MediaFile

Lost iPhone’s finder unmasked, lawyer in tow

blahThe world on Thursday finally — finally! — discovered the identity of the infamous bar patron who scooped up the lost Apple iPhone prototype from a Silicon Valley beer garden, thus setting off a chain of events that has taken us far afield from the technology world, into the murky waters of journalistic ethics and police raids.

Wired.com first identified the individual as Brian Hogan, a 21-year-old who lives in Redwood City, California. But it wasn’t long before an email from Mr. Hogan’s lawyer was shooting into the inboxes of journalists everywhere, defending him as “kind of young man that any parent would be proud to have as their son.”

“He regrets his mistake in not doing more to return the phone,” said the email from his lawyer, Jeffrey Bornstein.

The iPhone in question, an apparent prototype of Apple’s not-yet-released fourth-generation model, was accidentally left in the bar by a young Apple engineer. The device was eventually sold to gadget site Gizmodo for $5,000, which splashed it all over the Internet and caused a serious ruckus. Apple asked for the device back and took the case to police.

Authorities then raided the home of one of Gizmodo’s editors and seized his computers, trying to determine whether a felony theft had occurred. Lawyers were called, shield laws were debated, and the issue appears nowhere near resolved.

Missing iPhone saga continues; police said to be involved

iphoneblahSure, it was one of the busiest weeks on the tech earnings calendar, but despite a crush of important indicators about the health of the industry, all anyone seems to care about was that famously wayward iPhone, which caused such a stir earlier in the week.

And just as it seemed the story was about to peter out, there was a report Friday that the police are now investigating the case.

If you’ve been living in a cave for the past week (ignoring David Letterman and publicity-seeking airlines) and missed all the hubbub, here’s the recap: young Apple engineer accidentally leaves a apparent prototype of fourth-generation iPhone in a Silicon Valley bar, where the device is recovered by an unknown individual, who turns around and sells it to gadget site Gizmodo for $5,000. Gizmodo promptly reveals to the world all the glories of the new iPhone, complete with pictures. Apple asks for, and gets, the device back.

Dear Gizmodo, we want our secret iPhone back

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:

Apple, Jobs and health: A Reuters roundup

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs told the world Wednesday that he discovered that his health issues are more complex than he had previously thought, so he’s taking a medical leave of absence. Jobs, who earlier this month said his recent weight loss was caused by a hormonal imbalance that was relatively easy to treat, plans to be off until the end of June. Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook will mind the shop in the interim. Once Apple shares resumed trading after-hours, investors knocked off about 10 percent of their value.

Here’s a quick roundup of what we found online about these latest developments (And of course, here’s the Reuters story before we get to the other ones):

Silicon Alley Insider:

Tim Cook should do fine as Apple’s interim day-to-day leader. He took control of the company last time Steve went on a leave of absence to treat his pancreatic cancer. Steve says he plans to “remain involved in major strategic decisions” while he is out.