Lightning strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in CA bar

Lightning strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in CA bar

Summary: "I guess I have to make my drinks a little less strong," the bar owner was quoted as saying.

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Yes, you read that right.

I did a double take when I read on CNet News that an Apple employee had lost an iPhone 5 prototype in a bar. I mean, surely it was a typo for iPhone 4 and it was just an RSS anomaly that pushed a story from last year into my RSS feeds, right?

Sadly, no.

Another Apple employee indeed lost another iPhone prototype in another San Francisco bar. And either lightning just struck twice or there are too many iPhone engineers drinking too much high-powered hooch in the valley after work.

If the story sounds familiar, that's because it is. In April 2010 Apple iPhone engineer Robert Gray Powell, infamously left his prototype iPhone 4 in a German beer garden in Redwood City, Calif. Gizmodo purchased the prototype for $5,000 and published numerous photos and videos of the previously top-secret device.

CNet's Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh got the exclusive on this year's Apple employee blunder of the year:

The errant iPhone, which went missing in San Francisco's Mission district in late July, sparked a scramble by Apple security to recover the device over the next few days, according to a source familiar with the investigation...

A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department said the company did not file a police report based on the loss at the bar. Craigslist did not respond to requests for comment.

A day or two after the phone was lost at San Francisco's Cava 22, which describes itself as a "tequila lounge" that also serves lime-marinated shrimp ceviche, Apple representatives contacted San Francisco police, saying the device was priceless and the company was desperate to secure its safe return, the source said.

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. Before leaving the house, the Apple employees offered the man money for the phone no questions asked, the source said, adding that the man continued to deny he had knowledge of the phone.

Luckily for Apple the lost iPhone 5 has yet to be defiled on the Internet. In fact, it's been lost since July and no one knows where it is.

Update: In its post on the topic Gizmodo snarkily implies "pics or it isn't real." (Funny, I can't stop re-loading that site...)

Headline contest: What headline would you have written for this post?

Photo: James Martin/CNET

Topics: Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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65 comments
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  • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

    I smell a Marketing Stunt!!
    jatbains
    • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

      @jatbains Yep. lost should be changed to a quoted "lost" wink, wink.
      Skippy99
      • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

        @Skippy99 forgot nudge nudge say no more........ lol
        guitarest
    • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

      @jatbains
      Seriously?
      Yeah I guess the iPhone launches of the past have been SO low-key and have had absolutely NO interest from the press, so certainly Apple thought to themselves "Hey, how can we possibly drum up at least a LITTLE interest in the next iPhone???" LOL
      SbySW
    • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

      @jatbains I agree its a stunt, while there is a huge fanboy base of the Iphone, Google has taken a chunk away from Apple. So its free advertising to report this happening again which will cause loads of free press just like this ZD story.
      guitarest
      • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

        @guitarest Probably a marketing stunt but the reality is that there are probably a lot of Apple employees that are running around with prototype phones doing testing and at least one is bound to leave it behind.
        non-biased
    • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

      @jatbains

      Agreed! Apple is solidifying its position as the company in which cool products are apparently made by drunken idiots!Marketing gold! :)
      Biotechguy
      • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

        @Biotechguy LMFAO :D
        MrElectrifyer
    • RE: I smell a Marketing Stunt!!

      @jatbains

      All I have to say is this:

      <b>Lost, my ass!!!!!</b>

      Because, like you, I <b>doubt</b> the story is true.
      fatman65536
    • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

      @jatbains It's definitely a way to get free publicity, as if there wasn't enough mention of the iPhone 5, already. It does make one wonder. Perhaps the brother of the marketing guy who came up with this story is also the owner of the tequila lounge. *wink*
      BillDem
    • There's this saying in Texas...

      @jatbains
      Fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me...you can't get fooled again.
      jasonp@...
    • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

      @jatbains

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  • Message has been deleted.

    Bruch Reed
    • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

      @Bruch Reed You see the same thing with "damping" and "dampening" constantly. "No, my Fox shocks aren't wet, but they certainly do take a hit well."
      kellyjdrummer
  • Message has been deleted.

    vocalman
    • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

      Spelling error fixed. thanks...
      David Grober
    • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

      Whats with the flagging of these spelling correction messages?!? Someone is too sensitive!
      The Danger is Microsoft
      • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

        @The Danger is Microsoft

        Spelling, grammar, and proofreading are not optional skills if you make your living by writing. Note that the author appropriately thanked the person noting the error.
        Biotechguy
      • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

        @The Danger is Microsoft ...

        Not beiing to spell or grammar mistakes says mountaiins about the source.
        tom@...
  • RE: Lightening strikes twice: iPhone 5 prototype lost in bar

    To my mind it is an attempt to intensify iPhone 5 (Apple) rumor fire so that our mind get smoked, cooked and charred in a controlled manner like CHIKEN TIKKA !!
    Iloveapple