Dear Gizmodo, we want our secret iPhone back

April 20, 2010

Tech blog site Gizmodo set the Internet on fire on Monday when it released photos and spec details of what they said was Apple’s next-generation iPhone.

Speculation ran rampant over how this whole scoop came about, including questions over whether the site paid money for the device. Gizmodo’s Nick Denton confirmed that they paid $5,000 for access to the phone. Other questions being bandied about: Was the whole thing an Apple plant so the company could gauge user reactions to the redesign? Will Apple or analysts mention the leak during their earnings conference call today?

The site has shared their version of how Apple lost the next iPhone, including tidbits on the poor Apple employee unwittingly involved:

From Gizmodo: “I underestimated how good German beer is,” he [Gray Powell] typed into the next-generation iPhone he was testing on the field, cleverly disguised as an iPhone 3GS. It was his last Facebook update from the secret iPhone. It was the last time he ever saw the iPhone, right before he abandoned it on bar stool, leaving to go home.

Gizmodo goes on to write that the guy who first found it at the bar even tried to give it back to Apple, but “no one took him seriously and all he got for his troubles was a ticket number.” Gizmodo got their hands on the bricked phone weeks later and the rest is history. Or is it?

There was speculation that Apple — who is notorious for their over-the-top secrecy and security measures (read Reuters’ special report about Apple’s relationship with their suppliers here) — might not do anything, since any act on their part would validate the story.

Well, Gizmodo says they got a formal letter from Apple, asking for “a device that belongs to Apple” back. The site was happy to return it now that Apple’s essentially on the record confirming that the iPhone is legit.

I wonder what Steve Jobs has to say about this leak?

Caption: Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs smiles at the end of the iPhone OS4 special event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, in this April 8, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

2 comments

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I have a tough time believing Apple leaked the phone to gauge public reaction. Aren’t focus groups a much easier and more accurate way of polling consumers, compared with a publicity stunt that yields a less measurable buzz reaction? From what I read, Apple trusted this kind of proven method when developing the iPad.

Posted by akaplan716 | Report as abusive

[...] Continue reading here: Dear Gizmodo, we want our secret iPhone back | Analysis & Opinion | [...]

I bet he says, (JOBS)ever since that liver transplant i can’t remember sh*t now why was i in a german pub\bar and wher’d i put that new super secret phone????? The brats were great hmmm snitzel any one?

Posted by ochoo | Report as abusive