Certainly a very complex story, in several aspects controversial, but dotted with characters who, in one way or another, behaved very differently from how they had painted themselves, and with unexpected protagonists, for example Steve Jobs. Here are the new outlines within which the story of the "lost" iPhone 4G can be placed in the brewery as it now appears after the release of the legal documentation that accompanied the first steps of the investigation.
The publication, which took place during the night, the result of the initiative of some American media (including AP, Wired and C / Net) who requested and obtained from the San Mateo district court, the release of the information collected by the sheriff's office local. It is a very detailed PDF (here the one published by Wired), which describes step by step everything that happened on the basis of the testimonies of the people involved.
The first aspect that emerges clearly that Brian Hogan, the person who sold the phone to Gizmodo, knew very well who was the owner of the found cellphone and its value in commercial and journalistic terms. In the face of all this he made no attempt to return it (he would also have said, referring to the risks that the engineer who had lost the phone would have run, "worse for him he should not have lost it") and while they were trying to recover the material he attempted to destroy or hide in the midst of bushes some evidence such as stickers stuck to iPhones and camera cards that contained the images taken to "promote" the sale of the phone with the media; even a computer would have been brought into a church.
It is also learned that a fundamental part in the detailed reconstruction of all the facts was carried out by a certain Katerine Martison who with Thomas Warner, also aware of all the facts and probably an accomplice of Hogan, shared an apartment where the main protagonist resided. Martison would have worried about the hustle and bustle that was arising around the case and, given that the iPhone had been connected to her computer directly involving her, she would have decided to contact Apple, an operation that does not seem to have previously attempted.
When the San Mateo sheriff, after collecting Apple's complaint, went to the home indicated as the one where the evidence was to be found, he had to arrest Warner for information on where the materials he was trying to get hold were. The young man would only give up when he was handcuffed and put on the service car.
The path taken by the telephone seems to be in line with that already reconstructed by the newspapers. It was in the bag of Apple engineer Robert "Gray" Powel who, at the bar with his uncle, would have lost track of it, perhaps because the bag overturned (even if the theft was not excluded). A visibly drunk customer would have delivered it to Hogan; once received the cell phone the young man, who is described as very expert in the field and fully aware of the value of the prototype, immediately thought of monetizing the find, this despite having seen who was the owner browsing the phone.
Gizmodo would have paid $ 8500 for the prototype, promising another extra sum if that iPhone had actually been presented during the summer. Once the story emerged in the media it would have been Steve Jobs directly to contact Brian Lam, director of Gizmodo. Lam, from the attached documentation, replied via email asking for a formal letter to prove that it was really an Apple property, then adding a series of considerations on the information philosophy of Gizmodo, some advice on how to mask the affair ("maybe you can say that not the real next iPhone ") then launching a message that cloaks everything as a sort of small revenge:" From our point of view we have nothing to lose from this story: the problem that Apple's PR has been very cold with us lately and this has prevented me from doing my job at the launch of iPad. So we have to operate independently and find stories like these, even aggressively. I would like to work more closely with Apple. But I don't ask for more information, we can also do it alone but this is the only way we feel we are operating when we are excluded from the sources of information ".
The sheriff's documents outline for Gizmodo and in particular for the journalist Jason Chen who physically carried out the whole service various hypotheses of crime: receiving stolen goods, theft of industrial secrets and damage to private property (the iPhone would have been broken in an attempt to open it ). During the talks with the investigators, Apple would have expressed its concern about the ("enormous") damages caused by the behavior of both those who found the iPhone 4G without returning it and Gizmodo.com. The affirmations in this sense fear the possibility that the damages requested are in correlation with the missed sales: “Who would have purchased the current model – had the lawyer Apple Gorge Riley put in writing – could wait for the next version, consequently causing a feedback on sales and negatively influencing profits "