Apple wants next-gen iPhone back
Tech blog that got prototype is happy to give it back to 'rightful owner'
A popular technology blog obtained a prototype of a next-generation iPhone that an Apple engineer left at a San Francisco-area bar.
And Apple would very much like it back.
Gizmodo posted photos and video of the iPhone prototype Monday, detailing its new features, including a camera flash and a second camera for video chatting.
The phone prototype — dubbed the iPhone 4, or 4G or HD in blogs — also has a higher-resolution screen, a larger battery and a smaller micro-SIM card instead of the standard SIM card seen in most cellphones.
Micro-SIM card technology is also being used in Apple's iPad 3G device, shipping in the U.S. April 30.
The blog's writers were not able to turn the phone on and use it, though. They claim Apple remotely deactivated and locked the phone.
Lost iPhone: Mistake or publicity stunt?
Jason Chen of Gizmodo said the phone had been left at a bar in Redwood City, Calif. The New York Times reported that the blog paid $5,000 for the device.
The phone's authenticity was hotly debated in technology blogs Monday, with some claiming the Gizmodo writers had been duped by a Chinese iPhone knockoff.
'Not some knockoff'
Doubts about the phone's origin all but vanished, however, when the blog posted a letter from Apple asking for the phone's return.
"This letter constitutes a formal request that you return the device to Apple," reads the letter from Bruce Sewell, the company's general counsel, in part.
Chen arranged to return the phone.
"Now that we definitely know it's not some knockoff, and it really is Apple's, I'm happy to see it returned to its rightful owner," he wrote.
The lost iPhone prototype represents a rare breach in the company's well-known secrecy about its products. The company is known for keeping details about upcoming gadgets under tight wraps until they're revealed with the proper fanfare, usually by chief executive Steve Jobs.
Technology blogs are constantly speculating about future Apple products. The buzz about the next iPhone is that it will be unveiled this summer.