Apple to Gizmodo: Give Us Back Our Phone

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Gizmodo claimed that it managed to get its hands on the next generation iPhone on Monday, and even offered up photos and video as evidence. Later in the day, the company apparently received a letter from Apple’s legal team demanding the device back, essentially confirming that it really is an iPhone — but not that it will be the next version to ship.

The letter stated, “It has come to our attention that GIZMODO is currently in possession of a device that belongs to Apple. This letter constitutes a formal request that you return the device to Apple.”

Engadget kicked off the iPhone firestorm over the weekend with a series of photos they claimed showed the next generation iPhone. Gizmodo followed up on Monday with more photos and videos showing the device, and later in the day another article highlighting the Apple employee they claim lost the device.

While Gizmodo is claiming the letter is positive proof that it is in possession of the next iPhone, it’s actually proof that it managed to get ahold of a prototype. What Apple actually ships may or may not look like the device Gizmodo reported on, and it may include different features, too.

Apple and its legal team are more than likely very curious to find out exactly how Gizmodo managed to get the prototype device. Despite claims of “warm, fuzzy, huggy feelings of legal compliance,” from Editorial Director Brian Lam, law enforcement officials may have some questions they want answered, too.

Comments

dlstarr7

Gizmodo has posted a story on how they received the phone, but there are a few BIG gaps in that story..

Jeff Gamet

Gizmodo has posted a story on how they received the phone, but there are a few BIG gaps in that story..

I have a feeling those big gaps are the parts of the story Apple and the police will be most interested in. Depending on what’s uncovered, this could turn into a rather uncomfortable situation for Gizmodo.

erikv

And I hope Gizmodo and the “anonymous” bar-goer receive their “reward” from the California criminal justice system. The “anonymous” seller peddled what he knew was not his (possession and sale of lost/stolen property) and Gizmodo knowingly “bought” said lost/stolen property.

Good luck in court. wink

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Giz is holding something back. That was the point of that bizarre post about the engineer who lost the phone. It’s a giant blunder for Apple though. With the incessant advertising showing soccer moms and metro dads how they can find all the things for the shelter puppy they want to adopt with their iPhone, it can’t help to let out that their new iPhone is going to be obsolete in two months.

geoduck

Legally I think Apple is in the right.

But:

From a customer relations/corporate image point of view Apple would have been better off contacting Gizmodo through a less formal channel and quietly paying them what they paid the seller. From Gizmodo’s point of view they do not want to piss off Apple either and loose whatever contacts and event invites may be coming up. I suspect they would have cooperated. This is the kind of thing that is better handled in a friendly manner rather than with the legal hammer. Perhaps with the letter as backup if Gizmodo needed the legal cover. An ‘Aw shucks, we goofed’ approach by Apple would not make them look like the heavy.

Apple could have handled this better.

John C. Welch

Apple DID attempt to contact them quietly. Jobs called giz and asked for it back. Giz wanted a more ‘formal’, read “publishable” request.

geoduck

Interesting. Then this could come back to bite Gizmodo in the long run. If they are the ones being jerks about it then they may find sources drying up down the road.

daemon

Jobs himself called? Wow, that’s kinda amazing! I would have assumed it would have all been handled solely by Apple legal.

sources drying up down the road.

They’re not worried about that. Apple never gave them the time of day before this iPhone expose.

OS11

The whole saga is fake, dreamed up to get hits. The phone has never been shown running, the design is clearly not from Apple and I really doubt Apple would send a letter to request it back.

It’s a big hoax, nothing more.

Nookster

The finder apparently tried to return the phone via CS, but wasn’t taken seriously, would like to have heard those phone calls. They should have a “feral prototype” script in place for the reps to read through by now.

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