Apr 10

Hunting for iPhone prototypes in the wild

My heart goes out to the Apple engineer who chose the wrong moment to have a memory lapse, and screwed up an Apple product launch like no one has ever done before. I’m sure it will be a birthday he remembers.

I do believe the story is exactly what it appears to be. A genuine mistake by a young guy who must be very, very, very sorry at this moment. I don’t buy the evil-Apple theories. (“This is an Apple plot to create more buzz!”) However, I do believe there’s another part to this story that isn’t getting any press.

This guy isn’t working alone. If Apple is testing the 4G iPhone outside of the lab, surely they’re not entrusting the whole operation to one 27-year-old, beer-drinking, Facebook enthusiast.

Trust me, the 4G iPhones are among us. In bars, restaurants, cafés and on the street. Who knows how many there are, but they’re out there — just waiting to be discovered. It’s not likely you’ll find one abandoned on a barstool (it never hurts to check), but if you look hard enough, you may hit pay dirt.

So be vigilant. You may well become the next person to spot a secret iPhone. Fame and fortune awaits. Here are some tips to help you snare the big one:

1. Look for an iPhone interface on a phone that looks way too blocky. That’s a clever disguise from those sneaky Apple engineers.

2. Look for the most nervous-looking phone user in the room. Does he/she seem to glance left, right and behind before using it?

3. Ingratiate yourself by buying the suspect a drink. Then say, “Hey, can I play with your iPhone?” If the person leaves quickly, follow in pursuit. You’ve got a live one.

4. Pretend you’re one of them. Stealthily sit next to the phone user, look subsersive and speak in hushed tones, “How’s your 4G doing? Mine’s working out great.” You may get an incriminating response.

5. Listen to other people’s conversations whenever possible. If you hear something like, “Wow, I’m really digging my new secret 4G iPhone prototype,” notify Gizmodo.com immediately. It’s payday.

Good luck, and happy hunting.

One last tip: if you haven’t yet had your fill of iPhone prototype silliness, Scoopertino has a different spin on it today.

(In case you’ve been in an isolation booth these past few days, here’s the story of the lost iPhone.)

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  • Scott

    Great post. I especially enjoyed #5. It is interesting to think that their are these new phones floating around out there. Doubt I’d see one in my neck of the woods, but NY or San Fran, probably all sorts of them there.

  • Liebman

    Great post. I think it’s hilarious that other tech companies are trying to jump on the PR bandwagon by deliberately “losing” their gadgets at the same bar. How stupid can they be?

    Redwood City bar flooded with lost prototypes as others try to create Apple-like buzz: http://bit.ly/bDshBo

  • no

    How come Apple didn’t use GPS
    to track the phone down before
    disabling it.
    Why would the employee try
    the old method of ask for lost item.
    It doesn’t make sense.

  • Chris

    Please don”t let the new phone look like the protoype. Ugly.

    By the way, the HTC Incredible looks like it could live up to its name. We’ll see if it gives the iPhone a run for its money.