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  • Court Unseals Documents in Gizmodo iPhone Case


    After multiple requests from media outlets, a San Mateo judge just unsealed documents connected to the prototype iPhone that was revealed on Gizmodo last month. Under California law, the papers are supposed to remain sealed for 10 days after a search is completed. The search, however, was on April 23 and the documents have been withheld all this time. The court papers confirm pretty much everything that's been reported on the case, with some interesting - and in many cases, amusing - new details coming to light. In many places, the affidavit reads like the outline of a bad teen summer comedy.

    Robert "Gray" Powell, the Apple engineer who was supposed to have lost the phone, claims he never took it out of his bag. He told the police that it could have fallen out, or have been taken out, but that he was in the bar up until right near closing time, and that whoever had taken the phone couldn't have been there for more than 15 minutes longer. Brian Hogan, age 21, was the guy who found or took the iPhone and sold it to Gizmodo for $5,000, which has been known for some time. One twist that is new is that Hogan was supposed to get an additional $3,500 from "another source," and a bonus on top of that when Apple finally announced the phone.

    This, however, was before his roommate turned on him. Katherine Martinson called Rick Orloff, Apple's director of information security to tell him that Hogan had the prototype, and that he'd already IDed Powell as the owner after finding the Apple engineer's Facebook page still open on the iPhone. According to Martinson, Hogan had said “Sucks for him, he lost his phone. Shouldn’t have lost his phone.” Martinson was scared, according to a police report, because Hogan had user her laptop to try and restore the phone, and thought that Apple would be able to track her down. “Therefore," the police detective wrote in the affidavit, "she contacted Apple in order to absolve herself of criminal responsibility."

    Martinson called the police again just before midnight to warn them that Hogan and their other roommate, Thomas Warner, were getting rid of all the evidence about the iPhone and leaving in two separate cars. The detective wrote that he tracked Hogan down at his father's house and sweated out of him - as he sat on a bed upstairs with his girlfriend - that he had hidden his computer in a church near by. He got both Hogan and his girlfriend to call the other roommate, Warner, to get him to bring the rest of the evidence to the house. Warner finally rolled up at 1am... and was promptly arrested on two outstanding unrelated misdemeanor warrants. After Warner spilled his guts, police recovered the iPhone's ID sticker at a Chevron station, as well a 512MB thumb drive and 1GB compact flash card hidden under a bush.

    The whole drama was presented to the court in order to get a warrant to search Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's apartment. The warrant was issued on April 23, and a number of computers and other property was taken. Police are determining whether Chen can be charged with receipt of stolen property, copying of a trade secret, and destruction of property worth more than $400 (Apple claims Gizmodo's teardown damaged the iPhone).
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Court Unseals Documents in Gizmodo iPhone Case started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 59 Comments
    1. Darkflame's Avatar
      Darkflame -
      Apple is pissed because the prototypes you've beenvseeing wasn't supposed to be released till 2022. We are supposed get 8 amazing upgrades from 2010-2018, years 2019-2021 feature magical features followed by a revolutionary refresh for 2022. That's why apple is so upset. We were supposed to be wowed by another mediocre iPhone update this year. Not a device that actually was supposed to compete with phones from 3 years ago.
    1. chriskaraokeman's Avatar
      chriskaraokeman -
      I think Gizmodo was a top geezer to let us all have a peek at the new phone. Who exactly do apple think they are, its just a phone!
      I have just today finally got my 3gs officially unlocked by Orange,so don't need an unlock,but the whole apple saga re jailbreaking , rejecting apps,and being bully on a small guy is driving me towards HTC.
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      Send the snitch to jail.

      Give everyone else a presidential pardon, maybe a medal
    1. creasy425's Avatar
      creasy425 -
      Hope that room mate gets what's comming to her. Snitches get stitches....
    1. mysteryskater125's Avatar
      mysteryskater125 -
      Damn, Chen's got a nice collection haha
    1. Markanthony3211's Avatar
      Markanthony3211 -
      wow, sounds to me that the Apple employee is just trying to save his own a** by saying "It was in his bag" maybe that's why he still has his job. And this sure doesn't look too good for Jason Chen.

      'Follow Me on Twitter @Markanthony3211. Be sure to write MMI after adding ^_^
    1. thevmax's Avatar
      thevmax -
      Quote Originally Posted by ACoolGuyTX View Post
      What hilarious is that the Apple employee claims he never took the phone out of his bag but there is clearly a facebook post during his time there from said phone. Am I missing something?
      'If the IPHONE don't fit, ....
      then you gotta acquit!"
    1. elite_jounin's Avatar
      elite_jounin -
      Quote Originally Posted by NessLookAlike View Post
      Am I really the only one here that holds a grudge against the roommate that turned him in because she was scared her laptop would be tracked by Apple? Really?
      No your not actually. The three things I hate in this world is a thief, lier, and a SNITCH!
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Yeah I too hold a grudge on the one person who actually followed THE LAW. The guy stole a phone, knew who it belonged to and decided to make a quick buck out of him. I feel no sympathy for someone like that. The roommate was 100% in the right after the idiot decided to use her property to try to format/fix the prototype.
    1. brokentwice's Avatar
      brokentwice -
      This is a great example of what's wrong with how people think now adays.

      Are some of you really making fun of the one person in this whole story that did the right thing?

      Snitch.... I think that's better off left on the school play ground.

      What part about laws don't some of you people not understand?

      What did you guys really expect his room mate to do ? Hide all the evidence so you could have more pics of the phone?

      I like the iPhone and so on... But not to the point where it becomes more important to lie to the cops then to be honest and obey the law.


      Once again all this over a cell phone. Really people are we this bored with our lives?
    1. Happy Noodle Boy's Avatar
      Happy Noodle Boy -
      Seriously, did you people even read the article? The guy who "found" the iPhone's ONLY attempt to return it was to get SOMEONE ELSE to call Apple Care. WTF?
    1. mudslag's Avatar
      mudslag -
      Quote Originally Posted by ikesmasher View Post
      he was just really drunk.
      Ill take door #2 Monty
    1. ghedoicy's Avatar
      ghedoicy -
      Oh... Now everyone wants to follow the law? You are the same people saying what's going on in Arizona is wrong.

      Do you guys think that news companies don't pay for "scoops" or "hot tips"? This whole thing is out of hand...

      First off, what kind of law says if you find something and don't try to return it that it's stealing?

      Secondly, if all you Californians want to boycott AZ and want these illegal immigrants (who send all that money they make illegally to another country) to be allowed to stay... YOU TAKE THEM TO YOUR ALREADY BANKRUPT STATE!

      Oh, and go Suns!!

      -Matt
    1. extremzocker's Avatar
      extremzocker -
      the outcome will certainly be interesting...
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      1 pg doc signed by Gaby Darbyshire pertaining to invalid search warrant
      Does this mean they already new the police were trying to get search warrants?

      Also, if the police think A1241 is a serial number of a 3GS they really don't know a lot about iPhones....
    1. Buffolus's Avatar
      Buffolus -
      No one don't know what u have ontil so  An the sticker can go in the trash
    1. sphangman's Avatar
      sphangman -
      Quote Originally Posted by elite_jounin View Post
      No your not actually. The three things I hate in this world is a thief, lier, and a SNITCH!
      lets see how long you last when you are being prosecuted for a crime you didn't commit.
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      In hindsight, Gawker media and Chen should probably have waited till a couple of days or so prior to the official apple announcement to release the story of the 'lost' phone

      Then again, where would we be without all this drama...it's what keeps interest high and competition ramped up so we consumers can benefit by having the best there is
    1. wareagle5693's Avatar
      wareagle5693 -
      Apple has really gotten me angry with all this crap they are pulling as of late. I mean really? it's a freaking phone.

      Next month I think I'll be saying bye bye iPhone, hello HTC EVO 4G
    1. pacmac's Avatar
      pacmac -
      so apple is going to go after the other people that showed the iphone 4G and the new macbook them Vietnamese guys..?