Could The Lost iPhone 5 Prototype Story Be A Hoax?

Could The Lost iPhone 5 Prototype Story Be A Hoax?

Earlier this week, CNet surprised everyone by reporting that Apple had lost yet another iPhone prototype at a San Francisco bar. We were so intrigued that we stopped by to talk to the manager but he didn’t know jack about it.

You know who else has never heard anything about a lost iPhone 5 prototype? The San Francisco Police. Which is weird, because according to CNet’s story, they were called out to investigate.

SF Weekly reports:

There’s just one problem: SFPD spokesman Officer Albie Esparza says no records exist of any such activity by SFPD inspectors.

“I talked to CNET” reporter Declan McCullagh, Esparza tells SF Weekly. “I don’t know who his source is, but we don’t have any record of any such an investigation going on at this point.”

And they should:

Esparza says no records of the visit to Bernal Heights by police officers — which should be recorded in documentation per standard SFPD procedures — exist at either Mission or Ingleside stations, at least one of which would have handled the incident. (Ingleside station covers Bernal Heights, while the phone was allegedly lost at Cava 22, a bar in the Mission.) Police dispatchers also have no records of any incident involving the address where the search for the phone supposedly took place, Esparza says.

Leander and I actually discussed this when the story broke, and while I said that, if this turned out to be a hoax, Cava 22’s owner might be looking to drum up some free publicity, he argued that Apple would have worked with a Silicon Valley cybercrimes task force to recover the phone. What do you think?

  • ifrins

    I that their story is totally false ’cause otherwise we would know something more about the lost prototype. 

  • patrickbayca

    While I applaud John for asking the question in the first place (the only article I’ve read even calling this event into question!), I wonder why he wouldn’t also ask if this is Apple going for free publicity. The news spread around the web like wildfire, as it always seems to, and has kept Apple in the spotlight, as it always does, with no cost to Apple. The Cava 22 joint is mostly incidental for most people unless they live in the area, so as a marketing tactic I doubt it’d be very effective.

    Kudos for being the lone hero to *finally* start questioning anything surrounding Apple, but it’d be great if the critical gaze could also be cast a little farther afield.

  • patrickbayca

    While I applaud John for asking the question in the first place (the only article I’ve read even calling this event into question!), I wonder why he wouldn’t also ask if this is Apple going for free publicity. The news spread around the web like wildfire, as it always seems to, and has kept Apple in the spotlight, as it always does, with no cost to Apple. The Cava 22 joint is mostly incidental for most people unless they live in the area, so as a marketing tactic I doubt it’d be very effective.

    Kudos for being the lone hero to *finally* start questioning anything surrounding Apple, but it’d be great if the critical gaze could also be cast a little farther afield.

  • mbchp

    I’ve thought it to be a hoax all along. You know how tech blogs are.. like a dirty prostitute on Broadway. One gets the bad info to start, the rest all pick it up and run with it too, thinking they’re clean. Next thing we know, everyone’s sharing dirty / bad info and claiming it’s gospel. I bet the guy who was drunk at the bar and came up with the idea — “Hey, brah, lets send an anonymous email to one of them blogs and tell ‘em we found a iPhone 5, dude!” — is laughing his ass off. 

  • Leave-com-John

    John…you’re creating a rumor…about a rumor…for fuck sake.

  • Len Williams

    Your idea that this is an Apple free PR caper is ridiculous: 1) Losing another iPhone makes Apple look incompetent = the opposite of how they want to portray themselves, and 2) Apple is far from needing this kind of notoriety, as they sell millions of iPhones each quarter, and there is already a huge pent-up demand for the new iPhone 5. Like everything else Apple does, its advertising is always simple, elegant and done with a great deal of professionalism. They don’t need to stoop to tabloid journalism to promote their products.

  • mai duc chung

    iphone-6-release.com | We Are The Top Source of Up To Date News, Information, and Rumors About the iphone 6, iphone 6 release, iphone 6 release date, iphone 6 news, iphone 6 rumors, iphone 6 pictures. Our Team Updates You Hourly So You Are Always Informed.(http://iphone-6-release.com/) iphone 6

  • mai duc chung

    iphone-6-release.com | We Are The Top Source of Up To Date News, Information, and Rumors About the iphone 6, iphone 6 release, iphone 6 release date, iphone 6 news, iphone 6 rumors, iphone 6 pictures. Our Team Updates You Hourly So You Are Always Informed.(http://iphone-6-release.com/) iphone 6

  • mai duc chung

    iphone-6-release.com | We Are The Top Source of Up To Date News, Information, and Rumors About the iphone 6, iphone 6 release, iphone 6 release date, iphone 6 news, iphone 6 rumors, iphone 6 pictures. Our Team Updates You Hourly So You Are Always Informed.(http://iphone-6-release.com/) iphone 6

  • mai duc chung

    iphone-6-release.com | We Are The Top Source of Up To Date News, Information, and Rumors About the iphone 6, iphone 6 release, iphone 6 release date, iphone 6 news, iphone 6 rumors, iphone 6 pictures. Our Team Updates You Hourly So You Are Always Informed.(http://iphone-6-release.com/) iphone 6

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories |