The “sorry Apple engineer” who lost a 4G iPhone at a Bay Area bar has been identified as Grey Powell, Gizmodo reports. Powell is a 27-year-old software engineer with a taste for the sauce (judging by his pictures, like this one above with a PBR). He left the test unit at the Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City several weeks ago.
“I underestimated how good German beer is,” he typed into the next-generation iPhone he was testing on the field, cleverly disguised as an iPhone 3GS. It was his last Facebook update from the secret iPhone. It was the last time he ever saw the iPhone, right before he abandoned it on bar stool, leaving to go home.”
Left on a stool, the iPhone was handed to a guy sitting next to Powell. The guy asked around to see if anyone had lost it, but when no one claimed it, he took it home.
When he woke up after the hazy night, the phone was dead. Bricked remotely, through MobileMe, the service Apple provides to track and wipe out lost iPhones. It was only then that he realized that there was something strange that iPhone. The exterior didn’t feel right and there was a camera on the front. After tinkering with it, he managed to open the fake 3GS.
However, Gizmodo does not explain how the iPhone came into their possession — which may be the most important part of the story. “Weeks later, Gizmodo got it,” is all that is said. Gizmodo publisher Nick Denton paid just $5,000 for the iPhone, he admitted to the AP. According to California law, the iPhone is stolen even it was accidentally left at a bar. The finder is legally obliged to return it to Apple. Instead, they sold it to Gizmodo, who at the time of purchase knew it was Apple’s property.