Apple has once again lost an iPhone prototype in a bar?!

Apple lost *another* iPhone prototype in a bar?!

According to CNET, Apple has once again lost an iPhone prototype in a bar, this time Cava2 in San Francisco's Mission district.

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 twenties 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.

The prototype may have been sold on Craigslist for $200 but the details sound sketchy, as does the nature of the prototype itself (iPhone 5?) and what version of iOS it was running.

Last year Apple famously lost or had stolen an iPhone 4 prototype which ended up sold to a gadget blog, touching off an industry wide controversy and almost a year long criminal investigation.

Any bets what happens this time?


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple has once again lost an iPhone prototype in a bar?!


And we hear about this story less than 24 hours after Samsung announces the American release of the Galaxy S II. Well done Apple PR. Well done.

For obvious reasons a new design needs extensive real world testing; so there must be several prototypes out there in use (possibly disguised in some kind of case). But still . . . . a BAR! Again?
Is this a piece of misdirection, a device intended to be found and dissected for information. Even I find that too crazy.

You gotta love apples tactics, they must do it on purpose. Leave a prototype somewhere, spark a massive publicity stunt, and get everyone interested. Interesting how they traced it to that place but couldn't track where it was after that.

I wonder if it really as a mistake, or another PR scheme from Apple to generate some media attention... I love Apple and I own an iPhone and I will probably get iPhone 5 once it comes out (though I won't be one of the extreme enthusiast that waits outside of the store for hours... I just don't have the will power...), but we all know Samsung Galaxy S2 is probably going to be better than iPhone 5...

anyone think this is part of a campaign to generate more buzz for an upcoming release? it's always done a month or few weeks before release so nothing is really harmed by the "loss" of the phone, but it certainly generates so much buzz that if it's not deliberate, it should be. good "underground" marketing strategy.

Is it really an apple publicity stunt or a paid-up advert by SF's Cava 22?? ;-)
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,
"I guess I have to make my drinks a little less strong" (said the owner)

In a bar are you freaking kidding me who brings a million dollor prototype to a bar to get drunk and give it away(aparentinly apple does). Why doesnt this happen to other companys