Police poised to expand 4G iPhone prototype criminal probe

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“The criminal probe into Apple’s errant iPhone prototype is expected to broaden, a law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told CNET,” Declan McCullagh and Greg Sandoval report for CNET.

“San Mateo County’s investigation may expand beyond Gawker Media’s Gizmodo.com, which acknowledged buying the prototype for $5,000, and the unknown person who sold it to the gadget blog, the source said,” McCullagh and Sandoval report. “One reason for an expanded investigation is obvious: law enforcement wants to learn who found the so-called 4G prototype and offered it for sale. California law makes it a crime for someone to find lost property but not return it.”

“Josh Topolsky, Engadget’s editor-in-chief, said police haven’t contacted anyone in his organization as of Monday evening. Engadget had communicated with the person who found the iPhone prototype, reportedly in a Redwood City, Calif., bar in San Mateo County, and posted a handful of photographs on April 17,” McCullagh and Sandoval report. “CNET has not been able to confirm whether the felony investigation is targeting Gizmodo staff, the iPhone seller, or someone else. A blog post at NYTimes.com, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, said charges could be filed against the buyer of the phone–meaning Gizmodo employees.”

Much more in the full article here.


  1. Except the company cannot do time. People can, and she/he/they are really screwed. The company would suffer financially when Apple is granted millions in a civil judgement.

  2. “Comment from: Conductor Steve
    I raise my baton and the world follows. Am I good or what?”

    No, you’re an asshat. Not Steve; you the poster.

    “Comment from: Jbird
    If they broke the law they deserve what they get. Put them in jail next to the Goldman Sacks low lifes..”

    And the government low lifes they committed their crimes with.

  3. I think this quote from the article will be used to show this is not really a question of shielding journalists:

    “One possible hitch: newsroom search laws are intended to protect only journalists. And as the Village Voice’s blog pointed out, the site’s editors have previously said: “We may inadvertently commit journalism. That is not the institutional intention.”

  4. The pundits at Marketwatch are trying to use this to take Apple stock lower byvsaying this hurts Apples image…

    Murdochs dogs should know better than accuse a premier US corporation of being big brother fo protecting their IP.

  5. I think this is going to get interesting. There’s always been something fishy with their story. If Gizmodo did more than what they have said to aquire that prototype, they are going to be in a world of hurt.

  6. I don’t expect major penalties for the individual(s) allegedly involved. Gizmodo might face a modest judgment, and that will be the key to deterring companies and “journalists” from encouraging future finders-keepers “opportunists.” After all, without Gizmodo there would not have been a sale or posted information on a teardown.

    Companies who want access to an iPhone 4G(S?) will wait a few months and buy one legally. What they do with it afterwards (legal or illegal) will occur behind closed doors.

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