iPhone 5 Rumor: San Francisco Police Know Nothing About Lost Prototype

    September 2, 2011
    Josh Wolford

Yesterday we all experienced a bout of deja vu when the rumor emerged that another Apple employee had apparently had too much to drink and misplaced a new iPhone prototype in a bar.

Last year an Apple software engineer lost the iPhone 4 prototype in a German beer garden in Redwood, California. The finders subsequently sold the device to Gizmodo, who ended up breaking the news of the secret specs of the device before its launch.

Yesterday, CNET reported that an unnamed Apple employee lost a prototype for an upcoming iPhone in a “tequila lounge” in San Francisco called Cava 22. They indicated that the phone has possibly been sold on Craigslist for $200. All of this reportedly happened in July.

Quoting an individual source, CNET detailed an investigative operation that involved both Apple and the San Francisco Police Department. The source said that once Apple electronically traced the location of the missing device, their investigators along with SFPD visited the location where they believed the iPhone prototype was being kept.

With the help of the SFPD, Apple investigators apparently questioned a twenty-something man about the phone, to which he denied any knowledge. They then searched the “two-floor single family home” and came up empty.

Of course, we were skeptical from the beginning on this rumor. Single sources have to be considered very carefully. It also seemed odd to this writer that nobody has yet to come forward with the prototype, if this misplacement really did occur back in July. The time to capitalize on the find might be drawing to a close – many feel the iPhone 5 will launch in early to mid October.

Today we learn that the San Francisco Police Department is saying that they have no record of any such investigation.

Talking to SF Weekly, SFPD spokesman Albie Esparza denies that they helped Apple with any such sweep of a house, looking for a missing phone. The CNET report mentioned that no official police report was filed during the investigation, but Esparza says that there are no records for the visit or even of a dispatch confirming the trip to the suspect’s home.

So, either the SFPD is not being very forthcoming, some officers under top brass carried out the investigation under the radar and off the books, or CNET’s source is full of it.

If a prototype finds its way onto the internet, I guess we will have our answer then.