iPhone Prototype Left In Bar, Again: Reports

Reports claim an Apple employee lost an iPhone 5 prototype in July… and it hasn’t been seen since

An iPhone 5 prototype was left in a San Francisco bar in July and may have been sold online for $200, according to reports.

An Apple employee  field-testing the top-secret device left it in the Cava 22 tequila bar, CNET reported yesterday. It could have been sold on the Gumtree equivalent site Craigslist, for $200 (£123) the report says.

If true, it’s a story that will leave Apple executives with a dizzying sense of déjà vu after an iPhone 4 prototype was also left in a bar last year. That piece of lost property was sold to Gizmodo for $5,000. The two men alleged to have sold it are facing criminal charges for doing so but Gizmodo employees looked set to escape prosecution earlier this month.

Frantic hunt

Citing an unnamed source “familiar with the investigation” into the latest missing phone, CNET reports that a day or two after the phone was lost Apple representatives contacted the police to say the device was priceless and it was desperate to get it back.

The source claims Apple electronically traced it to a residential building in another part of the city where a man in his twenties acknowledged being in the bar the night the phone was lost but denied knowing anything about it. A police search of the premises came up blank.

CNET also reports the source as saying that, before leaving, the Apple employees offered the man money for the phone with no questions asked but were met with further denials.

No comment

Apple declined to comment when contacted by CNET and San Francisco Police Department spokesman told the site that Apple did not file a police report based on the loss at the bar. Craigslist also did not respond to CNET.

Meanwhile, the owner of the Cava22 bar said he was not contacted by police or Apple but claims to remember a man calling several times about a lost iPhone about a month ago.

The iPhone 5 is predicted to arrive sometime this autumn and it seems Apple has so far been successful at keeping it underwraps. Despite plenty of speculation no consistent images have emerged of its design and the same is true of any technical specifications.