If you haven’t heard, Apple lost a 4th Generation iPhone prototype a few weeks ago (March 18) and over the past weekend the blogosphere went wild over speculation that it had been found. The phone is predicted to be revealed in June. Engadget posted some photos of the device (which were debunked but then reinstated as real) and earlier today, Gizmodo revealed that they have had the device for a week. The tech blog posted lots of photos, videos and a detailed description of the phone on its blog today (see all of that here). A prototype product has never leaked from Apple like this and therefore the internet has been abuzz all day about how it got out of Apple’s hands.
Not even 12 hours after Gizmodo posted the photos of the phone, the backstory has started to to unravel and it seems that the person who lost the phone is an Apple Software Engineer and 2006 graduate of NC State named Gray Powell. Powell was in a bar Redwood City, CA and seems to have left the phone on the bar stool.
You can read the full story here. Gray just got his 15 minutes of fame, but they weren’t the ones he was expecting I’m sure.
Also one last thing that hasn’t been discussed is how Gizmodo got the phone. Still a question Gizmodo needs to answer. Andy Ihnatko has a great detailed story about this today on his blog.
UPDATE: Gizmodo bought the phone for $5,000. or more.
UPDATE 2 (4/20/10): It seems that a few people, including John Gruber championing the cause, think that the phone may have been stolen at some point and not lost. The phone did, at some point, belong to Gray Powell as his Facebook account was originally logged in on the phone (or so the person who had the phone says). There’s probably a lot more to this story than we may ever know.