Dude, Where’s My iPhone?

Mac OS KenSan Francisco’s Police Department has found itself in the middle of a controversy surrounding a lost iPhone prototype, some rumors claiming Sprint is getting the iPhone 5 are pretty thin, and Apple may already have another Cupertino campus in the works. Mac OS Ken’s Ken Ray is on top of this weeks’ Apple news with his usual insight. Because that’s what he does.

The Streets of San Francisco… and iPhones
So, San Francisco Police say — last week — that they knew nothing about an investigation into an iPhone 5 prototype lost by an employee in a bar in San Francisco. Not unlike the iPhone 4 prototype lost by an employee in a bar in Redwood City a little over a year earlier.

Here’s the thing though: Apple employees and SFPD showed up at a guy’s house that they thought held the iPhone 5 prototype, asking permission to search the joint for the thing. But SFPD said they knew nothing about it, leading to accusations early on Friday that Apple security had impersonated police — which is a ballsy thing to do, even for a company as big as Apple.

It’s also not what they did. By late in the day Friday, the SFPD issued a statement confirming that plainclothes officers went with Apple employees to the house, though they didn’t actually go inside the residence.

SF Weekly has an SFPD spokesman saying,

Apple came to us saying that they were looking for a lost item, and some plainclothes officers responded out to the house with them. My understanding is that they stood outside.They just assisted Apple to the address.

The man who’s house was searched says he thought the whole crew were cops, and that none of them identified themselves as working for Apple. “When they came to my house, they said they were SFPD,” says the man. “I thought they were SFPD. That’s why I let them in.”

SFPD says — as far as they know — Apple security did NOT misrepresent itself. Then again, as far as SFPD said they knew before last Friday, the whole thing never happened.

Can anyone shed light on that point, by the way? The one where SFPD said “this thing never happened,” then turned around 24 to 48 hours later and said, “hey wait a sec, yes it — kind of — did?”

It may be a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, and neither having any idea what’s going on in the Mission. The Mission, by the way, is the neighborhood in which the bar is where whatever it was that was lost was lost.

And police last Friday issued a statement separate from the interview in the SF Weekly.

Quoting that statement:

After speaking with Apple representatives, we were given information which helped us determine what occurred. It was discovered that Apple employees called Mission Police station directly, wanting assistance in tracking down a lost item. Apple had tracked the lost item to a house located in the 500 block of Anderson Street. Because the address was in the Ingleside Police district Apple employees were referred to Officers in the Ingleside district. Four SFPD Officers accompanied Apple employees to the Anderson street home. The two Apple employees met with the resident and then went into the house to look for the lost item. The Apple employees did not find the lost item and left the house.

And here’s the sticky bit: The Apple employees did not want to make an official report of the lost item.

So, do we all get to do that? Use cops as heavies and leave no paper trail?

Much more confusing, no less fishy.

And finally, police in San Francisco have a question: Just what the heck part did police in San Francisco play in the search for Apple’s latest lost iPhone?

CNET has Lt. Troy Dangerfield of the SFPD saying that an internal investigation is underway with the aim of figuring out or finding out how officers helped two Apple security employees search a Bernal Heights home for the most recent “lost in a bar” iPhone prototype.

Likely of particular interest: how police got the guy from Bernal heights to let Apple employees, but not police themselves, search his home for the lost phone…

Quoting CNET, “A source close to the investigation said police asked to search the house and told (the man) that if he refused they would get a search warrant and come back to ‘tear the house apart.’

“(The man) then submitted to the search, the source said.”

So, yeah. They might want to look into that part.

Meanwhile, other reports have the Bernal Heights man saying he though all six people — including the two that searched his home — were police and not employees of Apple. So, yeah… they might want to look into that part, too.

Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Grasping at Straws
This is My Next thinks they’ve found some wording that they find interesting in Sprint’s lawsuit against the AT&T-Mobile merger.

Oh yeah… Sprint is suing to stop the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile — a story I’d planned to skip, except for the wording that piqued the interest of This is My Next.

In a section arguing that Big Red and the Death Star are able to use their sizes to gain competitive advantages against smaller carriers like — say, Sprint — Sprint says Apple “gave Verizon a time-to-market advantage for the iPhone,” and that “Sprint has had to compete without access to the iPhone for nearly five years.”

Does that confirm an iPhone for Sprint coming soon? Say, maybe sometime next month? It does not, though with the Sprint iPhone rumors flying fast and free, and with the interesting wording in the suit This is My Next says, “we wouldn’t be surprised if Sprint was leaving itself a way to make this argument even as it competes head-to-head against AT&T and Verizon with an iPhone of its very own in the near future.”

I’ve been struggling, by the way, to find a nickname for Sprint. I think I’m gonna go with “Old Yeller.” Either that, or “The Stryper of Cell Co’s.”

Old Yeller’s easier.

Apple Expanding, Again
How well are things going for Apple? So well that the company is apparently considering building a new campus. I mean after the spaceship scheduled for completion in 2015. So I guess, really, a NEW new campus.

Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong told the San Jose Mercury News that Apple execs have told him that the all-things-iMaker is growing at such a rate, they expect to start work on a third campus after Spaceship Apple Campus 2 gets the finishing touches in about four years.

Cool Technology, Sad Events
This is both sad, and kind of awesome.

But it’s really sad.

Gizmodo says, “A military airplane with 21 people aboard was lost over Chile’s sea this weekend. It disappeared from radar and the authorities didn’t know where it crashed.”

Everyone on the plane died, which is very, very sad. The surprisingly awesome part: authorities were able to find the wreckage using Apple’s Find My iPhone.

A relative of one of the victims knew that he or she had an active iPhone at the time of the crash. The relative tried the Find My iPhone feature, and the phone showed up on the map in the computer.

Kind of awesome… mostly sad.