Gray Powell’s dad: He’s devastated and the guy that took the 4G iPhone is ‘a thief’

“The father of Gray Powell, the Apple engineer who reportedly lost a prototype of the iPhone 4G, says his son was reeling following the incident,” Greg Sandoval reports for CNET. “‘Of course he was devastated,’ Robert Powell told CNET in a phone interview Wednesday. ‘He loves the company.'”

“Gray Powell, 27, finds himself in the middle of media frenzy after losing a handset that appears to be a next-generation iPhone, a device that has yet to be released or even acknowledged by Apple Last month, Gray Powell visited the Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City, Calif., to celebrate his birthday and apparently forgot the prototype at the bar,” Sandoval reports. “A person who has yet to be identified picked up the phone [and eventually it was sold to Gizmodo for $5,000].”

Sandoval reports, “Robert Powell had strong opinions about the person who found the phone ‘The bottom line is the guy stole the phone,’ he said. ‘The guy’s a thief.'”

Sandoval asked, “”Is Gray Powell in jeopardy of losing his job? ‘I think he’ll be okay,’ said Robert Powell. ‘He’s good at what he does. He’s a hard worker.'”

Full article here.

83 Comments

  1. if it was an honest mistake, may he should keep his job, not sure.

    However, is he involved somehow with the unknown thief? Was it a ploy to get $? I hope not but there should be an investigation.

    The identity of the person that sold it is not a secret to Gizmodo. So what is the deal here?

    BTW, I think Gizmodo’s response to Apple was flippant and obnoxious. They should not have publicized their response or even Apple’s request. Not cool IMO.

    Its more than just the specs of the iPhone at stake. Millions of people have shares in Apple as part of their retirement, etc. Its not a game. This has an effect on a lot of people. This is not how new technology should be unveiled.

  2. I am sure that he will have problems with his R & D job. But, Apple should treat errors and an industrial spy differently. This will cause people to delay until the next iPhone is shipped this summer. It is a problem and Gizmodo missed an opportunity to have Steve Jobs gratitude for discreetly returning it with an inside track on the next released product.

  3. There’s no excuse for what he did, come on, leaving a top secret Apple prototype on a bar stool while drunk, that’s about as negligent and idiotic as it gets. Getting the axe from Apple would be the merciful thing to do.

  4. Gizmodo committed a crime. They purchased property that they knew (or at least suspected) was stolen.

    If Apple is not pursuing a criminal case against Gizmodo and they guy who sold them the phone, that tells me that Giz is doing what Apple wants.

    Therefore, Bullshit Story.

  5. Apple took almost one full year to file a law suit agains the Pedraza Bros. outfit (anyone still remember Psystar?). This event transpired on Sunday (four days ago).

    Someone mentioned yesterday that in California, law requires that a ‘reasonable’ effort should be made to return the found device before it can be legally claimed by the finder, and the owner has to make ‘reasonable’ effort to find the lost device within three days of losing it (or becoming aware of the loss). In Gizmodo’s version of the story, they claim that the original finder was also drunk and gave the device to a friend, mistakenly believing it was his. This ‘friend’ then looked at the device, realised that it was NOT his, but noticed that it was different from any iPhone he knew. The story claims that he looked into the device, called Apple Support, trying to report a ‘found’ device (and being essentially brushed off by them) and in the end, went home with it. In the morning, the device was remotely wiped (bricked). This is when (allegedly) he approached Gizmodo and they offered $5G for it.

    Apple’s legal team is now most likely focusing on figuring out the sequence of events and finding out just how strong their case is and how hard they can hit Gizmodo.

    One thing is certain here. Whatever the outcome of this (Giz may just end up lucky enough to squeeze through some legal loophole here), there is no chance in hell that Gizmodo will ever be allowed into ANY Apple public (or private) event after this.

  6. Gizmodo.

    Kind of a toilet bowl organization.

    I stopped going to that website. Always made feel I needed to flush my cache and clear my history. Someday they might hit the class of something like redtube.com.

  7. C1,

    I’m gonna take you at your word that this story is made up. So, if Apple isn’t suing Gizmodo, and if Giz is doing what Apple wants…

    Why show something early that you’re going to release, or something that you’re not going to release?

    Is it a canary trap? Or are they doing a bait and switch? Or is it something even bigger, they’ve got something really big coming and want everyone focused over here looking at this while they finish the development on something else?

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