Details are now emerging about how closely-involved Apple’s co-founder became during the search for a stolen next-generation iPhone that later was splashed across the front page of a prominent gadget blog. According to court records released Friday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs contacted the site around April 19, asking for the phone’s return.
Soon afterwards, Gizmodo editor Brian Lam e-mailed Jobs, telling him the blog would return the device only after Apple acknowledged it came from the Cupertino, Calif. company. A letter asking for the return of “a device that belongs to Apple” was sent to Lam by Apple attorney George Riley. Talking with lead San Mateo County Sheriff’s investigator Detective Matthew Broad, the lawyer had said the prototype’s return was “invaluable” and the potential damage from its loss “was huge,” according to an affidavit.
A bidding war of sorts developed after 21-year-old college student Brian Hogan began shopping the prototype around to various websites, according to his roommate, Katherine Martinson. Martinson contacted police after becoming concerned she might be implicated in the theft. When Martinson and friends tried to convince Hogan not to sell the device, saying it could destroy the career of the Apple engineer that lost the prototype in a Redwood City, Calif. bar, he replied: ‘Sucks for him. He lost his phone. Shouldn’t have lost his phone,’ according to court documents released.
Hogan reportedly was to receive a bonus from Gizmodo in July if Apple actually announced a new iPhone. Many expect the iPhone maker will announce a new handset during the Worldwide Developers Conference , starting June 7.