Ahhh… Stevie lost his phone, and now he’s pissed!
Mr. Jobs, put away your clearly earned ego and stop having a tantrum. Yes, we all know you want to “make an example” of the players involved in revealing your precious new iPhone… so that no one will ever again destroy a perfectly planned market introduction (or to ever dare outmaneuver the great Jobs [Is that you flailing frantically behind the curtain we should ignore?]).
But hey, bud, shit happens! YOU fucked up… YOU lost the phone, Jobs… why take it out on these guys?
To me, Apple now seems as bitter and nasty as monopolist-behaving Microsoft.
Do you, Jobs and Apple, still deserve our pathological admiration and devoted obsession to wait with baited breath to purchase your every new product?
Not so much anymore.
You have become the Big Brother at whom we should hurl the sledgehammer.
So… here’s what’s purported to have occurred:
- a young, naive engineer at Apple irresponsibly left behind a prototype iPhone at a bar,
- a person who was handed the phone found no one to claim it and…
- sold the prototype iPhone to the Gizmodo technology site,
- and Gizmodo exists to do what it did: publish “scooped” photos and other information about the unreleased device.
- Jobs/Apple stimulate a criminal investigation by public authorities
- against the two persons who did what anyone would do:
- get the phone to a techie gossip columnist and scoop competitor tech-obsessed fan sites by publishing photos.
Mr. Jobs and Apple Inc.: Bad Form. Bad form. Bad Form.
Apple is renowned for its devoted fan base, or what most business writers refer to as “Apple’s Cult Following.” These are the purchasers who make Apple’s products a continuing success. And, the behaviors of our two protagonists fell right in line with how obsessed cult followers react to being handed a scoop!
Apparently, Apple want customers and fans to react with indifference to upcoming new products.
Apparently Apple prefers that the world look forward to their products as much as we do a new Windoze product.
Apparently, Apple seeks and deserves no more respect and adulation as we maintain for Microsoft or Sony/Ericsson.
Apparently, Apple has mutated into the Evil Empire and Steve Jobs into the Emperor.
So be it!
Operation Valkyrie Is Activated!
Brian Hogan, a 21-year-old college student living in Redwood City, Calif., sat drinking at a local bar with friends when another patron handed him the now-infamous next-gen iPhone. Knowing it wasn’t his phone, Hogan asked others near him if the phone belonged to them. When they disclaimed ownership, Hogan and his friends left the bar with the phone.
Gizmodo paid Hogan $5000 for the phone, with the impression that the payment provided access to the device so as to photograph and review it.
Operation Valkyrie is executed flawlessly as the prototype iPhone pictures flow through the internet across the galaxy!
Apparently, Hogan believed — and Gizmodo emphasized to him — there was nothing improper in sharing the phone with the online tech press — today’s modern journalists who should be afforded rights like their printed and televised press brethren, i.e., accorded wide latitude to publish scoops free from legal liability.
Charges have not been filed against Hogan, said Stephen Wagstaffe, chief deputy district attorney for San Mateo County. “The investigation is ongoing,” said Wagstaffe, “and investigators are still determining whether a crime has been committed.”
If authorities do classify the incident as a theft, Hogan could be charged, Wagstaffe said. “Anyone who was in possession of the phone would be a suspect in a theft case, assuming it’s determined that a crime has been committed,” Wagstaffe added.
That also means that Jason Chen, the Gizmodo editor who purchased the prototype from Hogan, then photographed, disassembled and analyzed the iPhone, could face similar charges.
Friday, April 23rd, California police with the REACT (Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team), a multi-county task force that investigates high-tech crimes in the Silicon Valley area, served Chen with a search warrant and removed several personal computers, hard drives and digital cameras from his home.
The status of those computers is still being debated, said Wagstaffe. “We continue to discuss the matter with Mr. Chen’s attorney and the attorneys for Gawker,” he said, referring to Gawker Media, the New York-based firm that publishes Gizmodo. Gaby Darbyshire, Gawker’s chief operating officer and the company’s counsel, has argued that the search warrant was invalid because it violated California and federal shield laws that prohibit.
Hey! Apple in a drunken stupor left behind their own prototype product — no one picked it from their employee’s pocket.
Someone, believing it was Hogan’s phone, gave the prototype iPhone to young Hogan who sold it to Gizmodo’s Chen.
Now many appropriately ask, how can that be “stealing?”
Well, this scenario can be construed as “fencing,” selling and receiving stolen property. California’s “receiving stolen property” laws appear very unforgiving.
But so what? Apple claimed and was given back their property.
These “outsider” players all behaved as one would expect any reasonable person to react to the opportunity, and no one should delude themselves with feigned claims of their own propriety were they presented this opportunity.
The only person who did anything wrong was the young engineer who left the phone behind irresponsibly — which is to say that Apple itself left behind its own phone irresponsibly.