So, as many of you well know… Apple’s 4th generation iPhone has made it’s debut a little early. Personally, I’m a skeptic by nature (more on that later) but here is what we know.
Apple employee Gray Powell (Apple Software Engineer working on the iPhone Baseband Software) seems to be the fellow who was once the owner of the lost 4th generation iPhone. On Thursday, March 18th, he was apparently celebrating his 27th birthday at Gourmet Haus Staudt, a nice German beer garden in Redwood City, California (which happens to be just 20 miles from Apple’s Loop headquarters) where he “supposedly” had a few too many of those German ales. In fact, his last facebook update from the 4G iPhone was…
“I underestimated how good German beer is.”
Upon leaving Gourmet Haus Staudt, it seems that Powell left the top-secret device on his bar stool. According to Gizmodo this is how the scene played out.
The person who eventually ended up with the lost iPhone was sitting next to Powell. He was drinking with a friend too. He noticed Powell on the stool next to him but didn’t think twice about him at the time. Not until Powell had already left the bar, and a random really drunk guy—who’d been sitting on the other side of Powell—returned from the bathroom to his own stool.
The Random Really Drunk Guy pointed at the iPhone sitting on the stool, the precious prototype left by the young Apple engineer.
“Hey man, is that your iPhone?” asked Random Really Drunk Guy.
“Hmmm, what?” replied the person who ended up with the iPhone. “No, no, it isn’t mine.”
“Ooooh, I guess it’s your friend’s then,” referring to a friend who at the time was in the bathroom. “Here, take it,” said the Random Really Drunk Guy, handing it to him. “You don’t want to lose it.” After that, the Random Really Drunk Guy also left the bar.
The person who ended up with the iPhone asked around, but nobody claimed it. He thought about that young guy sitting next to him, so he and his friend stayed there for some time, waiting. Powell never came back.
The next day the anonymous finder of the 4G iPhone finds that the device has been remotely wiped (I’m assuming via MobileMe). After further review he discovers that the 3GS disguised iPhone is actually something much different. He tried to contact Apple to no avail… later Gizmodo purchases the device from him for $5,000. Read the full story on Gizmodo.
After Gizmodo’s very thorough report of the device… there is almost no doubt that it is indeed the real deal… the forth generation iPhone. Apple seems to confirm this with the fact that they would like their 4th generation iPhone back:
Now, being a skeptic by nature, I have to ask myself… is this the case of a little too much German beer or is it the case of a smooth leak. Honestly, Apple is usually pretty tight-lipped (ok, extremely overbearingly protective) of it’s unreleased products so I’m left wondering which case I believe.
Either way, I’m slightly disappointed about the 4th gen iPhone making it’s early debut. I love the Apple event day hype… I love gearing up to hear about improvements, new features and new products. Yes, we can still look forward to a few things like; exact screen resolution, exact camera quality, feature demonstrations (forward-facing camera, camera flash…), sizes, prices, etc. But, it still makes me a little sad. :(
On a side note: have a redesign!