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Prototype iPhone was left at bar by Apple software engineer

post #1 of 162
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A 27-year-old Apple software engineer who was field testing Apple's unreleased fourth-generation iPhone left the top-secret device sitting on a bar stool after drinking a German beer in Redwood City, California, Gizmodo reported Monday evening.

Revealing the alleged story behind how Apple's forthcoming hardware was mistakenly lost in public, Jesus Diaz said that the North Carolina State University graduate typed one last Facebook update -- "I underestimated how good German beer is" -- into his prototype iPhone before it was left on a bar stool. Diaz noted that while Apple's legendary veil of secrecy usually works remarkably well, this time someone slipped up.

"The fact is that there's no perfect security," he wrote. "Not when humans are involved. Humans that can lose things. You know, like the next generation iPhone."

The report claimed that the software engineer, who worked on the iPhone baseband software, was at Gourmet Haus Staudt the evening of Thursday, March 18, just 20 miles from the company's Cupertino, Calif., campus. The Apple employee allegedly left the bar, and left his prototype phone behind, where a patron who sat next to him found the device.

Gizmodo reported that the person who found the phone began to ask around to see if it was anyone's, but no one responded. At first the hardware did not arouse suspicion because it was encased in a plastic shell that made it look like last year's iPhone 3GS. But when no one claimed the phone, the person began to play around with it, and noticed some issues: the camera crashed repeatedly, and the back of it had two barcodes stuck on it.

The bar patron took the phone home with him, and by the next morning it had been remotely deactivated through MobileMe. The anonymous finder -- referred to only as a "he" -- then realized that something didn't feel right about the phone, and it had a forward facing camera on the front. The person then managed to remove the exterior casing to reveal the true outer shell of the fourth-generation iPhone prototype.



Gizmodo managed to reach the software engineer who allegedly lost the iPhone on Monday, and said they would like to give the handset back (after the website already disassembled it for all of the Internet to see). The person reportedly said they couldn't "talk too much," but indirectly confirmed the iPhone was theirs.

"He sounded tired and broken," Diaz wrote. "But at least, he's alive. And apparently, still working at Apple."

post #2 of 162
It will look nothing like this. Jobs owed that to be lost. It gets some buzz and takes story away from whatever it is apple didn't want people thinking about. That unit is downright ugly. That cannot be an apple release. The components might be the same but they will hopefully put a different shell on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A 27-year-old Apple software engineer who was field testing Apple's unreleased fourth-generation iPhone left the top-secret device sitting on a bar stool after drinking a German beer in Redwood City, California, Gizmodo reported Monday evening.

Revealing the alleged story behind how Apple's forthcoming hardware was mistakenly lost in public, Jesus Diaz said that the North Carolina State University graduate typed one last Facebook update -- "I underestimated how good German beer is" -- into his prototype iPhone before it was left on a bar stool. Diaz noted that while Apple's legendary veil of secrecy usually works remarkably well, this time someone slipped up.

"The fact is that there's no perfect security," he wrote. "Not when humans are involved. Humans that can lose things. You know, like the next generation iPhone."

The report claimed that the software engineer, who worked on the iPhone baseband software, was at Gourmet Haus Staudt the evening of Thursday, March 18, just 20 miles from the company's Cupertino, Calif., campus. The Apple employee allegedly left the bar, and left his prototype phone behind, where a patron who sat next to him found the device.

Gizmodo reported that the person who found the phone began to ask around to see if it was anyone's, but no one responded. At first the hardware did not arouse suspicion because it was encased in a plastic shell that made it look like last year's iPhone 3GS. But when no one claimed the phone, the person began to play around with it, and noticed some issues: the camera crashed repeatedly, and the back of it had two barcodes stuck on it.

The bar patron took the phone home with him, and by the next morning it had been remotely deactivated through MobileMe. The anonymous finder -- referred to only as a "he" -- then realized that something didn't feel right about the phone, and it had a forward facing camera on the front. The person then managed to remove the exterior casing to reveal the true outer shell of the fourth-generation iPhone prototype.



Gizmodo managed to reach the software engineer who allegedly lost the iPhone on Monday, and said they would like to give the handset back (after the website already disassembled it for all of the Internet to see). The person reportedly said they couldn't "talk too much," but indirectly confirmed the iPhone was theirs.

"He sounded tired and broken," Diaz wrote. "But at least, he's alive. And apparently, still working at Apple."
post #3 of 162
Is it just me or was it a low blow to expose the guy's name like that? Maybe it's just me...
post #4 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"But at least, he's alive. And apparently, still working at Apple."

For now ....
post #5 of 162
Gizmodo, wow, what a bunch of a-holes.
post #6 of 162
If this is the new iPhone, I think it was left intentionally for hype. Apple leaks things for publicity.

Everyone is talking about the iPad right now and they are wanting the attention shifted back towards the iPhone to keep the Apple excitement and anticipation rolling.

Standard Operation Guidelines. That's what I think. Plus, the dude would have been fired if it was truly an accident. Jobs wouldn't have this.

All only if this is the real phone.

My gut says that this is just a generic case only to be replaced by the real one on the big reveal day.
post #7 of 162
1) I also am amazed he's still employed at Apple.

2) If you ever find an iPhone/iPad, PUT IT IN AIRPLANE MODE ASAP! Then they can't remote-wipe it.

3) If you're carrying a secret prototype, treat it as if it's the battery to your pacemaker. YOU WILL DIE WITHOUT IT.

4) A 27 year old has never had German beer before??
post #8 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by ny3ranger View Post

It will look nothing like this. Jobs owed that to be lost. It gets some buzz and takes story away from whatever it is apple didn't want people thinking about. That unit is downright ugly. That cannot be an apple release. The components might be the same but they will hopefully put a different shell on it.

Really? I find it much more beautiful than the current iPhone.

And BTW, no need to quote the entire post

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iPhone 4S 64GB, Black, soon to be sold in favor of a Nokia Lumia 920
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post #9 of 162
Mark my words. We will all be pwned on the release date.
post #10 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A 27-year-old Apple software engineer who was field testing Apple's unreleased fourth-generation iPhone left the top-secret device sitting on a bar stool after drinking a German beer in Redwood City, California, Gizmodo reported Monday evening. ...

Gray Powell sounds, (and looks in every picture), like an alcoholic. I didn't know him a half hour ago and now I've seen four pictures each of which he holds some kind of beer or mickey of something.

Gizmodo's "story" is full of so many holes it isn't funny.

My deepest hope is that Gizmodo finally gets the comeuppance it's been begging for all the last few years, but probably nothing will happen to them at all. It's so hard to watch those hacks at Gizmodo break the rules, and shit all over people over and over again and never get in any serious trouble. Jesus is the only one with a brain, and all of them act like they are twelve half the time.
post #11 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLoveStuff View Post

Gizmodo, wow, what a bunch of a-holes.

And I happen to think at least one of them now is a criminal a-hole. I think what the s/w engineer did was sloppy and regrettable. However, if it's really true that Gizmodo paid the finder $10K, I think they're both criminals and I hope the DA agrees. No fraud involved here. There was a buyer and seller in property that did not belong to them, and the motive was profit. I don't see any significant free speech issue. And I, for one, don't expect Apple to be shy about talking to the prosecutor's office about this. I can't predict how it'll be handled, but I certainly am interested to find out.

On the other hand, I am not interested in visiting Gizmodo's web site. Apple has every right to share their secret exactly when they want to, in the fashion they want to do it. Gizmodo's site is filthy and I'm staying away!
post #12 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by iancass79 View Post

If this is the new iPhone, I think it was left intentionally for hype. Apple leaks things for publicity.

Everyone is talking about the iPad right now and they are wanting the attention shifted back towards the iPhone to keep the Apple excitement and anticipation rolling.

Standard Operation Guidelines. That's what I think. Plus, the dude would have been fired if it was truly an accident. Jobs wouldn't have this.

All only if this is the real phone.

My gut says that this is just a generic case only to be replaced by the real one on the big reveal day.

They might change some procedures, but they certainly wouldn't fire someone over an accident. This is different then deliberately leaking information like people have been let go for in the past. I'm sure we'll hear some jokes from Steve tomorrow at the call.
post #13 of 162
If he has a job still, it was completely intentional.

If it is intentional, it has everything to do with the release of the Droid Incredible and the Evo 4G.

Or it's a variant of viral marketing the Apple planned on doing anyways.
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Fragmentation is not just something we have to acknowledge and accept. Fragmentation is something that we deal with every day, and we must accept it as a fact of the iPhone platform experience.

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post #14 of 162
This isn't an iPhone news story.

It's the guy's obituary.

Unless it was intentional. In which case it sets an odd example for other Apple employees.
post #15 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

2) If you ever find an iPhone/iPad, PUT IT IN AIRPLANE MODE ASAP! Then they can't remote-wipe it.


How could they remote wipe an iPad that only has wi-fi? A 3G enabled one yes, but I can't think of a way to disable the wi-fi only one. However, you can also take out the SIM card. Either or.
post #16 of 162
I hope that is the case design. I will finally make the switch if that is the actual new iPhone.
post #17 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"He sounded tired and broken," Diaz wrote. "But at least, he's alive. And apparently, still working at Apple."

Hahaha... I can only imagine how his day at work went. I've been chewed out before... but damn that would be something else. I mean, Jobs apparently flipped out over someone tweeting with an iPad prototype. He will probably never live it down. Poor bastard.
post #18 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Is it just me or was it a low blow to expose the guy's name like that? Maybe it's just me...

I'm with you.
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post #19 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

How could they remote wipe an iPad that only has wi-fi? A 3G enabled one yes, but I can't think of a way to disable the wi-fi only one. However, you can also take out the SIM card. Either or.

As soon as it had an internet connection... Poof! They have the power!
post #20 of 162
"But at least he's alive."

Umm, had to chuckle at this line then i stopped as images of a leather-clad Phil Schiller whipping the poor SOB who is cuffed to Jobs' desk popped into my mind. Better drown meself w/ German beer.
What's "wench" in German?
post #21 of 162
The Apple employee that left the phone unattended needs some attention. Gizmodo and their accomplice need to be charged.

It is one thing to look at an abandoned object and take pictures of it before turning it in. It is another to pay a bribe and then take the object apart. Apple puts a lot of resources into building quality products and neither they nor their employees deserve to be penalized for a simple oversite.
post #22 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDBLACK View Post

Hahaha... I can only imagine how his day at work went. I've been chewed out before... but damn that would be something else. I mean, Jobs apparently flipped out over someone tweeting with an iPad prototype. He will probably never live it down. Poor bastard.

In a way, Apple *should* fire him. After what he did, letting him stay on sends an interesting message that runs completely counter to Apple's policies. You either enforce your policies or you risk others not taking them seriously. You can have your 15-minutes of fame by letting your company's prototype lying around. Not good.
post #23 of 162
For the free publicity, Gourmet Haus Staudt should comp beer to Gray Powell for the rest of his life.

"Hey Gray, this one's on the house! Say, what's that gadget you got there?"

post #24 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by iancass79 View Post

If this is the new iPhone, I think it was left intentionally for hype. Apple leaks things for publicity.

Look, I wouldn't rule that possibility out, but I also wouldn't rule out the fact that it was an accident. The number of people that just assume everything is an Apple plot makes me wonder where I can pick up a copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Jobzion.
post #25 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

How could they remote wipe an iPad that only has wi-fi? A 3G enabled one yes, but I can't think of a way to disable the wi-fi only one. However, you can also take out the SIM card. Either or.

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post #26 of 162
I really feel bad for this kid and I hope he doesn't loose his job. Although if he hasn't lost it by now. I'm sure apple must have been aware that he lost his phone way before all this came out. It does look promising for him. Just don't go and commit suicide like the Chinese do when they f#%* shit up.
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post #27 of 162
Why would Apple allow a low level software engineer to take the phone off campus? Unless he's some sort of genius prodigy, a 27 year old is likely only a level 2 engineer... Not someone they would let field test such a high profile device...

He either stole it (smuggled it off campus), or more likely, this whole story is bogus.
post #28 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

In a way, Apple *should* fire him. After what he did, letting him stay on sends an interesting message that runs completely counter to Apple's policies. You either enforce your policies or you risk others not taking them seriously. You can have your 15-minutes of fame by letting your company's prototype lying around. Not good.

I guess. I don't have a copy of his employment contract, Apple's employee handbook that relates to him, or any policies that might apply to him. I mean, if he lost the thing simply by being drunk, then that's bad. If he took it off site without permission and lost it drunk, he probably should be canned, yes.

None of this means I agree with Gizmodo posting his name. Because they're "journalists" they won't reveal the name of the guy who took it... apparently who was able to find out to whom it belonged and still kept it for profit...
post #29 of 162
If the phone is to be released this summer Apple by necessity must have the final design done. However that certainly doesn't mean that this is it - it's a mule for testing.

I totally agree that Gizmodo should not have outed this poor bastard- if the story is true.
post #30 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A 27-year-old Apple software engineer who was field testing Apple's unreleased fourth-generation iPhone left the top-secret device sitting on a bar stool after drinking a German beer in Redwood City, California

Rule #1: Never take top-secret Apple hardware to the bar with you.

Quote:
"He sounded tired and broken," Diaz wrote. "But at least, he's alive."

Tired and broken? Poor guy probably just got the mother of all ass-chewings!
post #31 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDBLACK;

Hahaha... I can only imagine how his day at work went. I've been chewed out before... but damn that would be something else. I mean, Jobs apparently flipped out over someone tweeting with an iPad prototype. He will probably never live it down. Poor bastard.

Kinda what I was thinking. I bet Jobs is freeking out now.

It's hard to believe they abandone the phone form factor after a billion docks have been sold. Yeah, they changed between 2g an 3g but this is something the tree buggers would cry about.
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post #32 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormj View Post


None of this means I agree with Gizmodo posting his name. Because they're "journalists" they won't reveal the name of the guy who took it... apparently who was able to find out to whom it belonged and still kept it for profit...

I agree with you here.
post #33 of 162
Story DOESN"T sound right. Unless this is a marketing stunt by APPLE, It's hard to believe.
In any case be patient only approximately 60 days to go. More important, lets hope APPLE makes us all ecstatic with the new hardware release when it finally comes out. After all this game playing, I would hate to be disappointed as would everyone else.
post #34 of 162
CBS TV ran this story tonight http://bit.ly/cki8EX and they questioned the authenticity of this Next iPhone...

Hopefully the general public, the "civilians", are too busy living their ACTUAL LIVES that they missed this story...

Meanwhile... The competitors are not gonna be to eager to talk about it because:

it would again put focus on Apple instead of themselves..

Video Chat -- so so if the competitors start talking about that, it would encourage people not only to buy iPhones now, but not to buy the competing products either...

For Apple to have this as as a Planted Leak would be risky, cause it would discourage people from buying iPhones now..., and wait instead, which means that they won't be buying Droids etc. until the actual iPhone is introduced!

The story about the guy getting drunk and losing it is too stupid to be true, but it might be...

So, I think that Apple has no choice but to issue No Comment! I agree with them saying NOTHING!!!

It would be nice if the Mac related media would gang up on Gizmodo, and SHAME them for this BELOW THE BELT PR Stunt!!!! All Gizmodo had to do was to contact Apple OFF THE RECORD, collect whatever $$ AFTER the Next iPhone is introduced, on the condition that they do not make this story public!

Instead they decided to convict themselves as the LOW LIVES of Tech Journalism!!!! Now all who work at Gizmodo might be guilty by association!!!

If this Apple Employee commits suicide, wouldn't Gizmodo be at least partially responsible for his death!!! What is Gizmodo gonna do then, issue Condolences Statement to his family, and start a Scholarship Fund in that guy's name!?

Yes, I understand that Apple's secrets are not like National Security, where irresponsible journalism can become TREASON and cause lives, but still... HUMAN DECENCY should have been considered!!! Gizmodo is now a DIRTY WORD!!! Or maybe it always was a DIRTY word...., and I just didn't know any better... I don't even remember if I've even been to their site!

It would be nice to see if it's SPONSORS pulled their ads from them... But then, if Gizmodo accomplished more traffic to their pages, the sponsors would have a hard time walking away from all those Eye Balls... Except, if Gizmodo is now a DIRTY WORD, and its PR has been damaged, maybe the sponsors will "Think Different", and walk away from those Gizmodo bastards!!! If the sponsors do walk away from Gizmodo, that would send a good message to others not to do this Low Blow "journalizm"....

At least, after this incident, assuming it's not a hoax, Apple's Secrecy is even more JUSTIFIED!!!

And speaking of National Security and ALL OUR PRIVACY -- This http://bit.ly/azZu18 is even MORE SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course CBS's JUDGEMENT could be questioned by some who'd wonder if such awareness did more harm than good?

Gizmodo might hide behind a similar question too, where could wonder if this iPhone story did more harm than good?

And one can only wonder if today's AAPL dip http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=AAPL had anything do with Gizmodo's story....

Shame on your Gizmodo! Rot in hell...!!!!

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post #35 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soskok View Post

mac address

So to disable their iPad, they must get through my firewall, break into my network and then disable the iPad? Sounds illegal to me. I doubt an iPad is communicating on a seperate network broadcasting itself just in case mobileme comes knocking.
post #36 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

How could they remote wipe an iPad that only has wi-fi? A 3G enabled one yes, but I can't think of a way to disable the wi-fi only one. However, you can also take out the SIM card. Either or.

Remote wipe has nothing to do with 3G. They only need an internet connection (3G or WiFi) and an Exchange or MobileMe Account on the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch to perform remote wipe, locate, or password lock. I am interested to know why Apple went directly to remote wipe and never tried to locate it or even call the phone first.
post #37 of 162
This is Apple's way of creating hype months in advance to stop people from buying competing smart phones. Microsoft would do this kind of tactic whether they really had a product or not hence the term vaporware. Apple at least really has a product in the wings. I agree with other that Apple purposely let this one loose. What a lame excuse in losing one's phone. If you had said G4 iPhone that could cost you your job if you lost it that you better believe that thing wouldn't leave your body or your thoughts.
post #38 of 162
This is an Apple sponsored leak. Here are the reasons:

1. The last time I lost my iPhone I found it via the mobile me locate your iphone. I doubt a prototype would make it out of Apple's campus without such ability.

2. Immediately after or around launch of the iPad, Apple introduces iPhone software 4.0 with developers still trying to get their iPad Apps running.

For some reason, Apple saw the need to redirect the effort on iphones. Maybe the iPad un-intentionally stole all the limelight and hurt sales? who knows?
post #39 of 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cesco View Post

What's "wench" in German?

post #40 of 162
Man this thing is ugly. Looks like a cheap imitation WM device. This seriously can't be the new design.
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