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  • Did Apple Find the iPhone Finder?

    It's the details that make a story. In the ongoing brouhaha about the Gizmodogate affair, what's more interesting to me than the legal wrangling or the business ramifications are the characters in the whole drama. The drunken engineer, the sensation-seeking publisher, the gung-ho cops, the tough-talking executive… they give the story life. Now, we can add some more characters to the cast: the Apple detectives and the college kid with the priceless prototype.

    WIRED is reporting that Apple apparently tracked down the person who came into possession of the fourth-generation iPhone prototype last week. It wasn't clear from the story whether this happened before or after police raided Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home, but according to WIRED's source (who insisted on anonymity due to the ongoing investigation), "[p]eople identifying themselves as representing Apple last week visited and sought permission to search" the apartment of a man identified only as being of "college age" and living in Silicon Valley.

    If true, the report would cast doubt on whether the device was actually stolen from Apple or just found, as Gizmodo has steadfastly claimed. The kid had apparently been showing the top-secret device to all his friends and neighbors for weeks, before contacting Gizmodo and other magazines. Though the source - presumably a friend or roommate of the finder - claims they approached the media "about the device to confirm its authenticity and help locate the owner," WIRED notes that they "received an e-mail March 28 offering access to the device, but did not follow up on the exchange after the tipster made a thinly veiled request for money." Nevertheless, the source insists, the $5,000 payment they received from Gizmodo was not a “sale,” saying that "it was made very explicit that Gizmodo was to help the finder return the phone to its rightful owner or give it back.” In addition, “Gizmodo said they could help restore the phone.”

    You can almost smell the bong water. If this is a sophisticated industrial thievery operation, they're doing a good job of covering their tracks with comedy. The whole case now seems to hinge on whether Apple can say the phone was stolen, rather than lost and found. If this kid's story is even part true, hauling him up on felony theft charges would be unfair in this writer's opinion.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Did Apple Find the iPhone Finder? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. iNT3Rv3NTiONZz's Avatar
      iNT3Rv3NTiONZz -
      Go 4G!
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      More rumors.. yay
    1. Pitbull2o08's Avatar
      Pitbull2o08 -
      gawd i feel like a 16 year old girl back in High school...
    1. Luppin's Avatar
      Luppin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Pitbull2o08 View Post
      gawd i feel like a 16 year old girl back in High school...
      Well that is Apple's target demographic after all
    1. ModJoe's Avatar
      ModJoe -
      hahha, where does this story ends ?
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      "it was made very explicit that Gizmodo was to help the finder return the phone to its rightful owner or give it back..... You mean the "kid" only wanted $5K to find it's rightful owner? Thats a really good deal!!! LMAO!! It doesn't make sense at all! He supposedly saw the guys facebook page on the phone. Why would he need help locating him? And also need $5k for help doing so? Since when did Gizmodo get into the "iPhone lost and found" business???
    1. whereswaldo's Avatar
      whereswaldo -
      There are more rumours about this than about Kate Goselin and Lindsey Lohan combined
    1. ro0oney's Avatar
      ro0oney -
      poor guy, he got himself locked in apple's mess.
      bet he wont cooperate with them again.
    1. knguyen's Avatar
      knguyen -
      It's all about having a good story and sticking to it. Paying someone $5000 to "help the finder return the phone to its rightful owner" is not a good story.
    1. Micara57's Avatar
      Micara57 -
      I still believe Apple is taking this WAYYYY too far.
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Why didn't the guy cover his face or something? It's not hard to know what the consequences were of showing the years hottest device by APPLE early, geez.
    1. l0k0's Avatar
      l0k0 -
      Let this be note......If u ever find an Iphone laying around. Immediately call Gizmodo and ask them help return the Iphone to its rightful owner. Also, ask them to pay you around $5k for doing so......Damn we should all quit our jobs and just run around looking for lost Iphones, and calling Gizmodo to help return them, LoL
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by Luppin View Post
      Well that is Apple's target demographic after all
      I thought this was their target demographic:

    1. cypherpunk's Avatar
      cypherpunk -
      It doesn't matter whether it was lost or stolen (I don't think even Apple seriously thought this guy even knew the engineer had a prototype phone, let along planned to steal it), to point is that it wasn't his to sell.

      If I find someone's wallet and ID in the street and try to sell it on ebay, they'd have every right to take action against me. How is this different?
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      According the California law, if someone finds something and does not return it to its owner or turn it in to a police station, it is considered stolen regardless of whether it was "lost and found" or actually "stolen" (as in reaching into his pocket and taking it without permission or something).

      Silly college kids
    1. NCMacMan's Avatar
      NCMacMan -
      @angiepangie -- your point is so oft ignored by all of the anti-Apple comments that I have seen on this story. This kid may come down with a severe case of felonitis as a result of his own stupidity.
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Expect this college kid to get sued by Apple.
    1. GellBrake'rrrr's Avatar
      GellBrake'rrrr -
      The $5K he made may have been nice at first, however... When apple causes his finances to become a negative amount, it will definately not seem worth it after all!
    1. thevmax's Avatar
      thevmax -
      I smell movie of the week!
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Quote Originally Posted by whereswaldo View Post
      There are more rumours about this than about Kate Goselin and Lindsey Lohan combined