Apple visited finder of 4G iPhone prototype before police did – report

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“Apple Inc. reportedly knew who sold an apparent iPhone prototype before police broke into the home of a tech blog’s editor last week,” The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reports.

MacDailyNews Note: According to everyone involved, the police had a search warrant.

The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal continues, “Wired on Tuesday reported about a visit by people who said they represented Apple to the home of a college age person who is said to have found the iPhone at a Redwood City beer garden. Wired didn’t name the purported finder nor the source who it identified as somebody involved in the find.”

MacDailyNews Take: iPhone OS 4’s latest undocumented feature unmasked: Find My Top-secret, In-disguise, Fourth-generation, Beer-soaked iPhone.

The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reports, “The source said the purported Apple representatives were turned away from the Silicon Valley home of the finder after asking for permission to search the premises. The San Mateo County district attorney’s office said on Tuesday they have identified and interviewed the person who took the iPhone from the Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City on March 18. Police say they became involved in the matter after lawyers representing Apple reported the iPhone as having been stolen.”

“Wired said its source also disputed characterizing the $5,000 paid by as a sale. Instead it is said to was an agreement for exclusivity,” The Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal reports. “‘It was made very explicit that Gizmodo was to help the finder return the phone to its rightful owner or give it back,’ the source reportedly said. ‘Gizmodo said they could help restore the phone [to its owner].’ Gizmodo returned the iPhone to Apple last week after dismantling it and publishing stories, photos and video about it.”

More info and links int he full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “JES42” for the heads up.]


  1. TT, the owner was not at home when the police entered the premises. Even if the door were left open, they had no inherent “right” to enter the property. Ergo, they “broke in”. Their warrant, in theory, gave them the legal right to do so.
    Macromancer, that could be a tough sell. But, they could squeek by with it. The woman(?) who picked it up could, with such an explanation, claim she was attempting to return the item to its owner. Not significantly different from passing it to the bartender for no money. I, like you, am skeptical of this explanation.

  2. I’m a schmuck and know an Apple prototype is top secret – so Gizmodo NOT knowing is crap. They purposely thieved Apple’s Intellectual Property which they may sell to others – corporate espionage is more like it. Buying it is bad enough – but dismantling and photographing the interior is way more than journalism. It’s shameful. I’m no fan of Microsloth or Gaggle but at least I would give them some courtesy of not destroying their prototype product, that was a sucker move Giz pulled. They should have the book thrown at them.

  3. A. Turn in an item to the establishment where it was found.
    B. If not trusting, to the corporate store of the cell carrier.
    C. Try a law enforcement agency. If, not claimed then you can claim it.
    D. If believed to be Apple prototype, a law enforcement agency detective and explain it may be Steve’s property and you fear him more than the police. Follow it up later and if Steve does not claim it. Ask to claim it.

    But, an iPhone prototype burning a hole in someone’s pocket may be incinerating another person’s peaceful and below the radar life.

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