Next-Gen iPhone Returned to Apple as Drama Continues

The saga of the discovery of a next-generation iPhone prototype that was left in a bar -- and that is now back in the hands of Apple -- continues.

After reporting on details of the new iPhone and verifying it was an authentic prototype from Apple, staff from the gadget site Gizmodo today say the mobile device has been returned to Apple.

The site also updated its blog with details of how the next-gen iPhone prototype was accidentally abandoned -- during a birthday celebration for a 27-year-old Apple engineer at a German beer bar -- and recovered by a "Random Really Drunk Guy," who in turn gave it to another patron who sold it to Gizmodo.

But the fallout over the incident is still lighting up the mainstream media as well as the blogosphere. Some are already speculating what Apple will do to retaliate against Gizmodo, as Jason O'Grady did, albeit in a light-hearted manner, at ZDNet.com.

Others are already floating conspiratorial theories about the veracity of Gizmodo's story, as EdibleApple.com did. On yet another site is information that contradicts the Gizmodo post about the 27-year-old software engineer, claiming he is 50-years-old, and that he goes by several aliases.

Still other industry pundits are calling Gizmodo's leaked details about the next-gen iPhone "one of the biggest scoops in tech reporting history," due to the super-secret corporate culture of Apple.

Typically, Apple in June of each year officially unveils its new iPhone models, so it's a big coup to have details of the iPhone 4G device leaked two months in advance. Key enhancements include a forward-facing camera, larger battery, a micro-SIM card and new control buttons, according to Gizmodo.

Gizmodo, for its part, provides a case for why it won't happen again in a blog post outlining the reasons why Apple didn't locate the lost iPhone before it was leaked online.

The leaked details of the next-gen iPhone come at a time when Apple is prepping for the upcoming release of iPhone OS 4, which includes significant security and mobile computing enhancements that make the handset more enterprise-friendly. Meanwhile, rival Research In Motion is getting ready to kick off its developer conference next week as the blog BoyGeniusReport highlights leaked details of BlackBerry OS 6.

TAGS:

iPhone, Apple, Gizmodo, iPhone 4G, leaked iPhone

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