If you worked for Apple and you had a top secret, unreleased iPhone 4G would you take it to a bar? Apparently Apple doesn’t hire the sharpest knives in the drawer and when Robert “Gray” Powell went to a bar to celebrate his 27th Birthday, he “lost” his totally hush hush iPhone 4G. (insert a Homer Simpson DOH! here)
And it gets real good after that, but before we move on, let’s just imagine the meeting between Steve Jobs and Robert “Gray” Powell as he tries to explain how his prototype iPhone 4G is all the sudden missing from a BAR he went to to celebrate his birthday. Even I cringe at that thought. I think I would have just called in sick and moved to another country!
- March 18th, 1983, Robert Powell was presumably born to much fanfare as family looks forward to a bright future for their son.
- March 18th, 2010, Robert “Gray” Powell “was celebrating his 27th birthday at Gourmet Haus Staudt, a beer garden in Redwood City, Calif., about 20 miles from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino. Powell carried with him a prototype next-generation iPhone, and somehow left it at the bar.”
- March 18th, 2010, 21 year old Brian Hogan who was not celebrating his birthday finds bright spark Robert “Gray” Powell’s lost iPhone 4G prototype and notices it has some crazy bar codes on the back and knew it wasn’t a normal iPhone and get’s that “I’m going to be rich” feeling and decides to contact Gizmodo and sell the device for $5,000.
- Gizmodo tears the device apart and runs story on April 19th written by Jason Chen. Damn Gizmodo, it took you a month?
- Steve Jobs gets on the horn and has what one can only image as “colorful” conversation with Gizmodo editor Brian Lam and demands the 4G back. Gizmodo agrees but forces Apple to make a formal request in writing, which would establish that the phone was from Apple.Apple Complies with Gizmodo and Gizmodo immediately posts the letter on their website. (Who didn’t see that coming?) And the same day an Apple Lawyer picks up the 4G prototype from Chen.
- April 20-21 (date is unclear) Apple files a police report that they have had the device stolen after they recovered it from Chen. Ata boy Steve, no one thought you were going to let Gizmodo get the best of you!
- April 23rd, “Chen and his wife came home from a dinner date and found police had broken in their door and were going through their house. The police, armed with a search warrant, took six computers.” Add in lot’s of “you Can’t do that” by Gawker Media, which owns Gizmodo and “Oh but we can” by D.A. Stephen Wagstaffe.
So far, not arrests have been made to either Jason Chen, or to Brian Hogan. Apple is definitely pissed and flexing their muscles here, but there is a lot more to the story as to what Brian actually did with the device leading up to selling it to Gizmodo and how he had some help in covering everything up. It appears that Brian was ratted out by one of his two roommates, Katherine Martinson. Katherine got scared because Hogan had plugged the phone into her laptop in an attempt to get it working again after Apple remotely disabled it. Before Apple disabled it Brian did find out that the device belonged to Powell as there was his Facebook page visible on it before Apple pulled the plug on it. Brian goes on to say that “Sucks for him,” and “He lost his phone. Shouldn’t have lost his phone.”. At this point Brian’s second roommate Thomas Warner helped Brian get rid of a desktop computer, stickers from the iPhone, a thumb drive and a memory card. What a mess huh?
The funny part of the whole Newsweek article that I am partly using as my source is that they seem to think that Apple will take an image hit for their handling of this issue and the flexing their muscles in other recent events such as the Adobe Flash Fight, Google Android ninny hissy, and the HTC Patent Infringement suit we wrote about. I don’t think that Steve Jobs and his 240 Billion Dollar Juggernaut Apple is too worried about it. I was in the Apple Store in Chicago today and I can tell you it was wall to wall packed and no one looked like they were too concerned. But I do think it will cost Apple a bunch of 3GS sales as I know I would be waiting at this point if I were a potential iPhone customer. What do you think?