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Apple engineer frantically searched for lost prototype iPhone

post #1 of 267
Thread Starter 
The person who found a prototype iPhone at a California bar did not notify the owners of the establishment or contact the Redwood City Police Department after obtaining the device, according to a new report.

While a previous report from Gizmodo said the person who found the device attempted to return it directly to Apple, the finder never contacted the owner of the Gourmet Haus Staudt bar, nor the local authorities, according to Jeff Bercovici of Daily Finance. Both Volcker Staudt, owner of the bar, and Sgt. Dan Mulholland of the Redwood City Police Department said they were not informed of the device.

Staudt told Bercovici that the Apple engineer who allegedly left the prototype iPhone at his bar "called constantly trying to retrieve it."

"The guy was pretty hectic about it," Volcker reportedly told Daily Finance. He questioned why the person who found the phone didn't bring it back to the bar, suggesting that was the simplest option to return the device to its rightful owner.

Bercovici also noted that Apple did not report the device as lost or stolen to the local police department. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

The editorial was later updated to express the opinion that Gawker Media, which paid $5,000 to obtain the device, "subsidized a crime." Paul J. Wallin, of the California law firm Wallin & Klaritch, said the burden was with Gawker Media, parent company of Gizmodo, to determine whether the device was legally obtained.

Gawker founder and owner Nick Denton responded by stating that his company was not sure the device was created by Apple until they opened it up and found the company's name on some of its internal parts. Earlier this week, Denton bragged via his Twitter account that his company is willing to pay for exclusives. "We'll do anything for a story," he wrote. "Our only obligation is to our readers."

Gizmodo allegedly returned the device to Apple after the Cupertino, Calif., company formally requested it this week. The website published the letter received from Bruce Sewell, senior vice president and general counsel, and responded by saying the device was "burning a hole" in their pockets.
post #2 of 267
Wadyaknow Ha!
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post #3 of 267
riiiight....
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post #4 of 267
I feel sad for that apple engineer ... humans do forget ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2992 View Post

riiiight....
post #5 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post

I feel sad for that apple engineer ... humans do forget ...

Has it been reported yet as to whether or not he was supposed to have it off campus?

Maybe the fact that he's still alive says that he was allowed to carry it with him.
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post #6 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Has it been reported yet as to whether or not he was supposed to have it off campus?

Maybe the fact that he's still alive says that he was allowed to carry it with him.

He wasn't immediately fired so I would hazard a guess he was authorized.
post #7 of 267
Quote:
Gawker founder and owner Nick Denton responded by stating that his company was not sure the device was created by Apple until they opened it up and found the company's name on some of its internal parts.

What a piece of crap. What do you have on the backside? "iPhone". Maybe, it's a Microsoft prototype? We are not stupid Denton.
post #8 of 267
if this wasn't a leak, then for sure this kid isn't going to be testing any more Apple prototypes!

I prefer getting the new stuff as a surprise, it's much more fun that way. Having some jackoff at giz put together a crappy webpage is NOT better than Steve-o doing his one more thing...

I think we lost some 'fun' this summer. drat.

...and how many more times will we have the honor of Steve on stage with a cool device. This kind of thing is limited.. his years are closing.
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post #9 of 267
I think the story will bear out that this was not a simple "I found this phone and had no idea..., then tried to return it once I realized...."

I think there is a good chance the phone was left behind because it 'was fallen out of the pocket (or man purse or whatever)' by the finder.

It is common sense to turn things in at an establishment where one finds it. Even accounting for the generally low level of common sense around these days, the story still stinks fishy.

I like rumors as much as the next Apple fanboy/girl. But resorting to criminal behavior to obtain what are obviously protected trade secrets, is another story. I do not want to read about it.

I will make it a priority to not visit Gizmoto, and hope many others will join in on a boycott of Gawker media sites. They really seem to be criminal scum.

In the meantime, I will take solace in the fact that there is not such thing as bad publicity, and apply it to Apple not Gizmoto, and hope that the 2 month loss of time to the competitors is outweighed by the publicity this story is getting, which is obviously huge...
post #10 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleqc View Post

What a piece of crap. What do you have on the backside? "iPhone". Maybe, it's a Microsoft prototype? We are not stupid Denton.

Did you know? There are a lot of iPhone fakes out there. Many have Apple logos and the iPhone designation printed on them.

That's your fact for the day.
post #11 of 267
Why wouldn't the 'ALLEGED APPLE ENGINEER" call his own phone number and ask the finder to return it for a $1000 reward if he was that desperate?? or should I say if the phone was the real thing!!!

The more this story gets thought about the more I'm laughing. Somebody pulled off a good stunt and it WAS NOT APPLE.
post #12 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intense View Post

I feel sad for that apple engineer ... humans do forget ...

At least he didn't drop it into the toilet......not that I've ever done that mind you.
post #13 of 267
Regardless of if it was an Apple device or not, it did not belong to the person they bought it from, and they knew that.
post #14 of 267
It's obvious it was stolen (not handed to the guy by a drunk), that there was no real effort to return it (they had the guys name and facebook information...what more do you need?), and that Gizmodo knew what they were probably getting for 5 grand.

It is funny to me that many people seem to have taken Gizmodo and the person who profited from the stolen prototype at their word (I'm sure the phone was handed to him by a drunk...). As if someone who stole it would say "yeah I saw it sitting there and I swiped it and got the hell out of Dodge."

I feel bad for the engineer, I think releasing his name and everything publicly was a little low...and by a little low I mean a lot low...but still, that's kind of what you get when you bring the phone out drinking with you.
post #15 of 267
Gizmodo will be under new management in a few months....
post #16 of 267
I love how Gizmodo keeps coming up with these things. They post the original story and then keep adding to it like they're making it up as they go along.

The guy was never fired. That's the gaping black hole in Gizmodo's whole story.
post #17 of 267
Someones out of a job.
post #18 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post

Why wouldn't the 'ALLEGED APPLE ENGINEER" call his own phone number and ask the finder to return it for a $1000 reward if he was that desperate??.

presumably as the iPhone had been remote-wiped, and so required reconnecting to iTunes and reauthorizing before it would function...
post #19 of 267
If he had Mobile Me, couldn't he just have used the "Find my iPhone" feature?
post #20 of 267
I bet he got something put in his HR file.
post #21 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by stldoug View Post

If he had Mobile Me, couldn't he just have used the "Find my iPhone" feature?

No. Find My iPhone is broken in OS4 builds, which this one is thought to have had. MobileMe Remote Wipe is also broken, so they believe the Exchange Remote wipe was used.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #22 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleqc View Post

What a piece of crap. What do you have on the backside? "iPhone". Maybe, it's a Microsoft prototype? We are not stupid Denton.

Thousands of people must be stupid, because even after Giz released the first set of pics there were a lot of people that did not believe it was a real Apple device. Did you consider it could have been a chinese knockoff? There are a few of those around. If you look on this thing we like to call the 'internet' you might even be able to see some examples for yourself. there was no way to know it was an Apple device until it was opened. In fact with all the fakes out there, which is more likely, you find a phone and think "this MUST be a top secret Apple prototype!" or "This looks like a knock off..even the UI is different"?

use some common sense.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #23 of 267
Geez, what's that smell?

I bet the guy was set up.
If so, Gawker, or whoever, must have known he had the phone (points to inside information), and somehow lifted it. Maybe a pretty lady got the employee's attention on the one hand while someone else lifted the phone? Wouldn't be the first time that ever happened.

Anyway, looks to me like there was definitely some foul play going on.
If so, they need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

On the bright side, its looks like its gonna be a good story.
post #24 of 267
Why would they remote wipe a phone before tracking it with MobileMe? And since Gizmodo had the phone in their possession and stated that the OS was killed, Apple could have tracked the phono to Gizmodo.

There are so many holes in this whole thing. But I don't enjoy being taken for a ride. I deleted my Gizmodo bookmark and moved to Engadget.


Quote:
Originally Posted by laucala View Post

presumably as the iPhone had been remote-wiped, and so required reconnecting to iTunes and reauthorizing before it would function...
post #25 of 267
Indeed, this whole story seems a bit strange. Gizmodo keeps delivering posts about how innocent they are. That's usually the sign of someone who knows they are guilty. They act as if they are not doing any real damage. They are. Apple's marketing (love it or hate it) helps them to sell products. By outing a product in such detail so early you give other companies a chance to copy it or tailor their marketing to limit the number of devices Apple is able to sell. Thus causing real financial damage. And that's just not cool.
post #26 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by buckdutter View Post

It's obvious it was stolen (not handed to the guy by a drunk), that there was no real effort to return it (they had the guys name and facebook information...what more do you need?), and that Gizmodo knew what they were probably getting for 5 grand.

It is funny to me that many people seem to have taken Gizmodo and the person who profited from the stolen prototype at their word (I'm sure the phone was handed to him by a drunk...). As if someone who stole it would say "yeah I saw it sitting there and I swiped it and got the hell out of Dodge."

I feel bad for the engineer, I think releasing his name and everything publicly was a little low...and by a little low I mean a lot low...but still, that's kind of what you get when you bring the phone out drinking with you.

Hmmm....well, the engineer certainly thinks he left it in the bar. That would be why he went home and called back later. if he was being as careful as he should have been with this top secret device, he would have known if it was on his person when he left the bar. It was not. No police report was filed, by the person or Apple, that something was stolen.

There is nothing that implies it was stolen from the engineer. At all. period. What happened after that is questionable. The finder should have given it to the bartender. That way the bartender could have brought it home and played with it and sold it to a local pawnshop. He shouldn't have sold it to Giz. But then, what is so different in his selling it than when airports have big sales on their lost and found 'inventory'? Shouldn't they instead pass all found goods to the local PD?

There is reason to believe that the transaction of the finder selling it to Giz was illegal. But there is no reason to believe it was stolen from the Apple Employee.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #27 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnexpectedBill View Post

Did you know? There are a lot of iPhone fakes out there. Many have Apple logos and the iPhone designation printed on them.

That's your fact for the day.

So what you are saying is that if I buy a phone from someone who actually states that it is not his, I am not committing a crime simply because that guy might be lying. wow that is great
Even better they actually knew the name of the guy who lost it, and only after taking all the photos, videos and disassembling it, they contacted him.
They are true good samaritans.
post #28 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Why would they remote wipe a phone before tracking it with MobileMe? And since Gizmodo had the phone in their possession and stated that the OS was killed, Apple could have tracked the phono to Gizmodo.

There are so many holes in this whole thing. But I don't enjoy being taken for a ride. I deleted my Gizmodo bookmark and moved to Engadget.

1) the probably couldn't have tracked it since Find My iPhone is broken in current OS builds. if you didn't delete your Giz bookmark, you would have read that
2) Even if they could track it, they would have had to choose between tracking it and wiping it. As soon as the wiped it, they couldn't track it. But if they left it unwiped, since it wasn't password protected, the finder would have full access to the OS...not something they want random people playing with.
3) It was wiped prior to Giz getting it, so it could never have been tracked (via GPS) back to Giz.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #29 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredbuck1 View Post

Geez, what's that smell?

I bet the guy was set up.
If so, Gawker, or whoever, must have known he had the phone (points to inside information), and somehow lifted it. Maybe a pretty lady got the employee's attention on the one hand while someone else lifted the phone? Wouldn't be the first time that ever happened.

Anyway, looks to me like there was definitely some foul play going on.
If so, they need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

On the bright side, its looks like its gonna be a good story.

yes the story seems odd. But nothing indicates it was 'lifted' or stolen from the employee. Sometimes, drunk people are careless. As simple as that.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #30 of 267
I keep seeing all these sympathitic posts for the developer. This sort of thing can happen to anyone? Really??? I've owned iPhones for almost 3 years now. I can honestly say I've never lost my phone once. It's the most important thing I own. I use it constantly and it has virtually EVERYTHING I need on it. I know where it is at all times and never have it out of reach.... The only thing I'm in danger of loosing is my personal junk.

In regards to R&D, Apple has the TIGHTEST security of any company, the iPhone could be argued is it's flagship product at the moment. Forget about loosing it, why on earth would this guy put the phone down for a moment for ANY reason?? You must be joking... Then you factor in that he was out getting wasted. (leave the phone at home for God's sake). Unless this WAS an elaborate, new kind of gorilla marketing, Apple should absolutely fire this guy. He just gave the competetion a 2 month head start. Nice job Einstein....
post #31 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by swinge View Post

I keep seeing all these sympathitic posts for the developer. This sort of thing can happen to anyone? Really??? I've owned iPhones for almost 3 years now. I can honestly say I've never lost my phone once. It's the most important thing I own. I use it constantly and it has virtually EVERYTHING I need on it. I know where it is at all times and never have it out of reach.... The only thing I'm in danger of loosing is my personal junk.

In regards to R&D, Apple has the TIGHTEST security of any company, the iPhone could be argued as it's flagship product at the moment. Forget about loosing it, why on earth would this guy put the phone down for a moment for ANY reason?? You must be joking... Then you factor in the fact that he was getting wasted. (leave the phone at home for God's sake). Unless this WAS an elaborate, new kind of guerrilla marketing, Apple should absolutely fire this guy. He just gave the competetion a 2 month head start. Nice job Einstein....

Further to that, instead of killing the device, why didn't apple use Mobile Me to locate it, and then have Mr. Jobs phone it and request it back?

Or simply sent the police/hit squad?
post #32 of 267
Quote:
Gawker founder and owner Nick Denton responded by stating that his company was not sure the device was created by Apple until they opened it up and found the company's name on some of its internal parts.

Yeah right. They pay $5,000 for everyone who comes through the door claiming to have top secrete iPhone prototype and when they find out it's a fake they ask for refund.
post #33 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

What happened after that is questionable. The finder should have given it to the bartender. That way the bartender could have brought it home and played with it and sold it to a local pawnshop.

I agree with the remainder of your post, but was this part supposed to be tongue in cheek?
post #34 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

Further to that, instead of killing the device, why didn't apple use Mobile Me to locate it, and then have Mr. Jobs phone it and request it back?

Or simply sent the police/hit squad?

Again, Find My iPhone is disabled in OS 4.0 builds. -_-
post #35 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post

Further to that, instead of killing the device, why didn't apple use Mobile Me to locate it, and then have Mr. Jobs phone it and request it back?

Thanks for the spelling fix!

But youre right. Thats yet another argument for the idea that this was no accident. And the fact that Gizmodo broke the story (the seem VERY pro Apple). And of course the timing of all of this. All anyone is talking about are the new iPhone features This must be having a MASSSIVE impact on the new Droid release.

It will be truly shocking if this turns out to be manufactured.
post #36 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by stompy View Post

I agree with the remainder of your post, but was this part supposed to be tongue in cheek?

It was. But in many cases, turning something into a lost and found simply means someone else takes it home.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
Reply
post #37 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Yeah right. They pay $5,000 for everyone who comes through the door claiming to have top secrete iPhone prototype and when they find out it's a fake they ask for refund.

Being businessmen?, they'd likely been given enough evidence to take the next step. It seems logical that they would arrange a payment schedule before receiving the phone, based on receipt of the phone, and what they eventually discovered and published.
post #38 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ppietra View Post

So what you are saying is that if I buy a phone from someone who actually states that it is not his, I am not committing a crime simply because that guy might be lying. wow that is great

He never said anything like that. He is saying that the Apple logo does not guarantee that it was made by Apple.
post #39 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Thousands of people must be stupid, because even after Giz released the first set of pics there were a lot of people that did not believe it was a real Apple device. Did you consider it could have been a chinese knockoff? There are a few of those around. If you look on this thing we like to call the 'internet' you might even be able to see some examples for yourself. there was no way to know it was an Apple device until it was opened. In fact with all the fakes out there, which is more likely, you find a phone and think "this MUST be a top secret Apple prototype!" or "This looks like a knock off..even the UI is different"?

use some common sense.

In my experience, if this thing goes to court it's going to come down to what a "reasonable" person would have thought.

This determination is usually made by the trial judge or the jury based on a lot of information that we don't have right now. For instance if the original "finder" was a retarded man aged 60 it would be a completely different story than if he was a computer technician or an Android programmer. The judge or jury will look at the person, listen to their story and make that determination. There is no way anyone can do it in this forum because we don't know the people involved well enough and only have third-hand information anyway.

That being said however, I can't see any way in which Gizmodo would not have reasonably known that this was an iPhone prototype. The idea that they had to crack it open to find out is a joke IMO. The guy who sold it to them told them it was running iPhone OS 4.0 before it was remotely bricked, he even knew the name of the Apple employee who apparently lost it.

Again, we don't know all the details, so it's possible that the person who "found" it didn't pass that along to the Giz guys until later. There are so many different indications that this was an iPhone prototype however that it would almost take a miracle for any judge or jury to believe that the Gizmodo folks (who are sharp computer users who are very familiar with Chinese knock-offs BTW), didn't know or couldn't make a very reasonable assumption that this was not a Chinese knock-of and was instead an iPhone prototype.
post #40 of 267
Wallin & Klaritch.... LOL

DUI attorneys that have their faces plastered on top of bar urinals.

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