iPhone 4.0: What Does Apple Do Now?

Experts have weighed in and believe the <a href="http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2010/04/nextgen_apple_i.html">lost or stolen</a> iPhone 4.0 prototype to be a legitimate device. Apple has never experienced a leak like this. How does it respond? What does it do?

Eric Ogren, Contributor

April 19, 2010

2 Min Read

Experts have weighed in and believe the lost or stolen iPhone 4.0 prototype to be a legitimate device. Apple has never experienced a leak like this. How does it respond? What does it do?Apple's hands are somewhat tied here. If the company responds to Gizmodo (and/or owner Gawker Media) with some form of cease and desist or request to remove the post, Apple risks validating the device as real. Apple probably won't do that. But is remaining silent an option?

If Apple does nothing -- no statements, no comments, no responses of any sort -- it could also be construed as a passive admission that the device is real.

Experts believe it is real. Michael Gartenberg of Altimeter Group told NewsFactorNetwork, "It's hard to say without seeing it, but the rumor does sound and appear credible. Apple prefers to control the message, marketing and the overall first impression of their devices. Nevertheless, I'm sure conspiracy theories will abound whether this was intentional. Such is the nature of Apple rumors."

Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart also concedes that the device is probably real. The inside components are what swayed him to believe that Gizmodo found the genuine article.

How did this happen? Both Engadget and Gizmodo separately reported that the decide was found on the floor of a bar by a random man. Daring Fireball's Jon Gruber notes that Apple probably considers the device to be stolen. If it was stolen, did the man who found it steal it, or did someone else? How did it come to that bar floor in Greenwood City, Calif.?

Apple has not faced a PR debacle like this before. Gartenberg wasn't kidding when he said that Apple likes to control the message. Its press events are strictly for what it considers to be A-List journalists. Those who get access to Apple hardware early are the most well-known reporters in all of technology, and have a track record of trust with Apple. For a device to become lost (or stolen), and so thoroughly analyzed by a blog has to have left Apple feeling violated.

Sure, Apple could ignore the whole thing, but I think that would be a mistake. Gizmodo has promised to publish the back-story of how it came to receive the iPhone. Perhaps that will shed more light on the situation and give a clearer indication of what (and how) Apple might respond.

Thankfully, we know that Gizmodo will be transparent about what -- if anything -- it hears from Apple. I have to wonder if post author Jason Chen will receive a phone call from Steve Jobs...

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