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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Apple iPhone 5 Prototype Lost in San Francisco

Posted By and on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 4:00 PM

click to enlarge The iPhone 4 caused Apple no end of trouble
  • The iPhone 4 caused Apple no end of trouble

Well, this must be embarrassing. CNET is reporting that Apple, in a strange instance of déjà vu, has lost another sensitive prototype of an as-yet-unreleased iPhone model.

Last year, bloggers worked their skivvies into a serious ruffle over law-enforcement authorities' decision to investigate gadget blogger Jason Chen of Gawker media after he purchased an unreleased iPhone 4 from some guys who found the phone in a bar, where an Apple employee had lost it. (Charges against the men who found the phone were filed, but, strangely, not against Gawker.)

CNET's scoop is that the iPhone 5, rumored to be released this fall, was recently lost in the Mission district bar Cava 22. Quoting an anonymous source "familiar with the investigation," the site reports that Apple has been frantically trying to recover the phone, so far without success:

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 20s 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.

We put in a call to the SFPD to see whether the investigation is still active and has progressed at all. We'll let you know when we hear back.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

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