You know, there are times when even the best corporate security systems fail, and most of the time, the reason for the respective failures is not even remotely connected to the competition's efforts to get their hands on in-house prototypes and technologies, but rather to the mistakes and flaws of some of their own employees.
This is exactly what's happening with Apple nowadays, in what seems to be the largest leak in the company's history and, at the same time, the best-documented one. And things are even worse, since we're talking about one of the most expected products to come out of the secretive Cupertino labs, namely the next-generation iPhone
, also known as the iPhone HD, and the fact that the whole thing was exposed by one of the world's best-known gadget blogs, Gizmodo.
In order to keep things simple, we've divided our story into two different segments: one detailing the story of shame and alcohol that led to the device being misplaced, and the second one telling you what you should expect from Apple's future handset.
Part I – Apple Software Engineers and German beer shouldn't mix
The first part of our tale is related to the way in which the handset was initially lost, according to Gizmodo
. So, the unfortunate soul guilty of losing the device is Gray Powell, a software engineer working for Apple, where he was developing baseband software for the next-gen iPhone model. And considering the nature of his job, it was no surprise that he was given a next-gen iPhone (or iPhone HD, as this future iPhone iteration is rumored to be called) to test and work on. Naturally, the iPhone was disguised as an iPhone 3GS, featuring a fake case.
Anyway, for some reason, the young engineer decided to visit the G
ourmet Haus Staudt, a German beer garden in Redwood City, California, where he had one too many drinks and simply forgot his iPhone on the bar stool, where it was found by an anonymous patron, who, since not being able to find the original owner, took it home with him.
Gizmodo's report goes to say that the finder of the lost iPhone HD used it for a couple of days, noticing that something was a bit off, some of the functions and features not working properly. However, at some point, he discovered it to be bricked, most likely via the MobileMe service. The finder apparently tried to contact Apple in order to return the device, but nobody took him seriously.
After carefully studying the device, the finder also realized there was something strange with the case, which he opened, only to find a brand-new, shiny iPhone model
inside, one he had never seen before.
Ultimately, the next-gen iPhone found its way into the hands of the people over at Gizmodo, although rumor has it that the founder was handsomely rewarded for turning in the handset (rumor has it that Gawker Media, the company behind Gizmodo, paid a cool $10,000
to get their hands on the prototype).
Part II – Gizmodo tests and takes apart the next-gen iPhone HD
Naturally, as any other gadget-oriented site out there would have probably done in their place, Gizmodo thoroughly tested the Apple handheld
, the results being pretty impressive. And we're not just talking about the improved looks and case, but about some of the internal components as well.
So, the new handset sports a front-facing video chat camera (which is a feature pretty much everyone suspected to eventually be introduced in the iPhone's design), accompanied by an improved back camera and a flash module.
Similar to the iPad, the device also sports a Micro-SIM slot, and a seriously improved display (the resolution is not yet known, but the overall quality seems superior to the screen of the iPhone 3GS). Additional features include a small mic for noise cancellation, split buttons for volume and metallic control buttons.
Furthermore, the rear side is manufactured out of glass or ceramic or shiny plastic, while the whole design is a lot less curvy than the 3GS (more straight lines). The battery is also larger (16 percent, to be precise), but the rest of the components have been miniaturized. Unfortunately, after being bricked by Apple, the people over at Gizmodo were not able to restart the device, simply because there was no firmware available for it.
Naturally, nobody's quite sure what will happen to the unfortunate Apple employee who lost the next-gen iPhone prototype. If the leak was intentional, then most likely he'll be just fine, but if that wasn't the case and he really lost the gadget on account on way too many beers, then we really wouldn't want to be in his shoes, since Apple's legal fury will certainly come down on him, and come down hard.