The iPhone 4G (or HD if you prefer)
saga appears to be winding down. The story started over the weekend
when Engadget gained access to pictures of what appears to be
a prototype for the next generation iPhone. Gizmodo one-upped
Engadget by actually
gaining access to the actual phone.
To get the iPhone, Gawker Media --
parent of Gizmodo -- paid
$5,000 to the person that found the iPhone at a bar. While
Gizmodo kept the name of this person secret, it had no trouble
outing the actual Apple employee who lost the phone. The employee is
a 2006 graduate of NC State University and works at Apple as a
BaseBand Software Engineer according to his Linkedin profile (which
has since been taken down).
Now that the cat is out of the bag,
Apple wants its iPhone back. Gizmodo's Brian Lam received
a letter this morning from Bruce Sewell, an Apple Senior Vice
President and General Counsel. The letter confirms that the iPhone in
question is in fact from Apple (and not a counterfeit) and goes on to
state, "This letter constitutes a formal request that you return
the device to Apple. Please let me know where to pick up the unit."
Lam wrote back in a joking fashion, and
even asked Apple go easy on the person that lost the phone:
Happy to have
you pick this thing up. Was burning a hole in our pockets. Just so
you know, we didn't know this was stolen when we bought it. Now that
we definitely know it's not some knockoff, and it really is Apple's,
I'm happy to see it returned to its rightful owner.
P.S. I hope you
take it easy on the kid who lost it. I don't think he loves anything
more than Apple.
Whether Apple will take Lam's advice
and go easy on the guy remains to be seen. However, given that Steve
Jobs once threw a tantrum over a newspaper exec tweeting from a
prototype iPad before its release, it's doubtful that Steve will show
quote: As a blogger...
quote: Then to top it off, I can't believe Gizmodo ADMITTED to buying the phone. I'm no lawyer, but it seems like "buying" lost property, is akin to buying stolen property.
quote: You always protect your sources
quote: First, there's no reasonable excuse for them publishing all the information on the dude who lost it, including his name and picture. That could be interpreted as character defamation or libel.
quote: As a journalist...
quote: but you sir have earned it