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Author Topic: Apple Follows Trail of Lost 4th-Gen iPhone  (Read 909 times)
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« on: April 20, 2010, 03:00:09 pm »

Apple Follows Trail of Lost 4th-Gen iPhone

(Image courtesy of Gizmodo)The mystery of the presumed lost 4th-generation iPhone prototype appears to finally be solved, and now Apple has come calling for the device back.On Monday night, Gizmodo was busy explaining how it had happened to acquire a certain unreleased handset. In a scenario right out of an espionage flick, Apple’s notorious veil of secrecy was finally destroyed by a 27-year-old software engineer and some German beer.If you haven’t followed the events leading up to today: Late last week, photos of a purported next-generation iPhone started to turn up on various tech sites and were quickly dismissed and even debunked, only to come back just as fast and with a vengeance. By the time Gizmodo paid $5,000 to get their hands on the actual device -- left behind at a German pub in Redwood City, California by a 27-year-old Apple software engineer -- there was little doubt that we were looking at the real McCoy, the next Apple iPhone which is anticipated in early summer this year.Gizmodo summarily photographed and videotaped the device from every conceivable angle, divulging all of its goodness (front-facing camera, higher-resolution display, microSIM slot) and even tearing the device apart to confirm that yes, indeed, this was an Apple product caught in the wild before its release.And then came the above letter from Apple legal, requesting its return.The situation put Apple in a no-win situation: After all, coming down on Gizmodo with all its legal might would only serve to confirm the obvious. Denial (or just ignoring the whole debacle) could also read the same way, while keeping the lost handset out in the wild, which the company also can’t risk.It turns out that a state law helped make the decision -- California doesn’t honor the “finder’s keepers” rule of childhood, and instead a lost item is still the owner’s, who has a full three years to reclaim it. So the device, even though it was left behind by an errant handler, is considered stolen property.The story has a happy ending: Gizmodo has every intention of returning the device to Apple, and even sent a special P.S. in their reply looking out for the software engineer who lost it in the first place: “I hope you take it easy on the kid who lost it. I don't think he loves anything more than Apple.”
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