Prototype iPhone was left at bar by Apple software engineer

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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."



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 161
    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."



  • Reply 2 of 161
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Is it just me or was it a low blow to expose the guy's name like that? Maybe it's just me...
  • Reply 3 of 161
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


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



    For now ....
  • Reply 4 of 161
    Gizmodo, wow, what a bunch of a-holes.
  • Reply 5 of 161
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 161
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    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??
  • Reply 7 of 161
    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
  • Reply 8 of 161
    2 cents2 cents Posts: 307member
    Mark my words. We will all be pwned on the release date.
  • Reply 9 of 161
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 161
    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!
  • Reply 11 of 161
    esummersesummers Posts: 887member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 161
    g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 161
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 161
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 161
    mike fixmike fix Posts: 222member
    I hope that is the case design. I will finally make the switch if that is the actual new iPhone.
  • Reply 16 of 161
    bdblackbdblack Posts: 146member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 161
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 161
    bdblackbdblack Posts: 146member
    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!
  • Reply 19 of 161
    cescocesco Posts: 35member
    "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?
  • Reply 20 of 161
    tommcintommcin Posts: 108member
    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.
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