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Again? Apple reportedly loses another iPhone prototype in another bar

John D. Sutter
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iPhone prototype left in bar... again
  • Another Apple employee loses a prototype phone in a bar, CNET says
  • Details of the second lost iPhone are not available, site says
  • Last year, an Apple employee reportedly left an iPhone 4 prototype in a beer hall

(CNN) -- Here's a theory: Maybe there's some sort of connection between drinking and losing things?

We're looking at you, Apple employees of America.

Exhibit A: Last year, an Apple employee reportedly left a pre-release version of the iPhone 4 in a German beer hall in Silicon Valley. The gadget blog Gizmodo proceeded to buy the phone for $5,000 and splashed the details all over the Internet.

And exhibit B: Another Apple employee this summer appears to have left a prototype iPhone in a Mexican bar and restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District, according to a report on Wednesday from the tech site CNET.

CNN has not confirmed this report, and CNET says there are very few details available about what actually happened.

Apple declined to comment on the story.

"This year's lost phone seems to have taken a more mundane path: it was taken from a Mexican restaurant and bar and may have been sold on Craigslist for $200," Greg Sandoval and Declan McCullagh write on that site, citing an unnamed source who is said to be familiar with Apple's investigation of the matter. "Still unclear are details about the device, what version of the iOS operating system it was running, and what it looks like."

Apple is widely expected to release a new version of the iPhone this fall, possibly as soon as next month. Such releases always are met with a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy from the tech media and Appleheads, who are more than ready to lap up any rumored details about the new phones.

The company reportedly keeps -- well, tries to keep -- its unreleased phones under literal lock and key until it throws rock-concert style press conferences to unveil them.

"The next iPhones go for their testing inside locked and sealed boxes so that the carriers can carry out checks on their network compatibility in their labs," writes Charles Arthur at The Guardian. "It's very high security, as you could guess; my understanding is that barely anyone inside the carriers gets to open those boxes, and even when they do the hardware is encased in a dummy body which means there's no clue to what the actual phone will do."

Those precautions seem to work. Until you leave that phone in a bar.

The case of the first missing iPhone hasn't even resolved itself yet. The San Mateo County district attorney's office has filed misdemeanor charges against Brian Hogan, who allegedly sold the first found iPhone to Gizmodo.

We'll have to wait and see what happens with the second "errant iPhone," as CNET has termed it.


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