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In what by now must seem like a marketing scheme for iPhone launches, an Apple employee recently lost the iPhone 5 at a San Francisco Mexican restaurant in Mission district. Last year, the iPhone 4 was also lost at a bar and then purchased by Gizmodo for US$5000. The gadget blog managed to escape criminal charges from Apple.
The latest iPhone blunder seems to have followed a less controversial journey as it was simply placed on sale for US$200 on Craigslist by the current “owner” of the iPhone 5 prototype. The ad listing did not comment on the technical specifications of the phone, what it looked like or if the new iOS 5 was loaded on the device.
Apple and the San Francisco police department managed to find the device using the “Find My Phone” feature — GPS tracking pre-installed on all iPhone 4’s. The phone was then tracked down to an unnamed man who had hoisted the phone from Cava 22, the abovementioned Mexican restaurant. The police came up empty-handed in their search of his apartment, even after Apple employees, “offered the man money for the phone no questions asked”.
The iPhone 5 prototype went missing in July and Apple went on a frenzied search for the device. Apple contacted the police immediately, saying that the device was priceless. Apple has declined to comment about the lost iPhone and the San Francisco police department have said that no criminal case has been opened by Apple.
Apple offers an external testing programme by letting a select group of employees take home prototypes of their latest gadgets. This is to see how they perform in urban environments outside of standard laboratory settings. The one rule though, “don’t leave them behind” has been broken once more. The owner of the Mexican restaurant said, “I guess I’ll have to make my drinks a little less strong”. Currently, The iPhone 5 is still missing.