Wired Identifies the iPhone Thief

  • Posted: 29 April 2010 08:52 PM

    Wired’s Article


    John Gruber’s take:

    Brian X. Chen and Kim Zetter:

    Brian J. Hogan, a 21-year-old resident of Redwood City, California, says although he was paid by tech site Gizmodo, he believed the payment was for allowing the site exclusive access to review the phone. Gizmodo emphasized to him ?that there was nothing wrong in sharing the phone with the tech press,? according to his attorney Jeffrey Bornstein.

    So begins Hogan?s efforts to put it all on Gizmodo.

    A friend of Hogan?s then offered to call Apple Care on Hogan?s behalf, according to Hogan?s lawyer. That apparently was the extent of Hogan?s efforts to return the phone.

    Read that closely. First, Hogan never called anyone, including Apple, to attempt to return the phone. Second, his friend, according this paragraph, ?offered to call Apple Care?. Did this friend actually even call Apple Care? It?s not clear from Wired?s article that Hogan did anything at all to return the phone.

    His attorney says he recently transferred schools and will resume his college education in the fall. He has been working part time at a church-run community center giving swimming lessons to children and volunteered at a Chinese orphanage last year while he was enrolled in a study-abroad program.

    ?He also volunteers to assist his aunt and sister with fundraising for their work to provide medical care to orphans in Kenya,? his attorney says. ?Brian is the kind of young man that any parent would be proud to have as their son.?

    You know it?s bad when your attorney is asking for leniency before you?ve even been charged.

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    Posted: 29 April 2010 09:49 PM #1

    Not that this guy has my sympathy, but maybe you should change the title to reflect “alleged thief” at the least? 

    Bad as it might look, and whether the ideal is routinely met or not, here in the States we’re still supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty.”

    I do think this guy is in over his head, though.  Way, way over.

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    Posted: 29 April 2010 10:52 PM #2

    Mav - 30 April 2010 12:49 AM

    Not that this guy has my sympathy, but maybe you should change the title to reflect “alleged thief” at the least? 

    Bad as it might look, and whether the ideal is routinely met or not, here in the States we’re still supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty.”

    I do think this guy is in over his head, though.  Way, way over.


    Mav, I think the fact he has answered what he has shows guilt. The lawyer is not helping. Sounds to me that Gizmodo is guilty of receiving stolen property. This choir boy in my opinion is a plant. He is not clean to me because he made no effort to return it. This is becoming a public problem for Apple. This needs to go away.

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  • Posted: 29 April 2010 11:20 PM #3

    mbeauch - 30 April 2010 01:52 AM

    This choir boy in my opinion is a plant. He is not clean to me because he made no effort to return it.

    This is becoming a public problem for Apple. This needs to go away.

    What indication is there that he is a “plant.”  And how is it a public problem for Apple, unless you’re referring to Jon Stewart’s lambasting of Apple on his show.  I think most people understand Apple had a vested interest in protecting its intellectual property.  And Gizmodo now looks, more than ever, as a conspirator to poach Apple’s IP. 

    I agree the police were overzealous w/Jason Cheng’s front door, but Apple isn’t directing the police on their methods to secure evidence of wrongdoing.  I know some would like to think so, just as some people believe in the tooth fairy.

         
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    Posted: 30 April 2010 12:20 AM #4

    Mercel - 30 April 2010 02:20 AM
    mbeauch - 30 April 2010 01:52 AM

    This choir boy in my opinion is a plant. He is not clean to me because he made no effort to return it.

    This is becoming a public problem for Apple. This needs to go away.

    What indication is there that he is a “plant.”  And how is it a public problem for Apple, unless you’re referring to Jon Stewart’s lambasting of Apple on his show.  I think most people understand Apple had a vested interest in protecting its intellectual property.  And Gizmodo now looks, more than ever, as a conspirator to poach Apple’s IP. 

    I agree the police were overzealous w/Jason Cheng’s front door, but Apple isn’t directing the police on their methods to secure evidence of wrongdoing.  I know some would like to think so, just as some people believe in the tooth fairy.


    You mean there is no tooth fairy?

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    Posted: 30 April 2010 12:39 AM #5

    Given the criminal aspect of this story, I think Apple has lost millions in revenue, increased expenses on future iPhones, and gave its competitors a two month heads up.

    Contracts have been affected and ATT is not happy at all.

    Selling property that does not belong to you is a big No No and I think this guy will be prosecuted.

         
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    Posted: 30 April 2010 01:04 AM #6

    Selling a phone that isn’t yours, and buying a phone that’s clearly someone else’s, for $5000 may turn out to be the single biggest mistake the seller and Gizmodo made.

    As for damage to Apple, ultimately I don’t think it’ll be that great from a competitive standpoint.  Competitors may have already guessed that the next iPhone would have the front-facing camera or LED flash.  Technically speaking, little about the next iPhone specs-wise is ground-breaking, since front facing cameras and LED flash are already on several smartphone models.  Competitors know about two new features and the bigger battery.  And that the screen appears to be higher-res than before.  That won’t give them what they need to beat the iPhone.

    [ Edited: 30 April 2010 01:10 AM by Mav ]

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  • Posted: 30 April 2010 02:57 AM #7

    I’m sticking to my figure of hundreds of millions for the damage done to Apple. The front camera, the form factor, and the microSIM are hugely important competitive data which will alter the plans of every other smartphone maker and every non-iPhone carrier.  Obviously it’s not important for sophisticated buyers who know what they’re buying. But the majority of buyers are naive and easily swayed by a carrier sales rep. iPhone isn’t available on many carriers, and now, from day 1, these people can be sold aphone that looks like iPhone, has the same feature checklist, and saves hundreds of dollars over iPhone.

    There is no doubt in my mind that this is a big deal for Apple.

         
  • Posted: 30 April 2010 10:20 AM #8

    This issue is a no-brainer. 

    If you find something that is not yours you return it ... he should have turned it in at the bar.  Simple .. Period.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass what this PRICK has done for orphans ... throw the freaking book at him and the jerks at gizmodo.

    I’m sick of people stealing from Apple ....

         
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    Posted: 30 April 2010 12:51 PM #9

    I see an astonishing lack of common sense on behalf of both the “alleged thief” and Gizmodo. Ignore ethics or the law: both fail the common sense test and both new this could raise a hornets nest of trouble. Hogan, for a few quick bucks will get himself in a whole lot of notoriety that won’t be brushed over by volunteering or good works, Gizmodo could be sued out of business for just a few millions clicks.

    If you are going to steal (or get in trouble), do it for something worthwhile. If I had the iPhone prototype in hand, and tried to sell it, given the risks, I would have demanded for a life-changing sum of money. Something like 5000 shares of AAPL smile

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    Posted: 30 April 2010 12:54 PM #10

    If the guy had returned it and made it clear he took no photos, and will keep quiet about it until after the launch, he would probably have been rewarded handsomely by Apple, possibly for more than the $5k he got for the phone.

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    Posted: 30 April 2010 12:56 PM #11

    awcabot - 30 April 2010 03:51 PM

    I see an astonishing lack of common sense on behalf of both the “alleged thief” and Gizmodo. Ignore ethics or the law: both fail the common sense test and both new this could raise a hornets nest of trouble. Hogan, for a few quick bucks will get himself in a whole lot of notoriety that won’t be brushed over by volunteering or good works, Gizmodo could be sued out of business for just a few millions clicks.

    If you are going to steal (or get in trouble), do it for something worthwhile. If I had the iPhone prototype in hand, and tried to sell it, given the risks, I would have demanded for a life-changing sum of money. Something like 5000 shares of AAPL smile

    I agree, you should get at least enough to pay for the lawyers you’ll need.

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    Posted: 30 April 2010 01:09 PM #12

    wheeles - 30 April 2010 03:54 PM

    If the guy had returned it and made it clear he took no photos, and will keep quiet about it until after the launch, he would probably have been rewarded handsomely by Apple, possibly for more than the $5k he got for the phone.

    I would have demanded an invite over to the Jobs’ for a Vegan dinner, and AFTER the dessert, gracefully handed it back to Steve, with a wink and a smile.

    THAT would be priceless, and I believe, that AAPL would have VOLUNTEERED a “good Samaritan reward” { pun WAS intended on this guy } that would have far exceeded the paltry $5K he extorted out when he bowed to greed and short term gain.

    Now GWAKER on the other hand…..

    ... needs to have the FULL assessment of damages laid as a charge to them, they KNOWINGLY and with unmitigated glee, PURCHASED illegally obtained intellectual IP, with the EXPRESS PURPOSE of exploiting that, by converting Apple IP into sales volume, and increased notoriety for their online site. They were blatant in their disregard of the rights of Apple and the rights of EVERY firm to protect their trade secrets from theft, exploitation, bribery of employees and casual information disclosures.

    As AAPL shareholders, WE were harmed, just think how much money that AAPL does NOT have to spend on every new product launch, when the FREE BUZZ is invaluable and unprecedented from any other firms techie toys being released?

    I say, slap the parties hard in CA for their mistakes, and let them, and the world know that this cannot be overlooked, but nail GAWKER as hard as you can legally so that in the future, other firms will know there is fair news and scoop gathering, and illegal source divulgements that WILL BE costly if pursued.

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    Posted: 30 April 2010 01:53 PM #13

    TanToday - 30 April 2010 04:09 PM

    I would have demanded an invite over to the Jobs’ for a Vegan dinner, and AFTER the dessert, gracefully handed it back to Steve, with a wink and a smile.

    I would have demanded nothing in return, especially from Jobs.

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