Way back in 2010, a prototype of Apple's iPhone 4 was accidentally left at a bar. The prototype was "found" by two twenty-something student technology geeks who decided to sell it to tech-blog Gizmodo for $5,000. Gizmodo published the photos, much to the chagrin of Apple executives. When Steve Jobs officially introduced the device months later, he famously quipped, "Stop me if you've already seen this,"
And now, on the heels of the introduction of the next generation iPhone--the iPhone 4S, the tale of the wayward prototype has come to end. Twenty-two year old Brian John Hogan, and Sage Robert Wallower, 28, have pleaded no contest to misdemeanor theft of lost property. The pair was sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of public service. They also must pay Apple a total of $250 in restitution, but are allowed to keep the $4,750 they made on the sale to Gizmodo.
And, despite efforts of a special police task force who kicked in Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's door in search of evidence, no charges have ever been filed against anyone at Gizmodo.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Improbably, the iPhone 4 wasn't the last Apple prototype to lose its way. Just last month, the San Francisco Police Department said it accompanied Apple representatives to a local resident's home as the company looked for another wayward device. The machine was lost just before Apple announced the iPhone 4S upgrade.