskimospy on 5/15/2010 10:26:11 AM , Rating: 5
There has been a story in nearly every major news publication about how Apple sent the police to break down the door of someone for writing a news story about their phone.

Maybe in the business you run that's good PR, but here in reality it sure as shit isn't. It's not like people aren't going to buy the new IPhone because Steve Jobs is a jackass, but Apple gained literally nothing from this other than bad press.

Some things aren't a conspiracy by people who hate Apple, sometimes they are just Apple doing something dumb.

RE: Interesting
By ClownPuncher on 5/14/2010 3:53:57 PM , Rating: 5
Jobs just pinned this on Lam so he could (eventually) remove Lam from the public eye (once he goes to jail or loses his job). This is to ensure Jobs can harvest the liver with little to no scrutiny.

RE: Interesting
By glitchc on 5/14/2010 4:05:32 PM , Rating: 5
Serves him right for posting his blood type and Rhesus factor on Facebook.

RE: Interesting
By PLaYaHaTeD on 5/15/2010 2:20:14 PM , Rating: 1
If I were an admin on this site, I would have elevated your post to +6 green status.

On second thought, attracting attention to your post would probably get DailyTech raided by jobs, so nevermind.

RE: Interesting
By MonkeyPaw on 5/14/2010 4:49:11 PM , Rating: 3
Unfortunately, it sounds like both companies could have handled it better. If Giz, a very Apple-friendly news site, came into possession of the phone, and Steve Jobs says he wants it back, I would think they could have reached a better deal than Giz showing the pictures on the website and Apple consequently raiding a writer's home.

Instead, perhaps Apple could have offered them an inside story in exchange for the prototype and a signed NDA (which is standard from every other tech business). Giz could then say they got to use the phone, say it's really cool but is sworn to secrecy, and all would be well. Maybe Apple even lets them have one early so they can have the best launch article. Instead, Giz looks like your stereo-typical journalist dirtbags, and Apple looks like the evil corporation that raids homes and causes people to jump out of windows.

PR disaster!

RE: Interesting
By bplewis24 on 5/14/2010 5:23:24 PM , Rating: 1
I agree and disagree with you somewhat. I truly believe Gizmodo had every right to request a letter on official letterhead from Apple stating the property was theirs and they wanted it back. I mean, if "Steve Jobs" called me asking for the phone, I would NOT immediately believe it was him and accept the first address he gave me and send it back. I would need some verification of it.

However, this statement may REALLY come back to haunt Lam:

Lam continued, stating, "Right now, we have nothing to lose. The thing is, Apple PR has been cold to us lately . It affected my ability to do my job right at iPad launch. So we had to go outside and find our stories like this one, very aggressively ."

Remember, Gizmodo's claim was that they were basically an innocent party that was approached by a person with a phone that they didn't know was stolen. But in this statement, not only is Lam giving motive (Apple PR being cold) for underhanded tactics, but he is also at least intimating that Gizmodo was "aggressively" pursuing this type of a story, which I have no doubt Apple's lawyers will emphasize as much as possible.


RE: Interesting
By angryplayer on 5/14/2010 6:09:40 PM , Rating: 2
if requested you return the item, would you?

and what the hell is

RE: Interesting
By thurston on 5/14/2010 9:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
and what the hell is

I bet you could find out by typing it in your address bar and hitting enter.

RE: Interesting
By angryplayer on 5/16/2010 2:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
Your wit is wasted. I did and it scared me.

Apple wants to give you $1,000,000
By 325hhee on 5/14/2010 7:20:00 PM , Rating: 5
Hi, I'm Steve Jobs, we here at Apple will love to give you all $1,000,000, all you have to do is send $2500 to Africa, so we can validate your bank account. Really, it's your friend iSteve iJobs. You can contacts at

Magically yours,
Steve Jobs

Please act fast, this offer is only good for less than 2 hours.

By 325hhee on 5/14/2010 7:27:19 PM , Rating: 3
I forgot to make my comment after that post, but really, that's the kind of feeling I'd get if someone calls me and say I'm Steve Jobs. I'd do the same thing and ask for an official letter from Apple, just to as we say in the investigation world, "cover my/your ass". As far as legality is concerned in court, if you don't have a paper trail, it's harder to prove your case. Eye witnesses have been known to be unreliable.

By zonkie on 5/14/2010 8:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
If it requires and official letter, they blew it!

4g iphone specs
By sLaYDeMOn on 5/15/2010 2:50:31 AM , Rating: 3
I really didn't care for the whole stolen thing, I just cared about the new iphone, and from what i see, it kinda sux. I was kinda hoping for a bigger screen, but instead, they give us a smaller screen. I was also hoping for a more customizable lock/standby screen, but looks like 4.0 isnt giving that either. And no flash software.

I have had the 3GS since the first week of July... I was so sick of the UI and its closed software. I jailbroke it by the 3rd week of july because I could not handle the limitations. I had to go through so many freakin menus just to turn bluetooth on/off. IT SHOULDNT BE THAT HARD.

And the phone needs some real buttons. Why would it hurt to include a phone button next to the home button? And why not an iPod button? and a mail button? and possibly a search button?? Theres empty space all around the home button, and including these buttons will cut down on time as well as making it MUCH easier to use the damn phone. The mail, phone, and ipod, web browser functionality of the phone will never leave, so why not include tactile buttons to quickly switch between them?!!?! If i'm in an app, I wouldn't have to first go to the homescreen, then click on the icon on the dock. And if its not on the dock, then thats a whole other story. One button to click when in an app will automatically close it and open up the phone/ipod/mail etc.

I'm sorry, I had to vent. I'm switching to the EVO asap, i cant take anymore of this apple crap.

RE: 4g iphone specs
By sprockkets on 5/15/2010 9:56:56 AM , Rating: 2
Uh, you didn't know that before buying that dumb phone?

Get android and tinker all you want, on any network.

RE: 4g iphone specs
By icanhascpu on 5/15/2010 8:14:40 PM , Rating: 1
1. The iPhone HD does not have a smaller screen and does better resolution. What are you on about?

2. You can make the home button do more than than just take you home. You can have it do different stuff on a double click (open ipod open phone etc), and does other things if you add the lock button into the mix.

Dont blame X company for your ignorance. I can see the future. You're going to be back here in six months b1tching about Andriod because it doesn't do x and y, when you yourself cant RTFM.

RE: 4g iphone specs
By sLaYDeMOn on 5/16/2010 1:33:56 AM , Rating: 2
"Slightly smaller screen than the 3GS (but seemingly higher resolution)"

quoted exactly from the gizmodo article, so yes, it does have a smaller screen, what are YOU on about?

Also, double clicking the home button already leads to my iPod, and holding down the home button activates backgrounder. Theres only so much you can do with one button. What about speed dial/favorites? Mail? A few capacitive buttons near the home button would not hurt.

Get ur facts straight.

By Inspector2211 on 5/14/2010 5:53:40 PM , Rating: 3

Martinson said Hogan later showed her a camera box that contained $5000.00 in $100 US Treasury Notes. Hogan told her that the money was a result of $8500.00 the sale of the phone, but that she is not sure of the source of the additional $2500.00.


I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

Det. Mxxxxxx Bxxxx
San Mateo County Sheriff's Office

Last I checked, $8500 - $5000 is $3500, not $2500.

Goes to show: If you're bad at math, don't worry: Just become a cop and get a six figure salary anyway!

By Farfignewton on 5/15/2010 1:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
How do you know the cop is to blame for the discrepancy? It could be a typo, could be Martinson literally said $2500 instead of $3500, could be Hogan already spent $1000... there are many possibilities.

By chick0n on 5/15/2010 11:30:57 PM , Rating: 1
but it still could be an idiot cop getting 6 figure salary.

Page 10 ...... the three charges....kiss of death
By SunAngel on 5/14/2010 8:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
There it is folks, in black and white. 496(a), 499c(b)(3), and 594(b)(1) are all related to his posting of Apple's IP on the internet.

When this guy gets out of San Quentin his a**hole is going to be so wide you'll be able to see clear to his brain.

By tmouse on 5/17/2010 8:56:56 AM , Rating: 3
I guess it depends who you're talking about. Hogan is in hot water for sure, Warner likewise for evidence tampering. Chen on the other is not. On 499c(b)(3) the people have to prove that a phone is a trade secret, by definition a trade secret cannot be temporary and cannot be easily discovered EVER. This "secret" would end the second Apple released the specs on the phone (making it both temporary and easily discovered). I think it's a real uphill battle for this(it's certainly confidential but that does not make it a trade secret which has special protections in the law). On 594 (b)(4), they have to prove Chen did the damage beyond a reasonable doubt AND they have to show it was done with malice and forethought. For 496 (a) they have to show Chen desired to deprive Apple from the item either permanently or for profit. Here the area is now a bit murkier. The e-mail could be interpreted as merely a request for true authentication of ownership or a demand for a reward (which implies a desire to deprive Apple from its property until the demands are met). One of the 800 pound gorillas in the room is Apples failure to report the loss/theft for over a month. This suggests the phone itself did not bother them as much as the software which they remotely wiped. It's a very good defense argument since by the time Chen got it the phone was non-functional as stated by Hogan to the police. The felony status is clearly determined as the retail value of the phone ($400). There is also no mention what so ever of Chen being a member of the press in the warrant. It will be interesting how this plays out, IF the courts declare that an item can in and of itself be a trade secret then say goodbye to ALL leaks or confidential insider information in the press. 496 is the only potential real problem and here it's going to be hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

By KoolAidMan1 on 5/14/2010 11:02:38 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, they buy property that isn't theirs, a crime in California, then he responds to a request from Apple to return the prototype with a "you scratch my back I scratch yours" email.

Man, I didn't think my opinion of Gizmodo could go any lower after the BS they pulled at CES that got them banned from the show, but now this? Bunch of idiot punks, can't wait to see them go down.

RE: Hysterical
By rcc on 5/19/2010 10:14:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yup, so if there is property involved does that still make it blackmail.

By Protagonist42 on 5/14/2010 4:16:05 PM , Rating: 3
So this is how you act when a business doesn't treat you the way you demand? How does this help your case with Apple Lam? I'm pretty sure they would be more willing to give you a hand next time you needed it if you had done the right thing and handed the iPhone over, or referred Steve to the authorities should you have left the phone with them.

Instead Apple now thinks you suck even more. Bravo.

Be careful what you say..
By teng029 on 5/14/2010 5:20:39 PM , Rating: 3
Lam continued, stating, "Right now, we have nothing to lose."

Jason Chen begs to differ.

By amandahugnkiss on 5/14/2010 4:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
it would have been great to make Steve sweat a little, knowing the phone was out there, somewhere beyond the Reality Distortion Field, in the Badlands, where no Apple enthusiast dares to go.

When will it appear again? Does a competitor have it? Why does our locating software have so many bugs? Why did we ship it and announce the feature when we knew it didn't work? What can we do about that phone Samsung just released, it has a multi-touch interface so they must have copied us, we need to get a mole inside to if our phone is there. Oh shit, that HTC phone makes calls, they're all in on it and sharing iphone secrets. Hey, did we off that guy that lost it yet? Let's sue Barnes and Noble, they have books and we do too! Why do I keep getting mails stating 'Sent from Steve's iPhone'?

By knowom on 5/16/2010 2:58:02 PM , Rating: 2
I dislike Apple in general, but in this case Gizmodo absolutely overstepped it's boundaries and they no doubt knew it they aren't that naive.

I agree 100% with Apple on this and that was before even hearing about Jobs personally contacting them asking to return the phone.

Read Brian's email.
By fteoath64 on 5/17/2010 2:36:58 AM , Rating: 2
It was as forth-coming as can be. It is also very clear to ask Jobs to publicly confirm they owned the device.

ie. How would Apple really know that the device Jason has is really theirs ?. Some form of ID of the device is needed, serial numbers, bar-code numbers etc.
Also to categorically state that this device actually belongs to Apple. Come on Apple, the milk is already spilled, if you clean it up with style and class, maybe you could get some respect.

Steve Jobs phone conversation
By blueeyesm on 5/17/2010 9:27:08 AM , Rating: 2
would probably have been polite and calm.

But - I for one wish it was akin to Les Grossmans conversatin from Tropic Thunder!

"Les Grossman: First, take a big step back... and literally, F**K YOUR OWN FACE! I don't know what kind of pan-pacific bulls**t power play you're trying to pull here, but Apple, Jack, is my territory. So whatever you're thinking, you'd better think again! Otherwise I'm gonna have to head down there and I will rain down in a Godly f**king firestorm upon you! You're gonna have to call the f**king United Nations and get a f**king binding resolution to keep me from f**king destroying you. I'm talking about a scorched earth, motherf**ker! I will massacre you! I WILL F**K YOU UP!

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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