back to article Prototype iPhone 5 lost in bar, right on schedule

Apple has to wonder if it's really hiring the cream of the crop when another of its employees manages to leave a another prototype iPhone in a bar. Yes, in a story we've all heard before, some hipster from Apple went out on the town with the prototype, presumably under the guise of some sort of testing, and then accidentally …


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  1. Tom_

    One wonders why Apple ever has to spend any money on marketing

    ...when sites like The Register constantly report the minutest details and weakest rumours. :)

    1. Elmer Phud

      earlier post?

      Did you post this on the Guardian's site earlier? -- if not then it's a standard iHaterz pase in - must be an app for that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        No, we don't hate them, we just feel sorry for the iSheep, poor little lambs would all be lost if they actually had to think for themselves.

      2. dssf

        I heard or read about it right here, YESTERday, IIRC.

        I casually passed the thread, but I could SWEAR someone made a comment in an elReg thread, Wednesday. I kept reading past it, but thought it was a flippant barb/spare about LAST year's lost/resold iPhone.

        Seems the one recently sold went for only ***US$200***. Seems the seller didn't know what he was sitting on, other than "Look, i fund an iPhone 4 and I'm selling it..."

        Isn't there a law by now that forbids buying and selling of "lost" mobiles, PDAs, and ID-containing devices? There SHOULD be. Phones and tablets and PDAs contain or could contain personally-identifiable, proprietary, and other information. Is it legal to sell a lost social security benefits card? Is it legal or proper to sell a motorist ID/permit card? Is it legal to sell a passport? Sales, re-sale, buys, and possession of an illegitimately transferred ID-carrying device should be illegal, and to prove it is proper should require involvement of and consent by the original or proper owner, and should have an audit trail if the new possessor has or controls it and there is on it data totally unrelated to the current possessor. If it is wiped, then only a present and untampered serial or region code may help prove when/where it was legitimately obtained, but then, maybe that would be the "get out of jail free" loophole for a current possessor.

    2. Hoagiebot

      Re: One wonders why Apple ever has to spend any money on marketing

      At least in the U.S. The Register is not the only news source reporting on this story-- believe me. Before the article even appeared on The Register website I had already heard about this story on a major 50,000-watt Chicago-market broadcast radio station, and I am sure that I am going to be inundated with this story at least a dozen more times today through every televised newscast and radio talk-show that I listen to. Let's face it, whether you like the iPhone or not (and I personally don't), they are absolutely red hot right now, which means that any rumor about the mysterious new version of the phone is going to spread like wildfire throughout the commercial media. It's just a given. At least The Register's take on these stories tends to be more interesting to read than most.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Well done, "The Register"...!!!

    4. BreakingWind


      Not to mention all this ubiquitous Mac Product-Placement movie action and on TV too...!!!

      Yum, Yum - I love them Apples...!!!

    5. Simon Neill

      Makes me think.

      Maybe it wasn't an accident.

      Think about it, pre-release prototype. If anyone says "This is shit" it can be passed off as a glitch in the prototype and fixed pre release. Not to mention its a LOT of publicity for the loss of one unit.

    6. double0scotty
      Thumb Up

      I didn't have to click through to the comments....

      ... to know that the first post was going to be about the marketing!!!

  2. Heironymous Coward

    Deja vu..

    You'd think they could at least try to lose one somewhere else than in a bar - in a park, at a movie, at a gym, in a brothel - don't these guys do anything other than drink??

    1. JarekG

      RE: don't these guys do anything other than drink??

      ...didn't know that the iChurch of St. Jobs allowed to drink alcohol beverages. Maybe I should join this cult.

    2. Piro Silver badge

      Not really

      You work in IT, you drink a lot. Seems on par to me.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      I take it you don't work in IT, do you?

      Nearly everyone seems to be a dipso or a parent.

      Personally if I was given some top secret tech from work I probably wouldn't take it out with me on the lash. Then again I've never lost a phone whilst drunk.

      1. Piro Silver badge

        ... and with that ...

        I'm going for a pint.

        I'm pretty sure I never lost anything (with the possible exception of dignity) when out drinking, either.

        Oh, I tell a lie, although I didn't lose my phone, I did lose this tiny stylus from the side of my old Sony Ericsson P990 once.

  3. SinObyte
    Thumb Down

    Apple marketing bar hopping again

    Seems to me that past and present, those that Apple entrusts with prototype iPhones seem to go to bars a lot. Maybe the walled garden policy of secrecy needs to include a prohibition on bar hopping. Why is Apple pulling this lame PR stunt AGAIN? Just get the Jesus phone to market so the iPhone junkies can push the syringe and start tripping.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... but where's the smoking gun?

    What kind of story is this? It's all reportedly, no proof at all.

    No one seems to have a copy of the supposed Craigslist post, the police says no inquires were made and now even the restaurant also doesn't know much about it. Anything about the phone itself or it's features? Nowhere to be be seen.

    When stories are just built on someone saying something, it's no wonder you say Apple doesn't need to spend much on marketing.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge


      After the last article I don't think many people would want to risk writing a story about it. Getting arrested, having their computer gear taken away.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not really

        Surely some less scrupulous blog - maybe one in China - would pick it up for the insane traffic it would drive.

        To claim it was sold for only $200 is ridiculous.

        1. dssf


          In that incident, she LOST $300. In this one -if true- he GAINED $200. Whether or not he thought it was a "lost iPhone 4" and thought it was moral, ethical, legal, fair, right, or okay to just resell it (if it was not a prototype and if it possessed personal data) is another matter.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Different employee

    I'm guessing it must be a different employee since those connected with iPhone development tend to disappear when they screw up.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    "right on schedule"

    are you suggesting it may have been 'lost' on purpose! gasp!

  7. Antony Shepherd

    Accidentally on purpose?

    Yeah, they 'just happened' to leave it in a bar. Because leaking details of the new phone isn't going to be great publicity, right? It worked the last time, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Apple are a bunch of lieing barstewards

  8. Marco Mieshio

    Another blunder, or is it?

    I think this is staged. I do not believe in Coincidence and to produce the kit that Apple have over the years and then have the incompetance to leave its next big cash cow in a bar smells extremely fishy to me. It is all part of the hype and Apple know exactly what they are doing. Put it this way, if the no brain who spends to much time in bars worked for me, he would be out on his arse tomorrow.

    1. pdogguk


      I do agree with you about this looking like its staged, but can I ask why you don't believe in coincidence? It's a very real thing.

      Just the other day I bumped into an old college friend of mine some 200 miles from where we last met. Coincidence or has he stalked me?!

      Also, with the best will in the world, companies do employ people who are technically very good on paper and excel at interviews but like a drink.

      Hands up anybody over the age of 30 who hasn't lost a phone? And hands again in a bar?

      I think my count is at 3. Granted, these phones weren't given to me by my employer telling me to keep an eye them more than I would do my newborn son, but tequila does something to the mind.

      To be honest, I agree with other posters here- this is all hearsay and conjecture. It's not news at all and by the looks of it likely never happened at all.

      What Apple may have done this time is pull the same trick but....... Just plant a story. No hardware leaked, free PR! It's the best of both worlds.

      1. James Micallef Silver badge

        Hands down for me

        on both questions. I had one stolen (from my office, GRRRRR!!!). Otherwise 6 phones over 11 years that between them have witnessed innumerable nights out on the lash, treks in the wilderness, bachelor's parties etc etc without loss.

        I mean, seriously, just stick it in your pocket, don't attempt any drunken handstands and pop it back into your pocket when you fall off the barstool. Losing 1 can always happen, losing 3 is careless, and losing 1 out of probably a very select few prototypes is incredibly careless. Losing 1 out of probably a very select few prototypes when your predecessor lost HIS prototype only last year goes beyond careless. Sure, shit happens, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was lost accidentally on purpose. Or even if it was not lost at all and someone at Apple just made up a story, after all there's zero evidence any of this actually happened.

      2. MBaldelli
        Thumb Down

        Then again, Maybe it is staged

        A couple of the sources (CNET and Engadget) I follow have reported that the source of the stories can't be confirmed as it having happened at all. If anything this seems like media hype more than anything else.

        Sure there's coincidence; but when it comes to the manner that Apple gets outrageous amounts of product placement, and anything that seems to happen from the Apple HQ hit the news faster than you can say, "Monica Lewinski" I find myself skeptical of coincidence occurring.

    2. graeme leggett Silver badge

      as Oscar put it

      "To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness."

      Now for the "missing" phone to turn up at a train station, or a bus station, or even a radio station.

      1. dogged


        in a handbag.

        "A haaaaaaaandbaaaag?"

        1. graeme leggett Silver badge

          I was hoping for

          "the station is immaterial" but "a haaaaandbag" is still a great line.

      2. RightPaddock

        Or ....

        lose it in a police station while you're being charged with being D & D, then the coppers can flog it to media - another toy for Jamie or Lachie Murdock to play with

  9. Tegne

    Damn. You robbed me of a cynical comment opportunity.

    Seems all other news sites reporting this have fallen for it. I was waiting to post a cynical comment when it appeared on the Reg but it appears that the Author has done the job for me.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Someone ring Gray Powell.

    Oh, I can't, he's lost his iPhone.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Snake Doctor

    Deja vu 2

    Although the cynical amongst us may think that its right on cue ....lose phone...ramp up hype about new phone...deny new phone.....release new phone.......YAWN......

    Its just another marketing ploy to get the fanbois whipped up into a frenzy.

    Just getting my coat... thats right the one with the Android handset in the pocket except wait i just lost it...............

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re Snake doctor

      "Its just another marketing ploy to get the fanbois whipped up into a frenzy."

      More like some ploy to get the 'I hate everything Apple fanbois' whipped up into a frenzy.

      Lastime, there was a review posted by Gizmondo. This time nothing. No proof just a load of re-tweets, re-posts and a load of rehashing of the old material.

      Until there is actual proof that this happened this is pure FUD.

      Coat- Off to find a bar where Apple employees hangout. Darn, they are all too young to drink aren't they?

  13. M7S

    "Find my iPhone app" not working then?

    If they really cared about it, you'd have thought they'd have installed this. Something seems not quite right as the author suggests.

    Icon for the "alleged" staff member if the story is true. His past and his future.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iSpot the publicity stunt

    This will drive the fanboys crazy.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge



  15. Gav

    Roller blading behind a Ferrari in a descent of the Andes, at night

    A bar? Is that the best they can do?

    Apple's PR need to buck up their ideas. This should have been lost somewhere far more exciting and sexy. Somewhere that tells the world that Apple developers are fun, exciting guys, doing fun, exciting things. Producing phones for fun, exciting people.

    Not sad alcoholics who stubble out a bar drunk at 2am, forgetting their iPhone like it wasn't central to their existence.

    1. Solomon Grundy
      Thumb Down


      Just because you stumble out of a bar every now and again does not qualify someone as an alcoholic ya know...

      1. James Hughes 1


        They could be Karaoke fans, requiring that little bit of dutch courage.

        Moi? Non.

  16. HP Cynic


    I love that the iPhone 4 was sold for $5000 while the 5 went for a mere $200 (though presumably that's a typo of $2000).

    Even the people who absolutely must buy this crap first (or rival tech firms!) are tiring of this ploy....

  17. g e

    Grief as a marketing plan

    So, did crapple sue Gizmodo et al last year as part of their marketing plan or did the genuine loss of a phone last year create the idea for a dull marketing yawn this year?

    Only one thing remains to be decided.. who is more cynical? Crapple for building in suing and fucking up people into part of their marketing plan to make it look like not-a-marketing-plan or me for thinking they are that cynical (I wouldn't put anything past them)...?

    I guess he votes will go fanbois thumbs down, not fanbois thumbs up... as usual. (fandroids? lol)

  18. GotThumbs

    Great Marketing Ploy....But re-runs are getting old.

    Apple needs to come up with some new ideas about creating BUZZ on its upcoming phones. This method is boring. Personally, I couldn't care less about the upcoming iphone. Most likely Apple will be adding features that will be on the Next incarnation of the ITouch anyway. After 4 versions....not any significant improvement from one to the next. I guess I'm not as easily impressed at seeing Apples technology springing up in multiple products running the same IOS. Come on Apple. Time for something REALLY new.

    Apple is too proprietary for my taste so I will NEVER buy an Apple product.

  19. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Cue the obligatory Microsoft joke

    "A Microsoft employee left a Kin phone in a's still there".

    1. Piro Silver badge

      Oh, I don't know..

      Museum piece now. I assume it is useless now, since Kin Studio is gone.

  20. rpjs

    I do hope that...

    ...if anyone gets their collar felt for this, that they claim entrapment.

  21. TRT Silver badge

    I mean, seriously...

    When are Apple going to tighten up their act on lost and stolen device location technology? Yesterday we were getting reports of some teacher who got snapped in compromising conditions by a laptop, it's not beyond the whit of man to build this in right low level.

  22. cexcells

    But the question is....

    will it blend?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waaaiiiiiitttttt a minute... why wasn't there a plethora of sub-system location tracking services activated on it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      According to the graun.

      It was, but when the police turned up at where the phone said it was, the person there knew nothing about it. After a voluntary search of his house they found nothing.

  24. Britt Johnston

    description please

    The section on the police form entitled <detailled description of lost or stolen goods> is required.

    I'm sure it contains more info than "one icon may be different"

  25. Miguel 1
    Thumb Up

    50,000-watt radio station?

    Do they publish radio stations' transmitting power in the US?

    That's really cool, much more than the silly iPhone.

    1. MeRp

      radio station transmission power

      The power of the transmitters of licensed radio stations is public record. Part of what they have to do to get their license.

    2. Hoagiebot

      Re: 50,000-watt radio station?

      To quickly answer your question, yes, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does list the transmitter power of every commercial broadcast radio station licensed in the U.S. In fact, you can even use a search form on the FCC's website,, to find the technical information for U.S radio stations online.

  26. dssf

    Maybe Apple Marketing types like Dangerous Missions because of the no

    notoriety of gangs in The Mission? (People in that area of SF are shot, stabbed, run over, bludgeoned, and in other ways robbed or dispatched, randomly and periodically).

    Imagine if one one of the two major gangs there decided to bite this bait of the iPhone 5. If the address of the purported last known position were real, and it got released, the sheer buzz around that phone could cost someone's life. If Apple wants to play and ply lost prototype ploys, it should lose them on the train or in an office plex, nto in a neighborhood where someone or many in the purported address area may be shaken down violently for fictional details.

    And, if true, and Apple employee brandishing such a very stealable phone is ASKING to be physically harmed if an upscale thief who knows product decides to tip of anyone who wants it badly enough to not give a hoot about scruples or decency.

    But, given that ABC says it hears the phone will have a rounded back and larger screen:

    then is it fair game for Samsung or HTC to go after Apple? I wonder whether this new iPhone will sport a camera lense larger than the current near-pinhole lense...

  27. Sarah Davis

    send in the clones

    isn't the iPhone5 identical to the Galaxy2? which is why Apple is so desperate to make people forget about Samsung and then claim they invented first

  28. The Mighty Book Man


    Make it be the same guy as last time. Oh pleeeeeeeeeze!

    Screw it. Let's just say it is.

  29. Lallabalalla
    Thumb Down

    right on schedule

    Yeaah, this left -in-pub schtick will never do for *another* year. Enough already. Not fooled.

  30. Neil McDowell

    List of things I won't be buying

    Item no. 5,098,765 - iphone 5

  31. Tidosho
    Paris Hilton


    When they're not suing iPad/iPhone component makers Samsung, or whoever they feel like at the time, they're leaving iPhone prototypes in bars "accidentally" on "purpose" so that guys from Gizmodo and others can get their hands on it and start freaking out over the next piece of Apple locked in junk.

    They'll then sue whoever finds the bait, and it'll be classed as theft. How predictable. It can't be a coincidence that the same thing happened with the iPhone 4?

    Apple need to get out more, or start tracking prototype stuff!

    Paris, because even she knows a marketing scam when she sees one!

  32. Delbert

    lost? really?

    Now we know about Apple's no longer secret tracking of their devices how is it possible to 'lose' one did it accidentally fall into a lead lined box, did Mr Faraday leave the door to his cage open and it just bounced in? More likely is this just an example of iFree iViral advertising designed to get iDiots salivating about the iMpending reduction of their bank account.

  33. RightPaddock

    Apple Security Guy ID'd ?

    Snitch report here and a follow up here


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