This is one of my favorite conspiracy theories. Back in March, Apple reported that an employee of theirs was drinking in the bar and lost the most recent prototype of what would be the iPhone 4. Talk about a buzz kill. Or was it?

I maintained that Apple purposely dropped the device to generate months of buzz leading up to the phone being released. That’s exactly what ended up happening. Now CNET reports that the police connected to the case have interviewed numerous Apple employees, including Steve Jobs

Since the forced exchange of goods went down, Gawker Media (Gizmodo’s Boss) has cooperated fully with authorities as they tried to sort out what was undoubtedly their most annoying case. That being said, Gizmodo contends that they did nothing wrong. The law might disagree.

The following is a California legal dissertation from CNET’s site:

Under a California law dating back to 1872, any person who finds lost property and knows who the owner is likely to be–but “appropriates such property to his own use”–is guilty of theft. In addition, a second state law says any person who knowingly receives property that has been obtained illegally can be imprisoned for up to one year.

What do you think guys? Will anything come of this silly little spat between a well to do geek and a filthy rich geek? Maybe Apple actually did plant the phone in that bar to create the buzz they ended up receiving. Give us your theories in the comments below.

  • Torombolo

    Apple + Gizmodo publicity. Apple & Gizmodo, partners in crime.

  • Whammy!

    @Ethan, you might want to reread this sentence: “I maintained that Apple purposely dropped the device to generate months of buzz leading up to the phone being released. That’s exactly what ended up happening.” It sounds like you’re factually saying that Apple “lost” the phone on purpose.

    • Eric

      I agree. This kid writes rumours and his opinions as facts. He will get sued one day.

    • Whammy!

      I don’t really care if they’re rumors or opinions or whatever. I just wasn’t sure if he (Ethan) meant to say that. I happen to think Apple + Gizmodo are cohorts as well, actually. When I first read it, I thought I had missed some previous news about it being true…that is all.

  • Huh, how bout that, eh? That law does make sense though. I would think that Apple wouldn’t willingly leave an iPhone about knowing that law (as they know that law, every other law in the universe, the meaning of life, and why my hermit crab sleeps so much) and risking getting someone (like Gizmodo’s boss!) in big trouble like that. How can you run a magazine in prison?! I can’t play WoW in prison!

  • Ethan

    Yes. I do think that Apple’s employee intentionally left the prototype in the bar in the company’s home state of California.

    I also know my opinions on a website are pretty well within any laws I’m aware of. Have a good day πŸ™‚

  • Dan

    NO, KID, YOU’RE GONNA GET SUED, YOU HEAR ME?

    KID.

    πŸ™‚

  • Spaz

    I dont think it was planned, well not by jobs anyway, why would apple do that and get the police involved and get someone in jail?? Thats not a nice thing to do is it, and the guy who lost it lost his job aswell and hasnt said that it was all planned!

  • Burge

    Didn’t the person who found it try to give it back and apple didn’t believe that he had it. So no theft there then. And so when gizmodo paid for it they where not buying a stolen iPhone . Apple just fuck up and are now trying to blame anyone thay can but themselves

  • Kam

    Whatever it was intentional or not.
    Apple shudnt have wiped it out remotely; atleast that wud have avoided antennagate buzz! What say guys πŸ™‚