Are you hiding a top-secret Apple iPhone 5 in your Bernal Heights home? If so, there are some very anxious people in Cupertino who would like to get it back. CNET News reports:
In a bizarre repeat of a high-profile incident last year, an Apple employee once again appears to have lost an unreleased iPhone in a bar, CNET has learned.
The errant iPhone, which went missing in San Francisco’s Mission district in late July, sparked a scramble by Apple security to recover the device over the next few days, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
Last year, an iPhone 4 prototype was bought by a gadget blog that paid $5,000 in cash. This year’s lost phone seems to have taken a more mundane path: it was taken from a Mexican restaurant and bar and may have been sold on Craigslist for $200. Still unclear are details about the device, what version of the iOS operating system it was running, and what it looks like.
While Apple has not publicly announced any plans for future phones, unconfirmed reports in the last few weeks suggest the launch date for the iPhone 5 is likely to be in early October. Other reports from Taiwan have set the date at September or October.
Apple declined to comment after being contacted this morning. A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department said the company did not file a police report based on the loss at the bar. Craigslist did not respond to requests for comment.
A day or two after the phone was lost at San Francisco’s Cava 22, which describes itself as a “tequila lounge” that also serves lime-marinated shrimp ceviche, Apple representatives contacted San Francisco police, saying the device was priceless and the company was desperate to secure its safe return, the source said.
Apple electronically traced the phone to a two-floor, single-family home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, according to the source.
UPDATE! TUAW adds:
Rather than immediately remote-wiping the phone as it did with the iPhone 4 prototype last year, Apple used the Find My iPhone feature and co-ordinated with San Francisco police to trace the phone to a home in San Fran’s Bernal Heights area. The homeowner gave police permission to search his house, but the device was not recovered.
IMAGE: Potential iPhone 5 renderings via iPhone 5 Talk