Most of us have left our phone at a bar at one point or another only to forget about it after picking up a new one the next day; one Apple employee, though, will probably be plagued by the same mistake for a long, long time. The engineer left a top-secret prototype of the new Apple iPhone in a California bar that wasn’t meant to be revealed for a number of months.
Photos of the device appeared on tech blog Gizmodo this morning, and sparked something of an internet frenzy. Though Apple hasn’t commented on the leaked product, most bloggers (as well as Times columnist David Pogue) have said they believe it’s real, and have picked apart the device feature-by-feature.
Perhaps the biggest winner in all of this, though, is Gizmodo. The Times provided the details of the deal that scored the Gawker media blog the scoop:
“The person who found the phone peddled it to Gizmodo, which bought it for $5,000, Nick Denton, chief executive of Gawker Media, which owns Gizmodo, said by instant message,” the Times reported. “His company’s sites have had a longstanding practice of paying for scoops, and the windfall was tangible. Traffic spiked on Monday, and at midday more than one million visitors stopped by the site in one hour to see pictures of the coveted gadget.”
Denton refused to comment on rumors that Steve Jobs himself had called the site to get the phone back. Now if that conversation ever got leaked, we would really get excited.
For Apple, Lost iPhone a Big Deal [NYT]
This Is Apple’s Next iPhone [Gizmodo]