As reported by CNET, in a bizarre turn of events it appears Apple may have lost another unreleased iPhone model in a bar, this time at the Cava22 in San Francisco. According to the website, Apple never filed a police report based on such loss, likely from an employee field-testing the unit, although it “sparked a scramble by Apple security” in an effort to recover it quickly. The device, CNET says, was lost in July. Rumors surrounding the next-generation iPhone date back to late 2010, although they have intensified lately as the company approaches the rumored October release date for the “iPhone 5”.
You may recall last year’s loss of an iPhone 4 prototype, which was lost by an Apple employee and sold to Gawker Media’s Gizmodo. Steve Jobs eventually joked on the incident, but Apple did intervene in a legal action against Gizmodo and the “seller” of the device, saying that unreleased prototypes are “priceless” in regards of the kind of information that gets out to competitors ahead of time.
This year’s lost iPhone. however, hasn’t showed up on the Internet yet, and it may have been sold on Craigslist for around $200.
Apple electronically traced the phone to a two-floor, single-family home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, according to the source.
When San Francisco police and Apple’s investigators visited the house, they spoke with a man in his twenties who acknowledged being at Cava 22 on the night the device went missing. But he denied knowing anything about the phone. The man gave police permission to search the house, and they found nothing, the source said.
Apple usually goes to great lengths in order to protect its iPhone prototypes, using special cases to make these devices look like older models, as with last year’s lost iPhone 4 that was actually found inside a 3GS-like case. It’s not clear whether this year’s (allegedly) lost iPhone is the same version that will end up in consumers’ hands later this year, or if it’s an iPhone 4 prototype running a faster chip that was apparently sent to developers for testing months ago. CNET’s report doesn’t specify whether Apple ever got the phone back, and Craigslist didn’t respond to a request for comments, either.