Apple's Cook faces first flap over lost iPhone 5

Apple's Cook faces first flap over lost iPhone 5

Summary: Apple CEO Tim Cook may have to put out a fire over the lost iPhone 5 prototype saga.

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Credit: James Martin, CNET

Apple CEO Tim Cook may have to deal with his first real crisis if reports about company security officers impersonating cops turn out to be true. According to SF Weekly, the man at the center of lost iPhone 5 story said that six officials he thought were San Francisco police officers searched his home in July. SF Weekly reports:

If accurate, his account raises the possibility that Apple security personnel attempting to recover the prototype falsely represented themselves as police officers -- a criminal act punishable by up to a year in jail in the state of California -- or that SFPD employees colluding with Apple failed to properly report an extensive search of a person's home, car, and computer.

CNET News this week reported that an unreleased iPhone 5 prototype was lost at Cava 22, a bar in the Mission District. As Jason O'Grady noted lightning strikes twice given that Apple's iPhone 4 was also lost. The iPhone 5 prototype tale turned into a national story.

Now a lost prototype isn't exactly a crisis for Cook, but the events that follow could become a major headache. According to Sergio Calderon, the man at the center of the lost iPhone 5 story, six people wearing badges showed up to look for a lost iPhone that was traced to him via GPS. SF Weekly also reports that these folks said they were from the San Francisco Police Department.

Losing a prototype is one thing. Impersonating the cops is another matter entirely. Now that SF Weekly has connected this lost iPhone 5 saga to Anthony Colon, an Apple investigator, this flap could turn out to be a real problem.

After Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO, Cook probably thought his next big item was to launch the iPhone 5. Now it looks like Cook's first big chore will be putting out fires related to the lost iPhone 5 prototype.

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Topics: Hardware, Apple, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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34 comments
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  • Sold for $200?

    OK already I am thinking this guys been drinking too much. I mean he could have sold pictures of it for far more than that.
    oncall
  • No Big Deal. If true, this is what Tim Cook does.

    If true, Tim does the following. He fires the Apple Security Chief. Tim then publishes a Corporate Policy Decree stating that henceforth, this type of behavior will not be part of Apple official policy.

    Crisis solved. The Blogsphere moves on to something else in 24 hours and in 7 days, this event will be completely forgotten.

    This possible scenario would happen at any corporation, by the way.
    kenosha77a
    • RE: No Big Deal. If true, this is what Tim Cook does.

      @kenosha7777 <br><br>However, if illegal action took place on behalf of Apple, Apple is still liable as the instigator, and sponsor of such illegal activities. (Think mafia boss).<br><br>Just firing people won't make the illegal activities go away.<br><br>Even in a limited corporation, executives and the board of directors are not beyond the strong arm of the law if criminal acts are being committed, even if they claim they had no such knowledge of said illegal activities. Ignorance of the law isnt a valid defense or excuse.<br><br>And somebody is ultimately responsible? Who would that be? I wonder?<br><br>Anyway, everybody knows what is at the end of a colon, and what comes out of it?<br><br>Good luck, in the court of public opinion, and also that of the law.<br><br><i>~~~~~~~~~~<br>You may make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you start blaming someone else.<br>~ Mary Pickford</i>
      WinTard
    • WOW... Apologist much?

      @kenosha7777 <br><br>Where were you when Enron, Tyco, Lehman Bros. had their debacles???<br><br>According to your 'brilliant' idea, they could have just fired the execs responsible, issued a Corporate Decree and they could've gone right on doing business as usual, huh?<br><br>And to think... if only Bernie Madoff had fired the Risk Manager for his fund, and issued a stern statement saying Ponzi Schemes will not be tolerated... he wouldn't be spending the rest of his life in jail.
      SonofaSailor
      • RE: Apple's Cook faces first flap over lost iPhone 5

        @SonofaSailor

        You assume Tim Cook authorized this purported illegal activity or masterminded it as Bernie Madoff did with his ponzi schemes.

        Really, SonofaSailor, you should know better than to assume that this was the only possible interpretation for this media report. (You should have waited just a bit longer to understand this topic's developing story before publishing your rant against Apple or myself.)

        Again, you use an example depicting Bernie Madoff and Tim Cook as brothers, so to speak, in illegal activities? Really, and you accuse me of being an apologist using this type of logic. You should go back to school and learn something.
        kenosha77a
      • RE: Apple's Cook faces first flap over lost iPhone 5

        @kenosha7777 -

        it is an amusing parallel.

        But something illegal happened somewhere if the police become involved... the police don't like it if you call them in for something that isn't an illegal act...

        @SonofaSailor -

        I suspect someone at the top decided, "Well, this viral marketing tactic worked so great last time, we'll do it again. Even at the same location."

        Given this is the same company that promoted iPad2 so ingeniously with
        "Thinner. Lighter. Faster. FaceTime. Smart Covers. 10 hour battery" - usually the word gimmick gets stale the moment you add more than 3 adjectives/nouns and they're shoving down 6.

        I doubt Cook would end up in jail over this song and dance going on. Nor should he. But somebody will be fired - it's not easy to guess who that unlucky person will be.

        Par for the course.
        HypnoToad72
    • RE: Apple's Cook faces first flap over lost iPhone 5

      @kenosha7777 : And if you believe every employee will follow that policy, the Houston Astros will win the World Series THIS year. There are policies in companies not to download anything iullegally or install anything without permission, but people will still do.
      Gisabun
      • RE: Apple's Cook faces first flap over lost iPhone 5

        @Gisabun

        And what happens to those employees that disobey those guidelines? In your worldview, there are no consequences for illegal corporate actions. Interesting.
        kenosha77a
    • Partly right, partly completely wrong.

      @kenosha7777 <br>"This possible scenario would happen at any corporation, by the way."<br><br>What?? Are you referring to the issue of the possibility that Apple security people represented themselves as police officers and "BROKE INTO" a person residence to search the place?<br><br>If so you either spend way to much time watching conspiracy theory movies or your part of some security team at a big corporation who's hoping this can somehow begin to be thought of as common place behavior. <br><br>This WOULD NOT happen at any corporation. No sir. you are way way off base on that. So far off base your not even in the game. The vast majority of corporations would be terrified to do something so brainless and callous as to send a security team into a persons residence to execute a search under the guise of being the real police. Its obviously completely illegal, and might I add, just the kind of illegal that the police really take a very serious view toward. It always kind of sticks in the craw of the police to see people, in particular police officer wanna-be's committing a criminal act under the pretense that they are police officers.<br><br>And ya, "Timmy" should do all of the above quickly if this really happened and then he should grit his teeth and hope the thorough investigation of this by the police doesn't turn up that this was some kind of official policy he had complete knowledge of and approved the security action in question. If the police do find this out then his next job should be to fire himself and get ready for a stay in the crowbar hotel.<br><br>This is despicable behavior and anyone who cant feel outraged that any company thinks they have the right to do this apparently places no value on their personal freedom and privacy.
      Cayble
      • Sometimes I despair over the reading comprehension of some talkback posters

        @Cayble

        My possible scenario referred to an official response and corrected action by Tim Cook over an illegal activity by Apple Corporation personal. (Which apparently never occurred. But I'll get back to that in a moment.)

        And, BTW, let's assume that this highly improbable event occurred. That is, the Chief of Security for Apple, upon getting information that the GPS signal from a "lost" iPhone 5 prototype indicated it's location, proceeded to call his men and women under his command together and say "Well Guys. Let's get our fake Police Badges and head on over to this residence and take back our iPhone prototype if it is there. And let's make sure we don't tell anyone about this action, especially don't tell the local police or ask for their assistance with our illegal breaking and entering so we can all becomes Corporate Celebrities when we return."

        Yeh, only idiots would take the word of the man in procession of the "lost" iPhone giving this story and believe that something like this really would occur.

        But I digress.

        You have to ask yourself, Cayble, if you were running ANY Corporation, let alone Apple, and something illegal happened without your sanction or approval this question. What do you do?

        I gave an opinion about what actions would constitute necessary corrected action. I'll spell those out for you since you seem to have trouble with your reading comprehension.

        The actions outlined in my post would be to fire those responsible; issue a public statement; outline Corporate policy and, if need be, strengthen those policies and then move on.

        What was so hard about understanding that?
        kenosha77a
  • Of course, if Tim Cook sanctioned this action in the first place

    Then this becomes a very big deal. But I don't expect that this occurred.
    kenosha77a
    • RE: Of course, if Tim Cook sanctioned this action in the first place

      @kenosha7777
      Sorry, I missed this one before replying chronologically.
      WinTard
    • Well, you can count on one thing....

      @kenosha7777
      It would be a bizarre turn of events in corporate America if he came out and said he sanctioned it. Nobody in his position sells themselves out to the wolves, guilty or innocent.
      Cayble
      • I'll keep this one example based in Silicon Valley

        @Cayble

        HP CEO, Mark Hurd, resigns over violations of Corporate ethical conduct.
        kenosha77a
      • RE: Apple's Cook faces first flap over lost iPhone 5

        @kenosha7777

        And goes to work for Oracle no less! Where his kind of ethics will be well rewarded.

        (Sorry for the slight OT)

        [i]~~~~~~~~~~
        We can?t be successful unless we lie to customers.
        ~ Larry Ellison, Oracle cofounder reportedly quoted by Bruce Scott
        (Just Google it for substantiation)
        WinTard
      • RE: the perceived slight OT

        @WinTard

        That's OK. No offense was taken. BTW, I always look forward to your quotes after your comments.
        kenosha77a
  • Best thing for Apple is to identify the 6 and give them the boot.

    They also need to boot any higher UPS that knew about it before hand or after and kept their mouths shut. All employment is mutually terminated at will, they don't need cause. Doesn't matter if they are convicted or not. No internal "investigation" needed. They know who the 6 are and if they're still apple employees next week Tim Cook will have EPIC FAIL stamped all over his first high profile executive situation.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Why would this possibly be an EPIC FAIL?

      @Johnny Vegas

      Let's look at another of couple high profile executives, that were caught red-handed, and tried and convicted for their crimes. In their own testimony, both spoken and in email, it was discovered that they extorted other companies, strong armed OEM's to bend to their will, illegally put other companies out of business, and used their monopolistic position in the market to illegally crush competitors. The judge in the case compared these guys to columbian drug lords and mafia kingpins. And let's not forget the crap they peddled cost customers and businesses billions upon billions of dollars in down time and inflated prices (Y2K anyone?)

      Those two guys are both around today, as a matter of fact, Balmer still leads the company. The other partner in crime gave a pittance of his stolen money to charity to help rehabilitate his image.

      Who was booted from Microsoft? Anyone?
      ShazAmerica
      • RE: Why would this possibly be an EPIC FAIL?

        @ShazAmerica

        Nice red-herring drawing Microsoft into this debacle...

        [i]~~~~~~~~~~
        Don't count your chickens until they hatch. And don't blame my cat. He has an airtight alibi .
        ~ Maxine[/i]
        WinTard
      • Ah yes...

        @ShazAmerica

        Because if Apple and it's idiot fanbois can point to someone else that's done something... that negates anything and everything that could be even be percieved as wrongdoing on Apple's part.

        It's good to see that even though Steve Jobs is gone, his legacy of "well everyone else is doing it too" crybaby whining is still strong.
        SonofaSailor