An Apple employee has reportedly lost an iPhone prototype at a bar, marking the second time such an event has occurred. The phone was allegedly taken from Cava 22, a bar in San Francisco’s Mission district, CNET has learned from a source familiar with the investigation.
According to the report, an Apple employee lost the phone late last month which prompted Apple security to launch a full-scale search-and-recover operation over a few days following the incident.
It is believed that the phone was taken from the bar and possibly sold on Craigslist for $200. The source indicates that Apple contacted the San Francisco police, saying the device was priceless and they were desperate to have it returned.
Apple was able to trace the device to a home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, but a subsequent search of the residence turned up nothing. A man at the home claimed no knowledge of having the phone, although he was at Cava 22 the night the phone went missing. It is unclear if Apple recovered the prototype nor do we know what version of iOS the device might have been running or even what it looked like.
Apple declined to comment on the incident, the San Francisco Police Department said the company had not filed a police report and Craigslist did not respond to requests for comment, CNET said.
The whole ordeal is eerily similar to what happened in April 2010. An Apple employee lost a prototype iPhone 4 at a Redwood City bar, which was found and sold to gadget blog Gizmodo for $5,000. Prosecutors searched the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen and considered prosecuting Gizmodo, but those plans were eventually dropped. Gizmodo has since been banned from all Apple press events.