Did Apple Lose Another iPhone Prototype?


Apple (AAPL) and Steve Jobs' once-notorious lock-down security approach may be developing yet more cracks, as reports are indicating that another iPhone 4G prototype has been found outside Apple's campus walls.

And this time the missing gadget has turned up in an even more far-flung place: Vietnam. A Vietnamese website, Taoviet, has reportedly gotten its hands on what appears to be a next-generation iPhone, according to photos and information posted on AppleInsider, among others. Oh, and there's also a YouTube video.

For those keeping score at home, (or, hehe, on your last generation iPhone), that makes two Apple prototypes gone wandering in less than two months. The first, you might recall, resulted in the now infamous Gizmodo post, which revealed the inner workings of an iPhone prototype and sent Apple on a rampage, after one its engineers inadvertently left the device behind in a California beer garden during his 27th birthday celebration.

Apple to Ask Authorities to Intervene Again?

That birthday misadventure eventually led to police storming the home of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen and seizing four of his computers, despite the fact that he had already returned the device to Apple. Questions have arisen about the legality of the seizure, as well as the $5,000 Gizmodo's owner, Gawker Media, paid to get the phone and whether it was tantamount to paying for stolen property. (On a smaller scale, some very influential folks think Apple's actions were highly uncool.)

So far it's hard to tell what, if any, action Apple or Vietnamese authorities will take concerning this latest discovery. One thing, however, is certain: Questions over Apple's prototype security both domestically and overseas will continue to linger for the foreseeable future.