Former Gizmodo editor Brian Lam apologizes for iPhone 4 prototype imbroglio

“I met Steve Jobs while I worked at Gizmodo,” Brian Lam writes for The Wirecutter.

“He was always a gentleman. Steve liked me and he liked Gizmodo. And I liked him back,” Lam writes. “Some of my friends who I used to work with at Gizmodo refer to those days as the Good Old Days. That is because those were the days before it all went to shit. That was before we got the iPhone 4 prototype.”

Lam writes, “I thought about the dilemma every day for about a year and half. It caused me a lot of grief, and stopped writing almost entirely. It made my spirit weak. Three weeks ago, I felt like I had had enough. I wrote my apology letter to Steve.”

Read more in the full article, “Steve Jobs Was Always Kind To Me (Or, Regrets of An Asshole),” here.

Related articles:
Two suspects in iPhone 4 prototype case plead not guilty – September 1, 2011


    1. It seems strange that someone would enjoy the ramblings of Brian Lam. He sounds like he is unrepentant and just trying to convince the world that he is a good person. He did several things wrong and seems to only regret that they turned out bad. It doesn’t seem like he is acquainted with honour and if he ever recognized it, would prefer to keep that relationship at arms length.

      1. “[Steve] replied, ‘You’re just doing your job.’ And he said it in the kindest way possible. Which made me feel better and worse.”

        Let’s face it, Brian WAS trying to do the right thing. I respect him for sticking to his beliefs at the time and recognizing where he made mistakes, just as I respect Steve for sticking to his guns. Sure, Steve knows how to handle things better. He’s older, wiser and been through a lot more turmoil in his life.

        1. No, he wasn’t trying to do the right thing. The right thing would be to return the stolen property, especially when you were asked so nicely. Not, use it as leverage for something else.

          He wasn’t sticking to his beliefs, he was being an asshole, and that is just one of the reasons I haven’t read Gizmodo in years.

  1. If you read the article very carefully, you will note that Brian Lam never admits that it was wrong for Gizmodo to take possession of a stolen iPhone prototype. Thus there is no apology other than for inducing anger in Steve Jobs. The boycott continues until the corporate “person” Gizmodo admits it did wrong.

    1. Not sure if YOU read it carefully

      “Steve said we’d had our fun and we had the first story but we were being greedy. And he was right. We were. It was sore winning. And we were also being short sighted. And, sometimes, I wish we never found that phone at all.”

  2. Thanks for the link to this story. I never go to this guy’s web site so I wouldn’t have seen it if not for MacDailyNews.

    We have all made bad decisions in our lives.

  3. Broman remains clueless. Fate gave him the opportunity to do the right thing and he blew it. A very weak apology and explanation underscores why he blew it then, and why he blew it again today.

  4. Brian’s still worthless. Just trying to make himself feel less guilt by airing his conscience now—because it still bothers him that he couldn’t grasp the value of the rare privilege with Steve that he gave up for one story.
    This confession stinks of regret. Too bad for Brian. I deleted Gizmodo’s bookmark back then and it will remain so.

  5. This is still a non-apology apology. “I wish things had gone differently.” “I’m sorry for the problems I caused you.” but no “I wish I’d given the phone back to you right away,” or “I’m sorry I published all that stuff.”


  6. Perhaps Brian didn’t express himself as well as he could have. Maybe he could’ve written the letter better. But he’s an Apple fanboy with a hole in his heart who feels like shit right now, just like the rest of us. I harbor no ill feelings toward him on this day.

  7. I, too, find this “appallogy” disingenuous both because of the wording & the timing of its publication. If he had some class, he should have waited for a few days. Regardless, he is still an unethical journalist & a despicable human being who doesn’t know gratitude. I feel sorry for his wife & kids.

  8. I spend an inordinate number of posts skewering Gizmodo, but I really enjoyed Lam’s piece. It opened a window into how SJ’s compassion and fairness – traits he wasn’t exactly known for in business matter. I really didn’t give a crap about Lam’s personal struggles with the iPhone stealing issue, but I can respect someone who made a mistake and owned up to it.

    And for people thinking this is just an attempt for Lam to get personal closure posthumously: he could have released the details of his conversations with Jobs long before this, but showed some class in not doing so. I think there’s at least a little bit of sincerity in what he’s trying to do.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.