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How will Apple punish Gizmodo?

Now that the castaway iPhone was returned to its rightful owner what will Apple do to punish Gizmodo?

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In case you've just awoken from a coma, an Apple engineer lost a prototype iPhone a full two-months before it was even rumored to ship. Gizmodo purchased and photographed it to the squeals of joy from 15,000,000 eager visitors to its site. Apple asked for it back, and Giz complied.

Now that the castaway iPhone was returned to its rightful owner what will Apple do to punish Gizmodo for exposing its nubile new handset to the world?

I'll take a shot:

  • Apple legal will subpoena Gizmodo's ISP request all of its email for three years so that it can find the leak. (No wait, Apple did that to me.)
  • Invitations to the next special event? Forget about it.
  • Actually Giz is invited to the next press event but they have to sit in the Leper section (yes, there is Leper section)
  • "We're sorry Mr. Lam, but your AppleCare appears to be expired"
  • They finally installed those laser eye beams that Steve's been requesting during his liver transplant and he plans to beta test them on Brian Lam's forehead.
  • A side effect of Steve's extensive physical therapy is that he can now throw tanks like Spiderman -- and he's coming to New York.
  • "There's a package from Apple on our doorstep, and it's on FIRE! Quick, someone stamp it out!"
  • Suddenly the GPS chips in the Gizmodo iPhones stop asking for permission to "use your current location."
  • All the Gizmodo MobileMe accounts now sync their contacts, calendars and email to a "special" server in Cupertino.
  • Two words: sudden crashes.
  • "Unfortunately your iPad 3G order has been delayed until 2012."
  • No more free meals at Cafe Mac.

Seriously though, can Apple really retaliate against a large media entity like Gizmodo? Isn't the golden rule not to piss off the people that are reviewing your gear?

So I ask you fair reader, what would Steve do?

Photo: Wired