In a legendary incident, an Apple employee lost an iPhone 4 prototype at a Silicon Valley beer hall last year — prompting the tech blog Gizmodo to pay $5,000 to get its hands on the top-secret gadget. As Gizmodo published its findings, a hail of Apple fury and legal threats rained down. Now, in a "bizarre repeat," an Apple employee has apparently lost another valuable prototype in a drinking establishment. According to CNET, an unreleased iPhone — presumably the heavily anticipated iPhone 5 — was left at a San Francisco tequila bar. Though details are sketchy, it seems the phone may have since been sold on Craigslist for $200. Is this deja vu story too good to be true?
This is fishy: The CNET report doesn't name sources or offer any real evidence, "which is kind of odd," says Mat Honan at Gizmodo. The report does contain "a lot of inside information that only a cop or prosecutor would know," but there are no photos of the actual phone. I'll believe it when I see it.
"Did Apple lose an iPhone 5 prototype in a bar?"
And it could be a PR stunt: First last year's iPhone 4 loss, and now this, says Nicola Kean at Portfolio. "We're beginning to wonder if it's a marketing ploy." Typically, Apple isn't offering any comment, which is only raising everyone's suspicions.
"iPhone prototype lost in a bar. Again."
If this is a marketing ploy, it's a bad one: It's hard to believe a PR agenda is driving this, says Chenda Ngak at CBS News. "Apple doesn't have a history of cheap viral marketing tricks, nor would they need to resort to a publicity stunt." Besides, this incident doesn't reflect well on Apple. Indeed, it's downright embarrassing for the tech giant's employees to keep losing valuable prototypes in bars.
"Apple loses iPhone prototype, rumors abound"