Finder of Leaked iPhone 4 Prototype Speaks Out

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Back in 2010, photos of a prototype iPhone 4 appeared on Gizmodo nearly two months before the device was officially unveiled by Apple. Gizmodo obtained the device from a person, later identified as Brian Hogan, who was allegedly handed the phone by another patron after it was left on a stool at a Redwood City, California bar by an Apple engineer testing the new iPhone.

    Investigations by Apple's security team and law enforcement focused on Hogan and his friend Sage Wallower, who acted as a middleman in shopping the device to several technology blogs, as well as Gizmodo reporter Jason Chen, who had several computers and other devices seized as part of the investigation.

    Ultimately, Gizmodo and Chen were cleared of all charges while Hogan and Wallower were sentenced to probation, community service, and restitution of $250 after pleading no-contest to theft charges. The charges were related to a more than century-old California law requiring finders of lost property who can identify the likely owner to attempt to return the property.

    As noted by The Next Web, Hogan has now spoken out on the situation in an "Ask Me Anything" session on Reddit.

    In the session, Hogan claims that he was taken advantage of by Gizmodo, which failed to pay an alleged $3,000 bonus to Hogan predicated on Apple confirming the device was genuine. Gizmodo had paid $5,000 up front for the device, but Hogan notes that he spent much more than that on legal fees related to his defense.

    Hogan expresses regrets about how he handled the situation initially, noting that he should have simply left the phone with management at the bar to allow them to attempt to return it to its owner. Still, he points out that in the heat of the moment it was easy to make the decision he did make.
    Finally, Hogan shares some additional details on the situation, highlighting the stress the publicity caused for his family and his relationships and discussing how his roommate had assisted investigators while he was away from his apartment attempting to maintain a low profile in the wake of publicity from the situation.

    Article Link: Finder of Leaked iPhone 4 Prototype Speaks Out
  2. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    All would have been avoided if the owner didn't get wasted and remembered his phone. :rolleyes:
    I'm not saying I agree with Hogan.. He should have left it there. I know the point of these phones in the wild is to perform field testing. But perhaps you could have left it at home when going to a bar to celebrate. Plenty of other opportunities to field test it
  3. mattopotamus macrumors G4


    Jun 12, 2012
    I probably wouldn't think to sell it, but I would definitely post pictures on the internet about the story.
  4. nickane macrumors 6502

    Feb 24, 2005
    Amazing to think Apple pressed charges when the whole thing smacks so much of an intentional leak (especially considering it happened again with the next phone).
  5. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    He feels taken advantage of by Gizmodo??? He shouldn't have been negotiating with them in the first place. Like he later says, he should have turned the phone over to the owners of the bar.
  6. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    do we know what happened to the poor guy who left it btw?

    did apple fire him?
  7. ineedamac macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    I would have contacted someone at Apple to set up a meeting where I could return the iPhone. That would be the right thing to do.
  8. AppleWarMachine macrumors 6502a


    Sep 27, 2011
    Michigan, US
    it's just a phone :eek:

    don't take what is not yours
  9. bobbytallant macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2010
  10. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    No. He's now the guy who tells all new employees how to handle prototype devices that they are given :D

    (Just making this up, but it's quite possible. We never heard that he was fired, and we probably would have heard about it).
  11. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    1) Take pictures of unreleased iPhone 4
    2) Return iPhone 4 to bar manager
    3) Setup website with pictures and ads, etc.
    4) ???
    5) Profit!

    Seriously, you could have watermarked the pictures, all the techblogs would have linked to your website, and your traffic would have gone through the roof. You would have avoided any legal troubles/costs and generated a nice handful of revenue.
  12. mbh macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2002
    Yeah, the poor guy didn't get paid for the phone that didn't belong to him. My heart bleeds.
  13. mattopotamus macrumors G4


    Jun 12, 2012
    That would be the best way to go haha
  14. peb123 macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2010
    "The charges were related to a more than century-old law California law requiring finders of lost property who can identify the likely owner to attempt to return the property"

    Whats that supposed to mean? Is steeling old fashioned now?

    The guy clearly knew what it was and who the owner was. He is a thief and was lucky to get probation!
  15. angrynstupid macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2010

    Poor baby criminal suffered stress while committing his crimes. Me feel so sorry for him.
  16. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    That is sort of like blaming a rape victim who got wasted and guys took advantage of that......

    Don't blame the thief.... Blame the person who lost the phone..... The thief is the real victim here.....
  17. Some guy macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2013
    Poor guy, he was scammed when trying to sell stolen property.

    And he was only 21 years old! :rolleyes:
  18. Mr.damien, Jun 26, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2013

    Mr.damien Guest

    "What would you have done if you thought you had an unreleased iPhone? [...] "

    Well, contact Apple to give it them back and hope for a gesture from Apple.

    Def not stealing it to give it back to news site and get some money over it. But, hell, I am a old school guy that doesn't think that stealing is "cool" while be fair is being "foolish".
  19. boshii macrumors 68040


    Jul 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    He would've been safe if he just took pictures instead.
  20. littyboy macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    "Gizmodo had paid $5,000 up front for the device, but Hogan notes that he spent much more than that on legal fees related to his defense."

    Tsk tsk. He should've called Larry H. Parker.
  21. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    In California where this happens, there are exactly two things that you can do legally when you see an item that looks as if it was lost:

    1. Don't touch it. Leave it where it is.
    2. Take it and make all reasonable efforts to return it to the rightful owner.

    (2) could be a lot of work, which is why you can choose to do (1).

    The first thing would have been to inform the bar owner, and leave your contact information with them, so if the owner asks if someone found his lost phone, the bar owner could give the contact information to the owner.

    BTW. In Germany, taking the phone away from the bar would have been theft even if you returned it to the owner. There items are only "lost" if they are in a public place not owned by anyone. So you can't legally "find" things at someone's home, in a bar, in a school, on a bus and so on.
  22. Mr.damien Guest

    Well, people that blame the person who lost the phone are usually the one who knows they would have stolen it. :rolleyes:

    This is so common nowadays...
  23. decimortis macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2007
    The phone on the right looks sweet!

    iPhone 5S??????


  24. Ryth macrumors 65816

    Apr 21, 2011
    How does anyone know what to do? Oh I don't know Brian, many of us were raised well and have something called 'common sense'.

    You should have turned the phone into the bar owner OR looked through it and called the main contact OR once finding out Apple was looking for them. I'm sure you would have gotten something nice out of Apple for returning their property. Instead you got a nice legal bill. Appropriate for trying to capitalize.

    So sick of people using the 'oh I was young and dumb' excuse. Once you are 18, that excuse is gone folks.

    I hope you seriously don't go through life using this logic.
  25. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    If that was an intentional leak then someone at Apple would be a criminal. Because if they left the phone in the bar _intentionally_ then it wasn't lost, but abandoned, so anyone could pick it up legally. Therefore claiming that Hogan stole it would have been making a false accusation; in the UK the whole thing would have been called "perverting the cause of justice" which will carry a jail sentence.

    So you are basically accusing someone at Apple of being a serious criminal. Think about that.


    Many people _are_ young and dumb at 18. Or at 21. Since it all happened in a bar, he might have had some alcohol, and the first thing alcohol does is turn off the bit in your brain that says "this is a stupid idea" when you think of doing something stupid. (Which is why driving drunk is a bad idea, because you are tempted to do things that are stupid and that you wouldn't do when sober).

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