Apple Employee Loses Next-Gen iPhone at a Bar (Again!)

In April of 2010, News Blaze reported that an iPhone 4 prototype was left in a bar by an Apple employee, about a year and a half later, history is repeating itself.

In late July an Apple employee left an iPhone prototype (most likely the iPhone 5) in a San Francisco tequila lounge Caba22. There is no information on what the prototype looked like or what iOS it is running. The iPhone 5 physically is identical to the iPhone 4. In last year’s incident, the iPhone 4 prototype was in a case that disguised it as an iPhone 3GS.

This prototype may have been sold on Craigslist for $200. Apple was able to electronically trace the phone to a home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood.

When San Francisco police and Apple’s investigators visited the house, they spoke with a man in his twenties who admitted he was at Cava 22 on the night in question. He denied knowing anything about the phone though. The man gave investigators permission to search his house, but nothing was found.

Apple refuses to comment on the situation, but San Francisco police confirmed that they assisted Apple internal security in searching a home to find an unreleased iPhone owned by the company and lost in a San Francisco bar.

Apple has declined to identify the lost device. But when distributing its statement last night through a Word file, a police representative labeled the file “iphone5.doc,” according to the Reuters news service.

So is this indeed a coincidence, or has Apple pulled off an elaborate publicity stunt in April of last year and now in 2011?

Last year the The Droid Incredible was set to launch on April 29th. There was a lot of buzz around this device being the “iPhone” killer. A few weeks before the launch, the story broke that an Apple employee had lost the iPhone 4 prototype. The prototype ended up in Gizmodos hands which then they were able to release several details about the iPhone including a new front facing camera and other physical features.

This year, the iPhone 5 is rumored to be released in October, but there hasn’t been as much press about the iPhone compared to earlier years. There are several smart phones available now offered from other manufacturers that are more popular than the iPhone. It is reported that this prototype went missing in late July, but we are just now hearing about it, a month or so before the first iPhone 5 is set to launch.

Sure it could be an amazing coincidence, but wouldn’t it be ingenious of Apple’s marketing department to pull off this possible publicity to put the spotlight back on Apple?