Tech website Gizmodo’s Jason Chen may have scored the industry’s biggest scoop this month, with the exclusive on Apple’s next generation iPhone 4G, but nothing could have prepared him for the aftermath.
This morning we reported on rumors that the police were investigating Gizmodo’s purchase, for $5,000, of the lost iPhone. Now, Gizmodo has revealed that Chen’s home was broken into by California’s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team last Friday. The cops, part of a task force that investigates crimes related to high-tech businesses, proceeded to seize four computers and two servers from Chen’s home.
The cops were in possession of a warrant from a San Mateo judge, but Gawker Media, the company that owns Gizmodo, claims that the cops’ warrant was invalid. Gawker argues that the search-and-seize action violates California’s journalist shield law.
In his original scoop, Chen dished the details on Apple’s upcoming phone using a prototype that the company bought from the mysterious person who found the device, which had been left behind in a bar by an Apple employee. Gizmodo then coughed up the $5,000 to get its hands on the phone–which has since been returned to Apple after the company’s lawyers formally claimed it and asked for it back.
As everyone in the tech-savvy world knows, Gizmodo scored a major media coup earlier this month when it obtained a prototype of Apple’s next-generation iPhone 4. The fancy piece of hardware had been left behind in a bar by a hapless Apple engineer (his last Facebook post before his fateful memory lapse: “I underestimated how good German beer is”), and Gizmodo paid $5,000 to the person who found the phone.
Apple officially reclaimed its phone last week, but that may not be the end of the story. Now reports have surfaced that Silicon Valley police are investigating the incident, as purchasing the lost property may have violated criminal statutes.
CNET heard it from an a law enforcement official:
Apple has spoken to local police about the incident and the investigation is believed to be headed by a computer crime task force led by the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office, the source said.
A guy walks into a bar, but instead of the customary lame joke or flat beer, this guy actually finds the next, unreleased generation of the iPhone, according to Gizmodo.
The phone, apparently retrieved from a bar in Redwood City, California was camouflaged to look like a regular 3GS phone. Since reports later surfaced that Apple was indeed missing an experimental iPhone 4 from its offices, Gizmodo is now convinced that this is the missing prototype.
Tinkering around with the prototype, Gizmodo found a lot of new and improved features. The happy investigators report that the prototype not only sports a front-facing camera for video chats, but also boasts an improved regular back camera with a flash and larger lens. The display is reported to be better, and the unit pops out a Micro-SIM instead of a standard SIM card. Gizmodo adds that there are split buttons for volume, and notes that the power, mute, and volume buttons are all metallic in color.
Sadly, they didn’t get a chance to suss the operating system out, as Apple remotely disconnected the phone.
So, what else can you expect from the new iPhone? Gizmodo describes: